D&D Excellence : your Partner for Excellence

Thanks for your support of D&D for the last 10 years

Well, here we are in February 2010, and we have just passed the 10th anniversary of D&D as an independent business! We have gone through our 2010 Excellence Model upgrade and are booking work for the coming year. But we feel we can also allow ourselves a quick look back: they say that to know the future you should know the past.

But first, whether you are a regular reader of our newsletters, an existing or previous client, partner, or indeed someone we just like to keep in contact with, we'd like to say a huge ‘thank you’ for your support, business and/or encouragement over the years.

How do we sum up ten years of enjoyable work? At the heart of why we've had such a great time over that period are a few ‘key themes’

Time flies when you're having fun and, believe us, the last ten years do seem to have flown by. It seems only a little while ago that we were leaving a global organisation to take up the challenge of helping others use the Excellence Model as our own independent firm based in Kent. Those early days were exciting, sometimes scary, but very rewarding as we gained some really interesting work.

Dave with Melissa Rancourt of EFQM

We were delighted that one of our very first jobs was designing templates for the EFQM itself, which are the basis of those used in the Recognised for Excellence scheme.

We have continued our relationship with EFQM, sometimes trying to impress them with our svelte figures (we're sure Melissa Rancourt saw through the old breathing-in ruse Dave!), as well as with our commitment to excellence!

Derek receiving his EFQM Leadership Award

We clearly convinced EFQM somehow that we were serious about Excellence, as one of the highlights of our early years was in 2003 when Derek was one of the first two winners of the EFQM's Personal Recognition Award for Leadership.

Coincidentally, the EFQM has also featured at our 10th anniversary, as Derek has just won their Christmas/New Year quiz! Part of his prize is having an interview published in EFQM's monthly Red Thread newsletter. You can read a pdf copy of that interview here.

Morogoro scene, Tanzania

Early on we had a tremendously rewarding assignment to Tanzania to work with government officials to help them understand the Excellence Model. We ended up sponsoring some schools around the area we had worked in, helping them to create libraries of teaching aids.

As well as working all around the UK, since that first trip abroad with the Model, we have worked in the US, the UAE, and various parts of mainland Europe. With modern technology, we have also helped out organisations in such far-flung places as Brazil, Australia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. We may be based in Kent, in south east England, but we have enjoyed national and international reach.

As well as our own clients, we continue to assess organisations for external certifications for the British Quality Foundation, the EFQM and London Excellence (we are partners of BQF and London Excellence, not just EFQM). We have also worked on ‘3rd party’ assessments for the Highways Agency and the Ministry of Defence. The Department for Trade and Industry's Small Business Service commissioned us to design a new assessment tool for small businesses as part of the Benchmark Index.

We've worked with a great variety of organisations: from global organisations to small family firms; from those just starting their Excellence journey to former European Award winners; and private sector, public sector and charity/not-for-profit sectors. We also believe in sharing some of our experiences, and the articles on our Downloads page have been very popular over the years.

Angela Rooney and Anita Dobson

We've met a few luminaries on the way, including HRH Princess Royal, and were delighted to welcome Miles Templeman of the Institute of Directors to our table at the UK Awards Dinner. Invited by the Royal London Society for the Blind to a Kent business award dinner, Derek was with the illustrious Angela Rooney of the charity. Oh, almost forgot, that's famous actress Anita Dobson on the right in this picture, one of the RLSB's vice-presidents! (Derek has subsequently also met Anita's husband, Brian May, through a common interest in stereo photography.)

Derek's view from the driver's cab at 125 mph

Our tenth year just finished was just as fulfilling as the previous nine, working with a great variety of good organisations, including facilities management, construction, probation services, and electronics to name a few.

Yet another unusual experience (among many) was while assessing a train operating company, when we each carried out ‘mobile interviewing’ on the trains. Derek was particularly lucky, as after undergoing the health and safety preparations he was allowed to ride in the cab of a 125 mph train for his discussion. It was the fastest his interviews have ever moved along!

Our enthusiasm for Excellence is still burning brightly and we look forward to continuing D&D for a good while yet — we still value your friendship and support. We have been busy updating - for the 2010 Model — our own training materials, guides, website and presentations ready for use with our customers. It is gratifying that we already have work in the diary, but with the jury still out on the real situation with the economy, we will not be surprised by anything that happens and are not complacent!