The Quest for Excellence is the official conference of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. It featured the 1997 recipients of the MBNQA: 3M Dental Products Division, Solectron Corporation, Merrill Lynch Credit Corporation, and Xerox Business Services Division.
The conference was very well-attended with over 1600 participants, a new record for the conference. The conference began February 8th, with a Sunday night 10th Anniversary Gala at the beautiful National Building Museum. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday were filled with each winner’s ‘story’ in all of the award’s seven evaluation categories. Each company gave a presentation of what they did in each category. Some categories also included panel discussions. Breakout sessions allowed attendees to ask directed questions to specific companies.
The conference attendees were delighted by the open discussion of winners dedication and techniques for success in the Baldrige framework. 3M Dental has a strong mission that summarizes everything it stands for, and uses dedicated employees drive to processes that set industry standards. Solectron developed a set of basic values that are used as the model for behavior of its diverse employees; management clearly focuses on the needs of all stakeholders. Merrill Lynch Credit has focused on developing and using employee "partners" create the vision, and center on total client needs. Xerox Business Services keeps customers in focus as a total documentation partner that is rapidly growing; a learning environment keeps Xerox people ahead of the pack. All winners demonstrate a commitment to customers and employees and are models for performance excellence.