Posted by Harry Hertz, the Baldrige Cheermudgeon
What do the recent brawl on the Washington, D.C. Metro, healthy communities, and Baldrige have in common? If I have intrigued you, please read on.
On the night of August 8, 2010 at about 11 PM at the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station in Washington, DC at least 70 youths were involved in a massive brawl, terrifying other riders and causing a stampede. Violence among young people has been an ongoing problem in DC, resulting in a midnight curfew for residents 17 and younger.
Are incidents like this preventable? The city of Coral Springs, Fl, a 2007 Baldrige award recipient, has over the last 10 years decreased its crime rate by nearly half. For cities with populations between 100,000-499,999, Coral Springs has the lowest crime rate in the state and the fourth lowest crime rate in the nation. Coral Springs has achieved this result, among others by bringing citizens and businesses together to create a strategy to build a better community.
Recently I have been having discussions with a very diverse group of people across the United States about the building of healthy communities. Healthy communities have not only healthy people but thriving social and economic systems. Obviously, components of a healthy community are low crime and an engaged, educated youth population. Columbia, Missouri is working toward this goal as it builds a community of excellence, based on all organizations using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence as a common language for improvement. Lowell Kruse, former CEO of Heartland Health, has taken this on as his mission with support from the Heartland Foundation. In the Baldrige Program we are looking at ways to catalyze a national partnership of dissimilar communities to dialog around the concept of healthy communities, with the Baldrige framework as a basis for common understanding and goal setting.
Which brings me to core values! The Baldrige Criteria are based on 11 Core Values and Concepts. Among these are societal responsibility, visionary leadership, focus on the future, managing for innovation, and a systems perspective.What if we were to use these values as the foundation for a systems approach to building healthy communities using the Baldrige Criteria for assessing our progress? I think the concept is powerful. It needs visionary leaders to make it happen. Are you interested?
Please share your thoughts and your aspirations and willingness to build healthy communities across our country. Thanks on behalf of all uf us!