Is Excellence a Noun or a Verb?
IMC Ramkrishna Bajaj National Quality Award
The IMC Ramkrishna Bajaj National Quality Award (IMC RBNQA) for Performance Excellence was established, post-liberalization, in 1995. Liberalization of the Indian economy meant that protective managerial practices in Indian industry were thenceforth dead. RIP.
To survive and succeed, industry and institutions were required to adopt world-class excellence models to stretch their reach in a globally competitive market environment. The prevailing excellence models at that time were: Malcolm Baldrige; European Quality Award; Deming Prize.
The IMC RBNQA Trust adopted and adapted the Malcolm Baldrige Framework. The Trust has been chaired, since inception, by Niraj Bajaj, son of Shri Ramkrishna Bajaj.
Criteria & Core Values
The criteria for the IMC RBNQA model align with Malcolm Baldrige Framework, These criteria are revisited each year and tweaked for any changes in the external environment: Business, Economic, Social.
The core values of the IMC RBNQA are stable. They are the soul of the model. The first change that was introduced was after a decade: Managing for Improvement was replaced with Managing for Innovation. It was not sufficient to do incremental improvements Faster / Better / Cheaper. Innovation implied doing breakthrough improvements Faster / Better / Cheaper / Different.
The toll gate for incremental improvements to breakthrough improvements is half way on the Performance Excellence highway.
Improvement & Innovation
Quality improvement is process focussed. Chronic problems on processes are opportunities for improvement. All improvement takes place project-by-project. A project is a chronic problem scheduled for improvement. The four steps for problem-solving / quality-improvement are:
- Problem definition
- Problem diagnosis (symptom to cause)
- Problem remedy (cause to remedy)
- Locking the improvements.
Try explaining this to an ISO 9001 bhakt. The primary focus of ISO 9001 is quality control….. put the sporadic fire out! Contain the symptom of the problem. On the other hand, quality improvement is about finding the root cause of chronic fires, and designing remedial action using left-brain logical tools (Flowcharting; Pareto Analysis; Histograms; etc).
As an update to an earlier statement, quality control and quality improvement can take you to the half way toll gate on the Performance Excellence highway. We need innovation to go further. Switch from petrol to electric cars!
Innovation applies largely to the design of remedial action in problem solving. This can be accomplished by persons familiar with the problem, using right-brain creativity tools (Brainwriting 6-3-5; Problem Reformulation; Word Associations & Analogies; Knowledge Mapping; etc).
All this leads to benchmark Performance Excellence.
BREAKING NEWS: The undisputed winner for the IMC RBNQA 2019 is Marico Limited, Perunduraj, Tamil Nadu. The organization has a culture of proactiveness, transparency, innovation, empowerment, best practices sharing, customer centricity, and agility.
The best practices of Marico are a benchmark. They deserve to be shared in the Global Benchmarking Network.
Finally, is Excellence a noun or a verb?
- Continuously innovate your best practices. Confuse your competitors.
- Your competitors are more aware, than you are, of your best practices.
- Innovation requires thinking innocently like a child.
- Innovation is simplification.
- Innovative thinking is no longer a choice. Are business schools listening?