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What is Excellence?

Quite simply, and regardless of the context in which it’s used, excellence is defined as “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good”. The definition is unequivocal, and indicates a clear intention for supremacy or perfection.

Within a business context we often see excellence applied to specific elements of an organisation, or what an organisation does. Customer service excellence is a mantra often used (but rarely achieved), likewise the desire to produce an excellent product.

But it could be argued that truly excellent organisations are not those that seek to implement supremacy or perfection within a single element of their business, but those that seek a more holistic approach – to be excellent throughout. But this form of Excellence doesn’t come easily, so why should a business attempt to achieve it? The simple answer is that Excellent businesses are more successful.

There are numerous Excellence Frameworks around the world, with some of the more widely known being the Deming Prize in Japan, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQ) from the United States, and the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) excellence model. Although they are all different in the way they monitor progress towards excellence they are all established frameworks that will help businesses along a path of continuous improvement, change management, and transformation.

At East Harbour we recommend using the EFQM Model to support our clients. It provides a looking glass for organisations and individuals to examine where they are and shines a spotlight on where action is required. Put another way, it allows organisations to achieve success by measuring where they are on the path towards transformation, helping them understand the gaps and possible solutions available, and empowering them to progress and significantly improve their organisation’s performance. And the best thing of all is that unlike ISO and other global quality frameworks it doesn’t have to be all consuming – in fact the ‘Quick Assessment’ can be undertaken in a matter of a few hours and will signpost immediate improvements that can be made within the organisation.

To find out more about how your organisation could benefit from being Excellent, please get in touch via

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