The EFQM and Baldrige Awards face similar problems and challenges.
Despite the clear role of leadership in the criteria, the leadership of many organizations fail to follow the good and best practices promoted by the excellence frameworks. In the past decade, major corporate collapses such as Worldcom, Enron, and Parmelat amongst others highlight how inadequate and perhaps even corrupt leadership and management in organizations can completely ignore or destroy excellence initiatives. On a more moderate scale, inadequate leaders and managers often ignore the requirements of their roles to strive for excellence and place pressure upon others to also ignore these requirements to focus on short term gain and profits. Unenlightened leadership may also focus on only part of the criteria, such as processes or customers and ignore all the other criteria. While this may lead to more immediate gains, it can also be compared to building sand castles - the first major flood of challenges destroys the entire organization.
Implementing the criteria takes concerted effort from all people involved in the organization. Simple laziness and forgetfulness combined with indifference can quickly lead to failure. While this is also true of quality systems conforming to ISO9000, with the excellence awards it is more critical as there are less independent [audit] checks to correct problems.
Implementing the criteria is basically an all out approach [See why Big Bang approaches mostly create a lot of noise]. Hence it is difficult to use the frameworks within a department or team on their own. It also means that the motivation element required for individuals is not always adequate. This is where the STARS approach is superior, as it can work from the individual to the team to the organization.
There is an assumed aim for the expected culture of the organization that is not always clear or implementable. The existing culture is also assumed to be readily changeable. See STARS concerning the fallibility of assumptions and the STARS Cultural theme.
Most importantly, the quality awards are only now starting to adjust to the requirements for Sustainability. The impact of an organization in terms of resources used and benefits delivered has until now not considered long term social and environmental sustainability criteria. The EFQM award is the first to move in this direction with the recent addition of the Corporate Social Responsibility criteria.
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