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In August 1987, the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Improvement Act was created in the United States. This led to the foundation of the Malcom Baldrige National Quality Award in 1988. The prime objective of this competitive award programme is to improve quality and productivity in United States by setting guidelines and criteria. These will be eventually used by organisations in order to evaluate their own quality improvement efforts. If organisations wish to get the Malcom Baldrige Award, they apply for it. This applied for organisations operating in both the manufacturing and service sector. Indeed, the organisations are judged in seven areas and these include:
Customer and market focus
Measurement, analysis and knowledge management
Human resource focus
Category 1: Leadership
The leadership category is broken down into two parts:
Senior leadership (70 points)
This part deals with the ability of senior leaders to successfully implement actions that guide and sustain organisations. That is how senior leader lead?
Governance and Societal Responsibilities (50 points)
This section is particularly to the governance system of the organisation and how the latter meets its legal, ethical, and societal responsibilities while supporting the key communities as well since the organisations do not operate in a vacuum.
Leadership: An important concept of quality
Leadership is one of the most important areas in the business field. Moreover, quality is recognized as an effective strategic weapon in the actual competitive business environment and this has forced organisations to adopt various programmes in order to enhance their products or services which will indeed led to greater customer satisfaction. One of the main elements of these programmes includes technical elements which comprises of statistical process control, reliability analysis, and product design. This technical elements help to yield significant improvement of quality. However, emphasis should also be given to effective leadership. To support this notion, Hart and Schlesinger (1991 cited by Wen-Hsien Chen, 1997) argued that "Sucessful TQM implementation calls for a cultural shift in the organisation with a change in values, organizational culture structure, the way people work together, and the way people feel about participation and involvement". In this respect, leadership is likely to project a positive impact on an organisation's performance as it helps for a successful implementation of TQM.
Leadership and Management
"Managers do things right; leaders do the right things." - Bennis (2007, p.12 cited by Lunenburg, 2010)
The distinction between management and leadership is not always clear out.
Making most efficient use of human, physical and financial resources to achieve given objectives; involves in planning, monitoring, coordinating, and reviewing activities.
Inspire and motivate others to achieve the desired aims and objectives.
The term leadership and management are often looked upon as the same meaning. However, it should be noted that not all managers are able to lead and not all leaders are able to manage. While at the same time, the contributions of both the leader and the manager are prerequisite to manage an organisation effectively and efficiently. For instance while the managers transmit responsibilities, exercise authority, and focus on how things are being carried out, leaders focus on understanding employee's needs and gaining their commitment. The table below indicates the difference between manager and leader as pointed out by Lunenburg (2011, p.2).
How do senior leaders set your organization's vision and values?
In order to manage an organisation successfully, the leader should be able to define the vision of the organisation that is where it wants to be in the future. A vision is indeed an image of the future but it should be reviewed quite often because organisations are nowadays operating in fast changing business environment characterized by fierce competition.
Step 1: The leader makes the first step and decides about the future of the organisation.
Step 2: The leader should approach the employees to get their opinions and suggestions.
Step 3: The leader should have an inward and outward look of the environment to see what is taking place in the environment and keep with the pace. He should able to identify the threats and opportunities present in the actual environment.
Step 4: The leader, together with representatives of different departments should meet to work on the vision. Further, it is important to get each member's individual vision of the organisation. Here, the leader should use appropriate technique(s) to get everyone's contribution.
Step 5: Formulate and communicate the vision to the stakeholders.
The importance of having a vision
A vision is a must in an organisation as it helps to build a path that directs the organisation towards success. Further, a clear and well defined vision helps in getting the commitment of the employees and hence, it acts as a motivator. This is so because by sharing the dreams and ambitions of the organisation, employees feel more integrated in the organisation.
The vision of an organisation comprises the following elements:
ï‚· Mission / core business
ï‚· Core values
It is often refers to as la raison d'être of the organisation. That is why the organisation exists? Moreover, the mission is mainly determined by the core activities of organisation. This refers to what purpose does the organisation serves. For e.g. is it a bank, a textile firm or a hotel? A mission statement should in fact be developed in such a way that it motivates insiders and convinces outsiders of the organization's sincerity and commitment.
Core values refer to the basic elements in how an organisation carries out the work. Further, they also determine how the organisation acts with the outside stakeholders like suppliers, banks, the community, customers and so on. Indeed, well defined core values are like to facilitate the way of doing business and it is for this reason that more and more organisations are emphasizing on their core values.
Nowadays, most organisations have beautiful plaques with a set of values or beliefs 'glued' on their walls. However, it is as much important as to translate these values into behaviors and practices in order to allow the smooth running of the organisation. The senior leaders should always be indulged in adopting the behaviors that they want other people to follow. If the leaders themselves do not set the right example, implementing changes in the organisation would be troublesome and there might be resistance to change. This can coupled with what one Baldrige CEO said, ""when I asked why the people were not making the changes necessary to transform the organization, the answer I got back was, 'we'll change when the CEO changes!'