Excellence is the most used word in organisational management and strategy meetings but how many of these organisations conduct assessments to know their excellence maturity level and how many of them have adopted an organisational excellence standard?

Almost 99 percent of organisations in Botswana assume organisation performance is driven by employees only and that is why there is an over-emphasis on employees’ performance rather than system performance.

This misconception has been going on for many years despite the evolution of Business Excellence Models (excellence management systems) 34 years ago. The truth is excellence is achieved when all organisational system factors generate desired value and this is contrary to our current tradition where we focus all our attention and energy on employees and ignore other valuable system elements.


These employees generate only 30 percent value and the rest of the 70 percent value comes from system elements like leadership, business processes, governance, Information and knowledge management, innovation, suppliers and partners, resource management, customer orientation and organisational results.

Management of these elements have been neglected and it is the reason why many organisations obtain poor and average results. An Excellence Management System is an integrated leadership and management system that describes the best approaches used in managing the important elements of the organisation system that generate value and sustain high performance.

It helps management to have an organisational excellence standard that specifies excellence principles, drivers and measurement approaches required to produce superior performance.

Excellence is attained in two ways: operational excellence which represents the management approaches used to create and deliver value and is also attained in the final organisational results.

It is for this reason that all excellence management systems like Australian Business Excellence Model, Malcolm Baldrige Excellence Framework, Canadian Business Excellence Framework, Singapore Business Excellence Model, Japan Quality Award Model, European Foundation Quality Model and African Excellence Model are based on the causality philosophy having enabling excellence criteria and results criteria each taking 500 excellence points and cumulative total of 1000 excellence points.

These management systems have a comprehensive performance measurement methodologies that are able to examine how much value have been contributed by each system elements and their performance gaps.

Moreover, excellence management systems have to be supported by organisation excellence architecture which is a formal support structure, resources, processes and assessment tools used to assist the organisation to implement organisational excellence standard.

This management system has proven to deliver excellence results consistently such as the case of Dubai excellence Model which was adopted in 1997.

Moreover, the Global Competitiveness report of 2019 as well as the research conducted by Organisational Excellence Research Center in New Zealand, are the empirical studies that excellence management system delivers superior performance because all the top 20 countries ranked as highly competitive have a specific excellence management system that they use.

This is a clarion call to every organisation to understand that managing the organisation without a defined organisational excellence standard is outdated, dangerous and very unprofessional in 21st century.

In a similar way we measure employees’ performance, system elements like leadership Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Governance KPIs, Business process KPIs, Customers KPIs, Innovation KPIs, and Suppliers KPIs should be measured and managed using best practices to attain a state of excellence.

For instance leadership takes 250 out of the 1000 excellence points of the system that are dispensed to its specific KPIs. These key performance indicators include developing an excellence culture which takes 50 points, providing direction which takes 50 excellence points, complying with high level of governance principles that takes 50 points, strategy and operational review which takes 100 excellence points.

All other elements mentioned above follow the same pattern of KPIs and they have specific excellence points that should be acquired. Lack of a national organisational excellence standard (Business Excellence Model) may be the reason why Botswana has been stuck in middle income economy for more than 25 years. Excellence management system is a quantum leap of getting out of this trap.

In conclusion I recommend (Strategy, Performance or Monitoring and Evaluation, Transformation Office) of organisations to adopt excellence management system to improve their performance.

A wise man once said “If you cannot measure something, you cannot understand it. If you cannot understand it, you cannot control it. If you cannot control it, you are heading towards disaster”. This is the disaster we are experiencing in our organisations, managing and leading is simplified when you have a standard that guides you.

The Author is a member of African Excellence Forum, Holds Master of Science Degree in Strategic Management and is a Certified Manager of Quality and Organisational Excellence from America Society for Quality. Six Sigma Greenbelt, ISO 9001:2015 Certified. Contact: 72211182, Website: www.iqm.co.bw Email: [email protected] LinkedIn: Veron Mosalakatane