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Dawn Bailey

Quality Insider

What Does Snoring Have to Do With the Baldrige Criteria?

It’s not about lulling you to sleep

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - 11:39

What does snoring have to do with the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence?

The connection has to do with the popular graphic in the Baldrige Criteria (shown in figure 1) depicting steps toward mature processes. The first step is simply reacting to problems. Operations are characterized by activities rather than processes, and they are largely responsive to immediate needs or problems. Goals are poorly defined.

Snoring is caused when your breathing is partially obstructed during sleep. Swelled nasal tissue or excess throat tissue partially blocks your airway and causes vibration. If your airway is further blocked and narrowed, the airflow becomes more forceful, causing tissue vibration to increase and sending the airflow in all directions.

Figure 1: Activities are going in different directions causing friction and turbulence

Baldrige examiner Safwan Badr, professor of medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine, points out that the friction and turbulence during snoring are often depicted as arrows going in multiple directions. Urologists also use a similar image to depict disorders for which they are familiar.

The friction and turbulence lead to expending great effort to breathe but allow limited airflow.

In the case of the Baldrige Criteria, the arrow graphic can depict efforts, projects, activities, or workforce members going in all different directions, without any kind of a system, without alignment, and without integration. Friction and turbulence are common when activities or people are at cross-purposes and put out a lot of effort but accomplish very little.

This graphic symbolizes a lot of ineffective work, with no direction or focus. Organizations experiencing these challenges often turn to the Baldrige Criteria. One goal of the Criteria is to help organizations move from reacting to problems, to initiating systematic approaches, working toward aligned approaches, and then integrating those approaches.

Imagine how this graphic might depict the operations in your organization. Now imagine how effective your approaches could be with the Criteria as a guide?

Figure 2: Steps toward mature processes. Click here for larger image.

Published May 8, 2014, at Blogrige.


About The Author

Dawn Bailey’s picture

Dawn Bailey

Dawn Bailey is a writer/editor for the Baldrige Program involved in all aspects of communications, from leading the Baldrige Executive Fellows program to managing the direction of case studies, social media efforts, and assessment teams. She has more than 25 years of experience (18 years at the Baldrige Program) working on publications and education teams. Her background is in English and journalism, with degrees from the University of Connecticut and an advanced degree from George Mason University.