Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Missouri Quality Award

I just recently completed my first year as a Missouri Quality Examiner for the Missouri Quality Award program. The Missouri Quality Award is the State level award recognition for excellence in performance management in the educational, health care and manufacturing/service sector. The award is guided by the Malcolm Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence.

The Baldrige Criteria is built on a foundation of core values and concepts that characterize high performing organizations. One aspect that especially came to attention is the core value of "Management by Fact." High performing organizations use leading performance measurements derived from the organizational needs and strategy that support the decision making process.

The use of performance indicators in the decision making process brings the organization to the next level of excellence because the organization does not only have a process for doing the work, they have a system for analyzing, evaluating and innovating these processes. High performing organizations not only look at current and historic data, but also uses comparative data and performance projections to predict future outcomes that guide the decision making process.

So what information could you be using in the decision making of your investment in multilingual communications? What are the needs of your customer or employee that drive this investment (to support, to inform, to engage, to comply)? Are you currently tracking the performance of your operations in foreign markets? How can you attribute (market) success to the use of effective multilingual communications?

Remember that investment in supporting a language is a long-term commitment. The questions are important to ask as you grow your business internationally. It forces you to think about your investment and where and how it should be spent best.