Breaking Badrige

Baldrige Award Problems are getting worse . . . here's why:

Breaking BADrige is pro-Baldrige in that it brings attention to what needs to be done to fix Baldrige from the perspective of someone whose Baldrige involvement predates all members of the Baldrige Overseers, Judges, Foundation, and NIST staff. There is no conspiracy of silence here.

  • Baldrige Award recall imminent? HC winner Sutter Davis April 2018 headlines:

    -  "California Attorney General sues Sutter Health, alleging unlawful price rises" - San Francisco Chronicle - [Note: The investigation began before winning the Baldrige Award]

    -  "California sues Sutter Health alleging the hospital system unfairly inflated costs for patients" - LA Times - [AG alleges that anti-competitive practices unfairly inflated patient costs.

    -  "Sutter Health California Being Sued for Unlawful Conduct" - KSRO - [Excess profits gained from illegal pricing went to extreme executive compensation and acquisitions

    -  "California takes on health care giant Sutter Health over high costs" - Hartford Business - [Gag clauses on prices and "punitively high" out-of-network charges]

    -  Kamala Harris (Current US Senator) began the investigation in 2012 while CA Attorney General. Sutter Davis won the Baldrige Award in 2013

Stunning Prolonged Decline of Business Participation in the Baldrige Award

More than 20 million American businesses do not to participate in the Baldrige Award which was created by President Reagan to be a world-class business excellence award with the goal of improving America’s competitiveness. The Baldrige Program data-based graphic below shows “Zero Participation” after strong initial participation.

Baldrige Failure as a Business Excellence Award

Criteria flaws and practicality-adverse complexity have long been cited as major reasons for the sharp prolonged decline of business participation. Those are valid criticisms but now a new and potentially stronger reason for Criteria rejection has emerged. New research comparing the Criteria when they were extremely popular with businesses to today’s Criteria which has a near 100% rejection rate show stark contrasts in relation to how businesses think and how Baldrige thinks. Baldrige has reduced its assessment scoring in the current Criteria for areas important to businesses (e.g., products and services, processes and systems, and cost management) drastically since its peak popularity with businesses . . . for example:

The total Baldrige assessment points assigned to products and/or services have been sharply reduced ~50% over the years . . . this includes both the points for processes and for results


All businesses seek to improve their competitiveness. The Baldrige Mission is to improve the competitiveness of American businesses. The graphic above indicates total failure of the Baldrige Award with respect to its Mission. Baldrige abandoned businesses by progressively reducing assessment scoring in the core areas of business excellence.


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Paul Steel

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