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Fate of Baldrige Program Still Uncertain

This article appeared in the online version of Quality Digest on 12/7/2010.
Update: In a most recent contact with ASQ, the association said it would not initiate a grassroots campaign.  “From what ASQ knows, the commission's proposal is dead and the Baldrige Program is safe for now. We will continue to be vigilant in the coming year to make sure that the president and Congress don't take the commission co-chair's advice during the budget and appropriations process.”

Click here to read the entire article.

The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us

I recently ran across a video on Youtube that discusses the issue of what motivates people. The results of the research they report may be surprising to many. This research indicates that there are three primary drivers of workplace motivation; 1) Autonomy, 2) Mastery, and 3) Purpose.

The video lasts about 12 minutes. I was amazed that a video on this topic has been viewed by almost four million people. To view it click

The 2010 Baldrige Award Recipients Announced Today

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program has just announced the recipients of the 2010 Performance Excellence Awards. This year there are a record number of award recipients. They are:

According to the Baldrige office, there were 83 applicants. Of these, 16 received a site visit and seven were selected to receive the award. For additional information, go to the Baldrige website.

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform has just released its report which contains 58 recommendations to reduce the deficit in the federal budget. One of the most surprising, and to those of us in the Baldrige Community, most misguided is the recommendation to eliminate the Manufacturing and Extension Partnership and the Baldrige programs. Here is the full text of the report’s recommendation.

21. Eliminate the Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Baldrige National Quality Program. The Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (HMEP) consists primarily of a network of nonprofit centers, partially funded by the federal government, which offer management and manufacturing advice to U.S. businesses. The Baldrige National Quality Program, for the most part, gives awards to companies for achievements in quality and performance. Those who support eliminating the programs suggest that the federal government shouldn’t be providing the services these programs provide, in part because similar programs are provided by the private sector. In fact, it is argued that some funding from HMEP supports inefficient companies that would otherwise go out of business. Also, businesses should already have enough incentives to maintain the quality of their products without awards from the Baldrige National Quality Program. Elimination of both programs would save over $120 million annually. Alternatively, the programs could be funded through fees charged to the beneficiaries.

The full list of recommendations can be found at the Commission’s website.

Baldrige National Quality Program Gets New Name

Congress has approved a name change for The "Baldrige National Quality Program”. The new name is the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. The new name emphasizes a broader focus on quality. According to Baldrige Program Director Harry Hertz, "In the more than two decades since the inception of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the field of quality has evolved from a focus on product, service and customer quality to a broader, strategic focus on overall organizational quality—which we have called performance excellence. In line with this concept of overall organizational excellence, which some people refer to as "biq Q" quality, the Baldrige Criteria have evolved to stay on the leading edge of validated management practice and needs, so it is fitting that our new name emphasizes the concept of excellence.”

For more information on the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program and the Baldrige Award, go to

Quality Blogs

As the number of blogs continues to proliferate, the number that focus on quality also continues to grow. Two that are of particularly note are the Quality of Life blog and the Baldrige National Quality Program Blog.

The Quality of Life Blog is written by Kay Kendall and hosted by the American Society for Quality. Its purpose is to promote the use of quality approaches to advance the quality of life among ordinary people and the communities in which they live.

To quote the blog, “Quality is more than a profession. For many, quality is a cause toward a higher purpose: improving the lives of others. ASQ's Quality for Life initiative shares the stories of quality professionals who use their passion, commitment, and skills to make a difference in their communities and throughout the world.”

You can reach the Quality of Life blog by clicking here.

The other new blog that I recommend is the Baldrige Blog which went live last week. It is called Blogrige - The Official Baldrige blog. As its name implies, it is the official blog of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Program. Frequent contributors include the Director, Harry Hertz, and the Assistant Director, Jeff Lucas.

It is off to a good start and looks like it will be an important source of information for those interested in all things Baldrige. You can reach the Baldrige Blog by clicking here.

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