2021 Examiner of the Year

Kimberly Bond & Beth Edwards

Every year the SPQA recognizes special examiners who have contributed greatly to the success of the Award Program.  This peer recognition from team members and team leadership is delivered through three special awards:  Above and Beyond Award, Rookie of the Year Award, and Examiner of the Year.

The Examiner of the Year recognition is awarded to individuals who demonstrate a commitment to the SPQA mission and promotion of continual Improvement strategies through training, mentoring, and recognition of organizations in pursuit of performance excellence and modeling the values of SPQA:  Pride, Respect, Integrity, Dependability, and Excellence. This year’s co-recipients are Kimberly Bond and Beth Edwards.

Kimberly Bond

Beth Edwards

What is one thing you like about the Baldrige Criteria?

Kimberly: The Baldrige Criteria helps you to organize your work by leading you to define what is important to your organization and community, evaluate how you are doing the work, and determining your success.  Following the criteria to connect core values breaks down decision making-that is at times overwhelming, data, and processes to make thoughtful changes.  The Baldrige tools organize thought processes and establishes a comprehensive review process that aligns all stakeholders towards the Organizational Profile with an understanding of how each part completes the whole.

Beth: The criteria provides a starting point for an organization to begin an improvement journey and continue to evaluate how they are doing. I like that the questions are thought provoking without being prescriptive.

What is an opportunity to improve the Baldrige Criteria?

Kimberly: The opportunity to improve the Baldrige Criteria that comes to mind is how to develop a more defined linkage for Societal Contributions seen in Items 1.2 and 7.4.

Beth: I would like to see the scores within each scoring band better defined.

Being an Examiner for the SPQA is a significant time commitment, how have you been able to successfully juggle and meet the examiner requirements while maintaining good work/life balance?

Kimberly: I have been fortunate in that my supervisor is in full support of this professional development opportunity and encourages me in my learning of the criteria and implementing Baldrige principles to get us started on our own journey.  This has allowed me to organize my work and family responsibilities creatively.  Seeing the commitment of SPQA leadership, the award applicants, and other examiners encourages me to work on life balance that includes personal development that is applied to all of the important aspects of life.

Beth: My organization supports professional development and I have declared my work with SPQA as part of my professional development goals for the year.  From my past experience with SPQA I’m able to manage the time and still meet other volunteer commitments and enjoy my personal time.

Why should an organization choose to use the Baldrige Criteria for Excellence to drive improvement?

Kimberly: The Baldrige Criteria provides an opportunity to see the “big picture” of what your organization is currently doing, both its successes and weak points.  Once the Organizational Profile is complete, work can begin to have thoughtful conversations from every perspective and organize all work to align to what is important to the company culture and success factors.

Beth: An organization using the Baldrige Criteria for Excellence will essentially have an improvement roadmap – the opportunities for improvement become readily apparent.

What have you learned about yourself while being an SPQA Baldrige Examiner?

Kimberly: The most significant thing that I’ve learned about myself while being an SPQA Baldrige examiner is that I really am passionate about organizational excellence and the drive to be better.  The depth of knowledge and how to think that is learned during the award examination process gives me the confidence to ask questions or provide insight-both for the applicant, examiners, and within my own organization.  Being an examiner has also reintroduced being a lifelong learner allows me to remain agile in my thinking to be a constant support to those around me.

Beth: My experience as an Examiner has validated that I enjoy helping organizations work to improve and watch them have those a-ha moments.