Contents How to...

How to develop an excellent organisation
The How to... Series
Most organisations know where they should be improving their
performance. The difficult part is obtaining detailed, impartial advice to set
them in the right direction. The British Quality Foundation has responded
to this need by producing a series of ‘How to...’ books.
The authors are experts on their subjects and the books are suitable for
organisations of all sizes in all sectors. While they do not provide the
complete solution, by following the ideas and approaches the reader will
find a route to implementing performance improvement and achieving
greater productivity and competitiveness.
How to develop an excellent organisation
What Do We Mean By Excellent?
The Fundamental Concepts of Excellence
The Excellence Model
Where Are You Starting From?
How to Pan Your Journey
How to Chart Your Progress
Recognition Schemes
Why it Matters
This book answers the question
‘How can we develop an excellent organisation?’
Other books in this series include:
How to measure and manage business performance
How to design and implement a corporate social responsibility strategy
How to identify and manage the organisation’s key processes
How to become an Investor in Excellence
How to develop and make effective use of a balanced scorecard
How to benchmark your business processes
How to establish customer requirements and measure customer satisfaction
The British Quality Foundation is grateful to TQMI Consultancy for their help in
producing this book.
TQMI is an improvement consultancy providing practical support to organisations
striving to achieve excellence. It operates in over 40 countries and has supported over
1000 public and private sector clients. TQMI tailors and utilises appropriate tools and
approaches to help clients on their journey towards excellence. It adopts a pragmatic
approach to help clients bridge the performance gap between where they are today
and their future aspirations.
[email protected]
© 2005 The British Quality Foundation
How to develop an excellent organisation
How to develop an excellent organisation
What Do We Mean By Excellent?
This booklet is an easy-to-read, practical guide for those who are striving
to develop a means of achieving excellence in their organisations. It is
intended that, by following the ideas and approaches suggested, the
reader will be able to see a path towards excellence regardless of where
they are starting.
According to the Chambers’ dictionary, the definition of excellent is
‘surpassing others in some good quality and of great value or worth’ but
clearly different people will have different views on what constitutes quality,
value and worth.
If we ask our customers and clients what an excellent organisation means
to them, they will probably say reliable products and services, people who
know what they are talking about, value for money, and a prompt response
when things go wrong.
If we ask our shareholders or other financial stakeholders, their response will
probably include return on investment, growth potential, clear direction for
the organisation and demonstrable improvements in efficiency and productivity.
Our employees are likely to say decent terms and conditions, job security,
opportunities for advancement and development, job satisfaction and
leaders and managers they respect.
Our immediate neighbours may think job opportunities, support for
community activities and minimal disruption to local amenity indicates an
excellent organisation, while the wider community may include
environmental policies and other social responsibility issues.
Our suppliers may well judge excellence on the basis of security of
contracts, prompt payment and the development of long-term
collaborative relationships.
So what does ‘excellent’ mean in an organisation?
All of the above!
Developing an excellent organisation will therefore involve balancing
all these competing demands and making progress on all areas of
the way business is done.
Another complication is that excellence is not a static state what may be considered excellent today will be regarded as
the norm and ‘to be expected’ tomorrow. A look at the
How to develop an excellent organisation
How to develop an excellent organisation
developments in the motor car over the last 20 years is a very graphic
example of how quickly customer expectations change and how much
more demanding customers are of their suppliers.
So developing an excellent organisation is effectively a never-ending
journey, requiring us to sustain all the improvements we make and to
continue to seek further improvements. No matter how close we may think
we are to excellence, there can be no end to our efforts.
When the founder members of the European Foundation for Quality
Management were developing the Excellence Model in the 1990s, they
realised that despite all the different ways of describing an excellent
organisation, there was a set of fundamental concepts that were
universally applicable regardless of organisation.
This means that there is no one prescribed way of developing an excellent
organisation that must be followed, but whatever approach is developed
and adopted, it must be consistent with the fundamental concepts.
The Fundamental Concepts
of Excellence
There are eight fundamental concepts that underpin the whole framework
of the Excellence Model. The Model does not prescribe how any
organisation should approach the journey towards excellence but any
approach will need to keep these fundamental concepts at the centre of
its thinking and they can act as a ‘touchstone’ for the choices made.
Corporate social
Customer focus
Later sections of this booklet will explore the development of approaches
that are suitable for organisations at various stages of the journey.
development &
by processes
and facts
learning, innovation
& improvement
& constancy
of purpose