D&D Excellence : your Partner for Excellence

D&D News September 2006

With autumn approaching here in south east England, it's also time for a new D&D newsletter. It's been another busy time for us - sometimes bordering on the frantic - which hopefully reflects continuing interest in the Excellence model.

Website additions since our last newsletter

If you haven't already seen them, we've made other additions to the site since May.

Excellence work


Tower of London reflected in a window

This picture by Derek just about fits here as he was on his way to a client meeting when he took it. He spotted Tower Bridge reflected in windows on the south side of the River Thames in London and decided to photograph it.

We've put some examples of our recent activities on a separate page about recent work

Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, & Total Nonsense

... is the title of a book by Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I Sutton (ISBN 1-59139-862-2) and it's a fascinating read. It doesn't sound as if it has anything to do with Excellence, and indeed there is no mention of the Excellence Model - nor Baldrige (the authors are American). But it has a great link to the Excellence Model's Fundamental Concept of 'management by facts'.

The book includes examples of approaches that are implemented by organisations despite the lack of evidence that they work. The authors say that 'half-truths' are the worst because they can be proven to work in certain cases, but when deemed to be completely right and used in full on every occasion they can be harmful to an organisation.

At the risk of cherry-picking from the arguments, Derek was delighted to read that

"The management ideas marketed by consultants, publishers, and the business press are often treated like laundry detergent - the only thing they are interested in is what's new and presumably improved. This pursuit of novelty for its own sake may be charming and profitable when applied to fashion, dress, and popular culture or food, but is costly and destructive when used to guide management practice."

and

"After all, isn't bland old excellence a better fate than an exciting new failure?"

Buy it and have a good read. And then wonder to what extent your organisation is managing by facts and really using the Assessment and Review component of RADAR.

Contacts and congratulations

Despite being pretty busy, we've also found time to stay in touch with friends, including a number of people at a reunion to celebrate a 'milestone' birthday for Pat Cleverly. So it's been good to catch up with Ian Braid, Steve Bendall, Sue Colton, Simon Ward, Karen Powell, Debbie Castle, Andy & Carol Dethridge, David Bridgeman, Cheryl Clark, Rob Painter, Trevor & Judy Mills (welcome back to Europe), David Hurren, Nigel Asplin, Richard Fletcher, Christina Pritchard, John Smith, Michael McCabe, Ian Harragan, Lance Cross (good luck in your new role) and Eman Caldwell (congratulations on the promotion).

Special congratulations go to Nick and Natalie Thomson. Nick heroically survived working with us in NatWest, and he and wife Natalie have recently become proud parents to son Max. As Nick jokingly referred to us as his aged uncles, maybe we're now Max's 'excellently-aged' great-uncles.

You may remember that Dave is Chairman of Governors at his local primary school. He was delighted that they recently became the first school in the London Borough of Bexley to achieve the Inclusion Quality Mark in recognition of their policies and successful implementation of approaches on inclusion. Congratulations to Head Teacher Sybil Camsey and all staff and pupils at Barnehurst Junior (Foundation) School.

Dave represented D&D at the British Quality Foundation's AGM, and we'd like to add our own tribute to one of the directors who retired from the Board this year. Ken Sanders was the last of the original board members, but has now stood down. We met him quite a few times, including at one BQF Award Dinner when the other directors must have forced the short straw on him and he was unlucky to be seated next to us! Ken is a great guy, and we'd like to wish him all the best for the future, and to thank him for his efforts for the Excellence movement in the UK