Leadership (Category 1)

From: https://www.nist.gov/baldrige/baldrige-criteria-commentary

Leadership (Category 1)

This category asks how senior leaders’ personal actions and your governance system guide and sustain your organization.

Strategy (Category 2)

This category asks how you develop strategic objectives and action plans, implement them, change them if circumstances require, and measure progress.

The category stresses that your organization’s long‐term organizational success and competitive environment are key strategic issues that need to be integral parts of your overall planning. Making decisions about your organization’s core competencies and work systems is an integral part of ensuring your organization’s success now and in the future, and these decisions are therefore key strategic decisions.

Customers (Category 3)

This category asks how you engage customers for long‐term marketplace success, including how you listen to customers, serve, and exceed customers’ expectations, and build customer relationships.

The category stresses customer engagement as an important outcome of an overall learning and performance excellence strategy. Your customer satisfaction and dissatisfaction results provide vital information for understanding your customers and the marketplace. In many cases, the voice of the customer provides meaningful information not only on your customers’ views but also on their marketplace behaviors and on how these views and behaviors may contribute to your organization’s current and future success in the marketplace.

Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management (Category 4)

In the simplest terms, category 4 is the “brain center” for the alignment of your operations with your strategic objectives. It is the main point within the Criteria for all key information on effectively measuring, analyzing, and improving performance and managing organizational knowledge to drive improvement, innovation, and organizational competitiveness. Central to this use of data and information are their quality and availability Furthermore, since information, analysis, and knowledge management might themselves be primary sources of competitive advantage and productivity growth, this category also includes such strategic considerations.

Workforce (Category 5)

This category addresses key workforce practices—those directed toward creating and maintaining a high‐performance environment and toward engaging your workforce to enable it and your organization to adapt to change and succeed.

To reinforce the basic alignment of workforce management with overall strategy, the Criteria also cover workforce planning as part of overall strategic planning in category 2.

Operations (Category 6)

This category asks how you focus on your organization’s work, product design and delivery, innovation, and operational effectiveness to achieve organizational success now and in the future.

Results (Category 7)

This category provides a systems focus that encompasses all results necessary to sustaining an enterprise: your key process and product results, your customer‐focused results, your workforce results, your leadership and governance system results, and your overall financial and market performance.

So, as an example, if you were an organizational consultant and were consulting to University leadership about student attrition—in our opening case example—after you studied the data and documents, etc. these could be among some of the interview questions that you might ask several university leaders such as the president, vice president of enrollment/student services; academic dean; counseling services; learning skills/tutoring; and whatever other leadership administrators you deem important to this conversation:

  1. What is the role of University leadership in the area of student retention?
  2. What do you understand to be some of the major factors that contribute to student retention in your college?
  3. What do you understand to be some of the major factors that contribute to student attrition in your college?
  4. How is your college attempting to increase student retention? What are the programs and services, policies, and procedures?
  5. How would you assess the success or impact of what your college is doing to increase student retention?

This interview information, with discussion and follow up questions would be incorporated into what you learned from other sources to develop a report about factors influencing student attrition and retention efforts and recommendations that could be management, policy and procedures, or programs and services related.

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