Managing for Innovation – Values and Concepts of the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria Part 7


In this issue, I will share my experience acquired from the conglomerate and its operating companies. For the purpose of this article, I will articulate the Managing for Innovation which is one of the Eleven Values and Concepts in Malcolm Baldrige Criteria. As before, I will use case studies to show how some of the companies implement them.

To recap, below are the Eleven Core Values and Concepts of Baldrige Criteria:-

  1. Visionary Leadership
  2. Customer-Driven Excellence
  3. Organizational and Personal Learning
  4. Valuing Employees and Partners
  5. Agility
  6. Focus on the Future
  7. Managing for Innovation
  8. Management by Fact
  9. Public Responsibility and Citizenship
  10. Focus on Results and Creating Value
  11. Systems Perspective

I will deal with the one of the Value in bold letters in this article as below:- Articulated Managing for Innovation: What is Innovation in the context of Baldrige Criteria? As described in the Baldrige Criteria 2005, it means “making meaningful change to improve an organization’s products, services, processes, and operations and to create new value for the organization’s stakeholders”. Strategically, Innovation should lead you to a new dimension of business performance. And it has to value add to the organization in terms increased in market share, capturing new customers and higher profit etc. It is not about research into new product or service which cannot be commercialized.

To be effective, organization should set direction and policy pertaining to innovation of product and service to an extent not to discourage such initiatives due to minor failure but to manage such activities to yield maximum results. Innovation should expend into supporting process to ease of doing business with customers

Case Study on Managing for Innovation Most companies have some form of research and development into new products. To some, they are able to upgrade existing product for better or different applications. The level of focus on Innovation into new products is very much driven by the market or customer requirements. It is seldom in the case where it is done strategically to position ahead of competitors. Perhaps, it is a risk factor to be considered where “Total New” is certainly requires strong courage and good foresights. To play safe, some prefers to be a follower.

On Managing for Innovation, some adopted the “Trial and Error” approach in which innovation is performed based on pass experiences, feedback but existing skill and testing facilities. Investment into new or modern equipment and facilities often an hindrance to advance research and development of new products.

The implication to this approach results in loss of product cycle time thus new product launches is delayed. New product has numerous quality problems. Another aspect of Managing for Innovation is the support services to materialize the new product production. Production process is often taken for granted it can cope with new features of the new product innovated.

So far, innovation is confined to product and services at operation level. Innovation for new business model or business process are not focus point perhaps it has a higher risk to make changes.

Opportunity for Improvement Organization need to fully understand the needs of the market and customer and predict their future requirement. Use such information to manage innovation for excellent performance. Key indicator to measure such initiatives should be established to monitor the progress and quality of innovations. Value-added measures should be included to measure Return of Investment for new product or services.

Company policies should be set up to encourage innovation. Though failure in innovation should be discourage, it should not have any penalty element in it. Such penalty element in the policy whether written or otherwise would damage innovation.

In summary, you may have noted the way I articulated Managing for Innovation. It merely describe its objectives towards business sense as this is the scope of my article. Having understood the Managing for Innovation in Values and Concepts of Malcolm Baldrige, it should be taken as a strategically for future business advantage. Leaders might benchmark their CEO of Baldrige Winners on their TQM successes in this value. My next article will articulate the next Core Values and Concepts in Managing by Fact

source for Malcolm Baldrige criteria :

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