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Operational Excellence Models: A Proven Formula for Your Success

by Meng Guan
October 16th, 2018


While ISO, Lean methodology, agile management and Six Sigma have been commonly known and widely used, only a small percentage of organizations are aware of OE (Operational Excellence) models. But surprisingly, OE models actually cover many of the management techniques mentioned above.

On September 25, 2018, Interfacing co-hosted a webinar with Dawn Ringrose, Principal of Organizational Excellence Specialist, to learn more about how OE models can improve your organization’s performance. Focusing on the obstacle of trying out many tools and methodologies but still feeling that your business has been stagnating, OE models might deliver exceptional results if properly planned and executed.

Operational excellence is not very well-known; in fact, only 20% of the workforce is familiar with the OE models!

What are OE models?

OE (Operational Excellence) is implementing the best practices and improving performance; OE models are highly comprehensive management systems that aim to improve organizational performance by offering a long-term platform applicable to any size and type of business. Starting with implementing best management practices, OE models boost performance by developing a shared culture and commitment to excellence within the organization.

There are some differences with OE models under different geographical frameworks. For example, there is a Canadian model for excellence in Canada, Baldrige model in the U.S., EFQM model in Europe, and a mixed model of Baldrige and EFQM in Asia.

9 key management areas: governance, leadership, planning, customers, employees, work processes, suppliers and partners, resource management, continuous improvement & performance measurement.

How do OE models work?

OE models have been proven to be time-effective and cost-efficient in different industries over the years. They can be used but not limited to the three major scenarios below –

  1. New ventures or entrepreneurs that want to implement management best practices and create a structured management system to better build up their business;
  2. Well-established organizations that already have most of the best practices in place but need to bridge cross-functional gaps in order to strengthen their managerial foundation;
  3. Organizations that need to improve specific key management area(s) in their management system to accelerate their business.

Generally speaking, OE models improve performance by addressing organizations’ fundamental need, which is the improvement of management system. This culture-centric and management-focused approach will reduce errors, rework and duplication by improving employees’ communication, collaboration and engagement.

How To Improve Your Organization’s Performance Webinar

Beyond the Magic Formula

Alongside with the OE models, Dawn introduced a turnkey toolkit designed for external consultants, organizational leaders, as well as trainers throughout organizational excellence journey. A balanced system was also recommended as it is capable of demonstrating steady improvement of results in a visualized and measurable way.

Besides, organizations should assess their excellence levels in a timely manner. Whichever assessment tool you choose, adopting a standardized tool can assure that everyone is on the same page, offer a snapshot of how your organization is doing, reveal opportunities for future improvement, and more importantly, understand the benchmark to learn from industry leaders.

Last but not least, organizations should not only concentrate on current practices, but also pay attention to future-oriented practices when it comes to operational excellence initiatives (e.g. a contingency plan for unforeseen events). Keeping this preventive focus in mind, they also need to engage, consult, and work more closely and frequently with customers, suppliers and partners to fine-tune their performance.

6 implementation process of OE models: presentation to leadership, training, self-assessment, improvement plans, delegation of responsibility, and implementation assistance.


It is important to remember that embarking on the excellence journey is like climbing a mountain, and organizations should address each opportunity for improvement in order to achieve excellence, much like climbing one step at a time in order to get to the peak. All these efforts will finally pay off as you appreciate the great view from the top.

Dawn Ringrose is Principal of Organizational Excellence Specialists and has consulted to management in areas that positively contribute to organizational performance since 1984. She has worked across the public, private, and non-profit sectors with small, medium, and large organizations and several of these organizations have earned national excellence awards.

Dawn Ringrose

Principal, Organizational Excellence Specialists

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