D&D Excellence : your Partner for Excellence

D&D News Autumn 2009 - UK Award Special

The highlight of the UK's ‘Excellence year’ took place in October with the UK Excellence Award Dinner, this year at the Intercontinental Hotel in London's Park Lane. We hosted our own table for the fifth year, and as usual our guests included people with whom we have worked and others we thought would enjoy this premier event in the excellence world.

We would like to thank our guests for making it such an enjoyable and successful evening. They were Jonathan Neame, CEO of Shepherd Neame (“probably the best brewery in the world” – say D&D); Geof Eeles, MD of Racal Acoustics and Simon Eveleigh, its Principal Business Improvement Engineer; Glynn Newby, Regional Director for facilities management company Ecovertfm; Robin Vaughan, Director of Professional Standards at the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants; Emma Saynor, of the Quality and Performance team at Phoenix Futures, a national drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity; and Ray Wilkinson, Director of The Best Practice Club.

stereo photo of, from left: Emma Saynor, Ray Wilkinson, Robin Vaughan and Dave

No, you are not seeing double looking at the picture above! It is a 'stereo pair' of some of our guests taken on Derek's new ‘toy’, a digital stereo camera: the left and right frames are slightly different. With his keen interest in photography, including stereo, he had bought the innovative camera a few days earlier. D&D is proud to show what must be the first ever stereo photo of an Excellence Award event! You might be able to see the three-dimensional effect by a process — similar to the technique for viewing ‘magic eye’ type pictures — known as free-viewing. For anyone really interested, we have added three more stereo photos of the event.

Host Alastair McGowan carried out his role with the right mix of humour and seriousness, and followed up with a really funny comedy and impressions routine for the cabaret. HRH The Princess Royal once again presented the main awards and gave her usual professional speech: some of our guests noticed immediately that she spoke about the Excellence Model ‘from the heart’ and without autocue.

EFQM and the updated Model

Many of you will have seen that the EFQM Excellence Model is changing. The enhancements were announced at the EFQM Conference in Brussels. We were busy working at the time so did not attend, but rather than just wait for our own upgrade training, we took part in an EFQM webinar to learn more and also decided to organise a day trip to the EFQM offices in Brussels to exchange thoughts on the changes, and generally to catch up with people there. So on 3rd November we caught an early Eurostar from Ebbsfleet to enjoy the hospitality of those nice people at the EFQM. We had a very worthwhile day and would like to thank Alicia for putting it together in Brussels, and those involved in the one-to-one sessions with us — Hervé, Samuli, Max and Carla.

We will be working on updating the relevant sections of our website to take account of the updated Model. There are some significant changes in the wording and content of the Model and Fundamental Concepts, but our visit to the EFQM confirmed our own initial view that the changes substantially reflect how experienced assessors have been assessing over the last few years. It is not a wholly new Model, so the overall message is “don't panic ”!