Characteristics of Excellent Organisations (1)

A question that frequently comes up is whether organisations that are truly excellent share any key characteristics.  If they do and these can be identified, then clearly there is potential for other organisations to learn from them.  Over the years a variety of research has been carried out to try and address this question.  This includes research carried out by academia, such as Harvard University in the USA, and by organisations dedicated to encouraging and supporting organisational excellence in a variety of parts of the world, such as the EFQM in Europe.  My own organisation has used the output of this research in order to identify what we describe as the Key Attributes of Organisational Excellence.  In this and subsequent blogs I aim to cover in outline some of these.

If we refer to the definition of Organisational Excellence – see blog of 25/08/2011,  then the first of these Key Attributes becomes almost obvious.  It is a relentless focus at strategic level on the organisations existing and potential stakeholders, their existing and likely future needs and expectations.  This is seen in the Purpose, Vision, Mission, Goals and Strategic Plan of the organisation and can perhaps be summarised simply as “Developing, Delivering and Maintaining a Stakeholder focused Strategy”.  To achieve this, research suggests, requires a leadership at both senior and all levels of the organisation that are unitedly committed to and focused upon it. Without this leadership focus no amount of well intended effort by the ‘experts’ such as the strategic planners, makes it happen.  So ask yourself, “Is this true of my organisation?”,  and if not, “What needs to change to make it so?”