D&D Excellence : your Partner for Excellence

D&D News January 2013

Welcome to our latest newsletter and once again thank you for your interest in our activities. Thanks also to the many people who sent us Christmas and New Year wishes. Best wishes to all for a happy and successful 2013

Summer 2012 in the UK

The weather clears in London for the Olympics!

Last year was a pretty special summer in the UK, 2012 both seeing Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and London hosting the Olympics and Paralympics. Despite some very wet — stereotypically British? — weather, the Diamond Jubilee had lots of official and informal community activity all around the country. Both Dave and Derek were at local street parties celebrating the event. The rain seemed to continue all the time as the Olympics approached but then it cleared just in time for the Games which took place in some of the best weather we had last year!

Great Britain exceeded its targets in both sporting events and both Games themselves broke all sorts of records. There was a great atmosphere in London over the summer and Dave was fortunate enough to get tickets for the Olympic Park, which he enjoyed looking around to give a bit more insight into the events. He also bumped into Mayor of London Boris Johnson during his visit!

EFQM Excellence Model enhancements 2013

You will probably be aware that the Excellence Model is regularly assessed and refined to ensure that it remains relevant to, and stretching for, organisations. Its latest review was completed in 2012 and the enhancements come into effect in formal assessments from January 2013. The review was seen as ‘evolution and not revolution’ so those familiar with the Model should not have any problems. Our relevant website pages have been amended and we have completed our 2013 Model update certification.

Whilst we are not on the Core Team that leads the review, we are happy to claim some credit for prompting a significant simplification of the language used in the Model. Our own Companion to the Model, published in 2011, was our effort to make the Model more accessible to more people. Our innovative approach has now been followed by EFQM, as the 2013 Model uses much plainer language. We have decided that there is little further need for our Companion and have withdrawn it from sale.

What have we been up to?

We had high levels of demand for our services last year. This included a number of new clients keen to undertake their first self-assessments using the Excellence Model and who asked us to guide them through the process. This was particularly pleasing in the current economic situation and showed that organisations are willing to invest in their futures by getting a better understanding of their operations and where they can put their improvement efforts.

We enjoyed one slightly out-of-the-ordinary piece of work, as we were invited to help an 18-month old joint-venture self-assess how they had gone about putting in place their initial activities. In traditional assessment terms this might be seen as pointless as they clearly had no three year trends of results. But they were not interested in a score as such so lack of trends for Results was not important. We helped them review their Enablers' strengths and areas for improvement in some detail, but on the Results side they concentrated on the Relevance & Usability aspects, together with their internal targeting and external comparisons. Their findings then helped them set the agenda for their next phase of improvements.

We also worked with a mixture of repeat and new customers for the BQF's Recognised for Excellence assessments. Some applicants are now coming to us for their 3rd assessments so we must be doing something right! But this is not just giving the result that they hoped for, as we have had instances where we have given a lower level of recognition than the applicant expected but we have still been asked back next time because they valued our integrity and quality of work. Derek carried out one R4E with our friend Mike Curry of Rivendell Excellence, and we are doing another with him in early 2013.

It is also noticeable that within our work there is an interesting increase in the number of charitable/third sector organisations who are ‘picking up’ the Model and appreciating the benefits for themselves. Yet more evidence that the Model is flexible enough to be applied as a ‘thinking framework’ in any organisation.

Other news

Our friend Lway Nackasha visited London again in the summer. This happened at the same time as Dave had gone to the UAE on holiday, so Derek and Lway had a useful catch-up day — including Lway sampling Derek's bread-making expertise and surviving! Subsequently we were delighted to be able to contribute some of our material to the Sharjah Economic Excellence Award assessment process which Lway is now supporting. We were also pleased to hear that he has become a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management.

We were very pleasantly surprised to get, via LinkedIn, a mail from Denis Leonard, President of Business Excellence Consulting in Montana USA. He had seen our article "How many reasons for not using the EFQM Excellence Model are just excuses?" and had posted a link to it on the ASQ's Organizational Excellence Technical Committee group on LinkedIn. We originally wrote it in 2006, but we think the underlying messages are still relevant, and were delighted to hear that Denis agrees with us!

Dave and Derek at Sandown PArk racecourse

One of Dave's friends owns a racehorse and both Dave and Derek were delighted to be invited to see him run in the summer at Sandown Park Racecourse. Whilst the horse unfortunately did not win, we enjoyed the visit, including spending some time in the owners and trainers area!