Baldrige Award Applicants Can Now Receive Category-Level Recognition

Baldrige AwardThe Baldrige Program will begin identifying category best practices within the 2012 award cycle among site-visited organizations. Best practices identified by the Panel of Judges in categories 1 through 6 will be eligible for recognition. To receive this recognition, an applicant’s overall organizational performance in the identified category must be demonstrating mature processes that are linked to the appropriate organizational results, demonstrating favorable levels and trends. Also, the applicant organization must have credible performance across all categories. An applicant may be recognized for more than one category best practice or for none at all.

The site visit process will remain unchanged. Organizations receiving such category recognition will present at the Quest for Excellence® Conference following their recognition. Such organizations will be recognized in the annual award ceremony program, but not on stage, and the Baldrige Program will highlight them on our Web site and in a press release.

The purpose of category recognition—which was approved by the Board of Overseers at its June 14 meeting—is to (1) encourage organizations to continue their engagement with the Baldrige Program; and (2) provide other organizations in their industries (and beyond) with best practices. In 2011, the judges piloted identification of category-level best practices as part of the judging process.

Feedback gathered from 2010 and 2011 site-visited applicants, including award recipients, affirmed that enabling other organizations to benchmark category-level best practices through such recognition would result in valuable learning experiences. Out of 21 site-visited applicants and Baldrige Award recipients in 2010 and 2011 that responded, 18 site-visited organizations supported the category best-practice recognition. Most responded favorably to the question of whether or not the organization would be or would have been (if not a recipient) interested in being recognized for a category best practice by the Baldrige Program. Rationales included pride in sharing a best practice with other organizations, recognition/motivation, validation that the organization is on the right path, and increased conference attendance.

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