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Raissa Carey


Baldrige Program Chooses New Name to Reflect Its Mission

“Baldrige Performance Excellence Program” fits better with program’s overall goal

Published: Wednesday, October 6, 2010 - 08:49

 Story update 10/7/2010: We edited the last sentence of the first paragraph to reflect an amendment from the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.

Known for the past 23 years as the Baldrige National Quality Program, the nation’s public-private partnership dedicated to performance excellence has changed its name to the “Baldrige Performance Excellence Program,” to highlight that mission. The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award will keep its name.

In an independent branding study performed in 2007, people and organizations involved with the Baldrige program indicated that the term “performance excellence” would better reflect the program’s mission and vision, according to Michael E. Newman, Baldrige program spokesperson.

“We had been considering the change for quite some time and because NIST has just realigned its focus areas, we thought this would be a good time to make the change,” says Newman.

The name change is part of an overall NIST realignment taking place this month. In an effort to make the agency more effective, NIST will address research topics as focus areas, as opposed to separate disciplines, according to Newman.

“We believe the new program name better reflects the journey our customers are on and should clearly tell potential customers why they should engage with us,” says Harry Hertz, Ph.D., director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program.

“Performance excellence” describes a focus on overall organizational quality, and for years, followers of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence have indicated that this term best reflects what makes the program work.

“We are pleased to now make performance excellence a central part of our name,” says 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 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, go to www.nist.gov/baldrige.


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Raissa Carey’s picture

Raissa Carey


New Taxonomy

Malcolm Baldrige Award, eh?

MBA. Has a nice, original, unambiguous ring to it, doesn't it?

Re-branders strike again.

At the sound of the tone, everyone change their name.

Baldrige name change

Baldrige has totally lost its mission in that it is no longer about quality. But if not about quality what is it about? The answer is results. There is only one problem with that. It's classical management by results. Deming cautioned us all to focus on method. In fact, he was a teacher who always challenged us with the question, "by what method?". It seems that lesson has been lost in time and it may take another industrial revolution to re-discover. But the point is, Deming's chain reaction starts with improving quality. If that is not what is done, then the temptation is to manipulate the results and end up with an Enron-style or AIG-style system with short-term results. Deming's 2nd theorum is "Nobody gives a hoot about profit". He was speaking of long-term profit. And this proves it. We lost our way! The lame excuse about focusing on "big Q" is just that. This is a sad day.

- Mike Harkins