Part 1: World Class Organizations, Are You Missing Something?


I am attending the Florida Sterling Council’s Annual Conference in Orlando next week as a Sterling Examiner going into my fourth year. Sterling is the Florida Governor’s version of the nationally recognized Malcom Baldrige Presidential program; they are not-for-profit and serve both public and private entities. Both programs are dedicated to improving the performance of organizations using proven criteria based on elements from role model organizations. After soaking up all the information during the workshops I’ll spend the next several weeks focusing on trouble areas that many high performing public sector organizations have in common.

There are key elements that all truly world class organizations do:

  • Demonstrate role model leadership
  • Steer clear of surprises
  • Focus on customers
  • Use their data to make predictions
  • Provide unfettered support of their employees
  • Actively manage efficient operations at all levels
  • Show success through results and benchmarking

These high level elements have been proven through reports done on Malcolm Baldrige award recipients and as a Florida Sterling examiner I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing the extraordinary results that organization who integrate these elements effectively can do including saving lives, reducing costs, improving public health, advancing education and more.

Within each of the key elements there are pitfalls that every public sector organization seems to struggle with that hinder them from achieving the next level and in some cases even defining what that next level looks like.

Over the next 5 weeks I’ll post about each of the following elements that some organizations simply aren’t getting and provide examples from those who are getting it.

On Deck:

  • Innovation and risk taking: Where do we start?
  • Leadership: You set the culture
  • Regulatory constraints: Stop making excuses
  • Agility: A facilitated change management plan says what?
  • Benchmarking: There IS someplace like home

Any of those sound challenging? If they don’t you’re probably doing something wrong or extremely right! Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks and share your insights!

Laura Thorne is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

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LaRel Rogers

Thanks for the post Laura! Organizations that define what the next level looks like are definitely ahead of the game! Also, agility and leadership are great topics..seems like you’ll have more great tips coming up, can’t wait!