In the present business environment, organizations are under pressure to do better than competitors and retain customers (Kelly, 2004). It is advisable for firms to carefully examine their operating environments in order to devise success strategies.
Having a reliable excellence model is meant to provide a benchmark against which performance can be measured. The excellence model is devised so as to provide a strong motivation for organizations to work smartly to realize their goals.
Apparently, many organizations consider an excellence model to be a critical tool for sustainability and general success in business operations (Kelly, 2004). The excellence model discussed in this paper includes five key elements explained in the following subsections.
For any organization to grow and realize the purpose of its existence, effective leadership is critical. To a large extent, a leader is guided by a vision, a mission, and values. A good leader encourages team spirit and develops a culture that promotes openness and honesty. These are all explained as follows.
- First, a vision ensures that an organization moves towards the right direction. It ensures that the organization is able to successfully realize its goals and objectives. Lack of a vision thus leads to failed operations.
- In addition to having a vision, a mission provides a basis of understanding why an organization exists and ensures that every single individual works towards the realization of the vision.
- Values on the other hand help to determine what an organization considers important. They are responsible for motivating employees to work towards protecting the dignity of the organization.
- The best performance in any organization comes when the input of everyone is respected. Unfortunately, this may not be realized without team work. Among other benefits, teams create an environment for individuals to contribute freely and also learn from others.
- As noted earlier, good leadership also establishes a culture that urges individuals to be their best. In the present world, most employees prefer working in a flexible environment and without feeling pressured.
By and large, organizations exist to serve the needs of customers whether in the private or public sector. It is thus imperative for the leadership of any organization to clearly understand and work hard to surpass the expectations of customers.
- Delighting customers enables organizations to expand their market reach and improve profits. To please customers, it is necessary to effectively address two critical issues. The quality of the design must meet the requirements of the customer and the products must perform as expected.
- Having a strong customer focus and ensuring that customers are fully satisfied also leads to greater customer loyalty and repeat business which in turn translates to improved profits (Sukhija, 2009).
- Focusing on customer satisfaction also creates an opportunity for the organization to understand and provide what the customers need. This helps to builds customer confidence and convinces them that the organization cares about their needs.
- It is also vital for organizations to get feedback from customers in order to understand their level of satisfaction and make improvements where necessary.
- Finally, a great focus on customer satisfaction makes it possible for organizations to effectively manage and improve relationships with customers. Healthy relations with customers ultimately lead to improved customer loyalty, repeat business, and improved profits.
Greater results may be realized through effective management of processes.
- Among other benefits, process management leads to a drastic reduction in costs, faster processing, and better use of scarce resources (Sukhija, 2009).
- Effective management of processes also makes it possible to determine those activities that are necessary for achieving desired results.
- Well managed processes also make employees responsible and to be fully accountable for their actions.
- Research also indicates that effective process management leads to the achievement of results that are consistent and often predictable.
- Finally, it is possible for management to determine the effect of important process activities and make changes where necessary.
Given that today’s business operations are carried out in a very competitive environment, continual improvement is mandatory (Sukhija, 2009). Organizations that do not pursue continual improvement are thus doomed to fail miserably. It is, however, important to note that continual improvement does not happen automatically. It must be facilitated by focused leadership and strong management. The following five issues must be addressed if continual improvement is to be realized:
- First, it is necessary to train employees in the methods and tools of continual improvement. Performance advantage can only be realized through improved organizational capabilities.
- Secondly, it is necessary for organizations to establish goals and measures for guiding and tracking continual improvement (Sukhija, 2009). This provides a mechanism for ensuring that employees work as expected in order to realize the desired quality.
- Thirdly, top management in the organization must ensure that every single employee appreciates the importance of continual improvement to products, processes, and systems.
- Another important consideration is the acknowledgement and recognition of improved performance. Where possible, the efforts of employees should be rewarded. This has the effect of motivating every individual to increase their efforts to the benefit of the organization (Sukhija, 2009).
- Finally, it is helpful to ensure that all improvements are well aligned the organization’s strategy.
Strategy and Planning
For an organization to operate effectively, it is necessary to have a well thought out operational plan commonly referred to as a strategic plan. A strategy provides an organization with operational guidelines for a specified period of time and ensures that the organization is able to reach its goals and objectives (Kelly, 2004).
- Strategic planning facilitates the process of making decisions that are backed with credible information. These decisions later provide a strong foundation for growth to be realized.
- A well crafted strategic plan also helps to establish why an organization exists and ensures that leaders come up with realistic goals and objectives that do not strain the implementers in the long run (Kelly, 2004).
- A strategic plan is also an effective tool for communicating the goals and objectives of an organization to all its employees and encourages everyone to move in the same direction.
- The entire strategic planning process further creates an opportunity for different levels of staff in an organization to interact and freely share ideas and learn from one another.
- Apparently, a well designed strategic plan also helps to improve the level of productivity besides increasing efficiency and effectiveness across the organization.
An excellence model provides a common approach for organizations to improve their performance while working to delight their customers. It is employed by both private and public organizations as an important tool for improvement. Although the approach and application may vary from one organization to another, the end goal is same for all.
Kelly, J. M. (2004). IMS: The Excellence Model. London, UK: British Standards Institution.
Sukhija, R. (2009). Quality Management: An Excellence Model. New Delhi, India: Global India Publications.