Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Colorado Tech part of new program to help organizations make lasting changes

WAYNE HEILMAN Updated: July 20, 2011 at 12:00 am

Colorado Technical University, a nonprofit group called Colorado Performance Excellence and the Monfort Institute at the University of Northern Colorado have developed a new program to help businesses, nonprofits and government agencies successfully put long-term changes into place.

The three-year program, called the Performance Excellence Incubator, costs $1,000 a month and is aimed at senior executives of small to mid-sized organizations. The program includes six Monfort Institute workshops on such topics as leading organization transformation, systems and stakeholders and organization performance reviews. It also includes specialized workshops and training provided by Colorado Tech, online resources and a private electronic bulletin board for participants to share information.

“The odds are against most senior executives to improve performance of their small and large organizations for the long term,” said John Latham, a Monument resident who founded and still directs the institute as well as serving as an executive professor of management at UNC’s Monfort College of Business. “Companies often are able to do it for a few years, but that is often related to a product or service that runs its course. It is not just doing one thing well, but a systematic approach to doing many things well.”

Latham outlined the three elements he believes are necessary for organizations to successfully make changes and sustain excellence during a speech Wednesday at Colorado Tech to about 20 executives invited to learn more about the new program. He said organizations must put into place strategic leadership, execution excellence and organizational learning. Organizations also must avoid targeting markets and goals that are no longer relevant and eventually make any changes part of the organization’s culture.

“Strategic leadership without execution excellence gives you a boom-bust cycle in which you get people excited but they become disappointed when you can’t execute, while execution excellence without strategic leadership means you produce great products and services no one wants,” Latham said. “Organization learning means you go from fighting fires to an integrated and aligned enterprise system. You have to change the culture and make it stick. If you don’t get the culture changed, people will go back to the old way.”

Latham developed a list of 35 key factors in leading sustainable organization transformation as a result of studying 14 CEOs of companies, nonprofits and other organizations that have won the Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest award organizations can win for performance excellence. John Wiley & Sons Inc. in May published the fifth edition of “Organization Diagnosis, Design and Transformation: A Baldrige User’s Guide” authored by Latham and Atlanta organization consultant John Vinyard and first published in 2005.

For more information about the Performance Excellence Incubator, go to www.coloradoexcellence.org or contact Colorado Performance Excellence CEO Tom Mauro at 303-893-2739.

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