Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Georgia Oglethorpe Award Process, Inc.?
The Georgia Oglethorpe Award is Georgia's highest level of recognition for organizational performance excellence. Receipt of the Award results from a rigorous self-assessment of your own organization, in order to submit up to a fifty-page application. Assessors, who have attended the comprehensive Georgia Oglethorpe Board of Examiners training, complete a third-part assessment, and provide your organization a written Feedback Report of their findings. The assessment and the competition are against the Georgia Oglethorpe Criteria for Performance Excellence, which are based on the 2001 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Criteria for Performance Excellence.
The Award was created in 1996 through a public-private partnership and has been endorsed by The Honorable Roy E. Barnes, Governor, State of Georgia. The Award is presented annually during the Georgia Oglethorpe Annual Conference & Awards Banquet.
Receiving the Award requires that your organization have sound business approaches that are broadly and deeply deployed throughout your organization. These approaches are defined within six Categories, which include Leadership, Strategic Planning, Customer and Market Focus, Information and Analysis, Human Resource Focus, and Process Management. A seventh Category, Business Results, links to the other six Categories and anticipates that your organization can show direct linkages between your deployment approaches and these results. To be an Award recipient, your organization must also demonstrate a history of continuous evaluation and improvement cycles for the approaches you describe and for the results you provide.
Why was the award established?
The intent of the Georgia Oglethorpe Award is to complement other economic development initiatives in Georgia and to raise the performance bar for Georgia's People and organizations. This educationally-based initiative promotes awareness of the need for continuous improvement and learning, and systems thinking, as increasingly important elements in Georgia's competitiveness. Systems thinking means viewing your entire organization as a whole, and the interdependencies among the sub-parts which make up that whole. More information is provided on this subject as it applies to the Criteria in the section: Key Characteristics of the Criteria, on page 31.
The Award is the means to drive continuous improvement and learning, not the end. It promotes sharing and increases organizational understanding beneficial to long-term survival and prosperity. When your organization takes action against the assessment and feedback provided, this can serve as a predictor (not a guarantee) of future successful performance. It is important to remember that the Criteria serve as a management tool, not a panacea for all your organization's challenges.
What does the award promote?
The Award promotes improvement and performance optimization when an organization completes an application and receives an assessment and feedback against its management system. In doing this, it also encourages:
- Education and training at every organizational level in systems based thinking, technical knowledge of quality leadership and supportive behavior.
- Improvement of performance and resource management to achieve excellence in people, services, products, operational processes, and supplier relationships.
- Exchange of experiences in designing successful performance strategies and the benefits of successfully implementing those strategies.
- Awareness in all community sectors as to the benefits of utilizing a proven set of interdependent Criteria to assess performance.
Which organizations can participate?
Most organizations in Georgia are eligible to submit an application for the Georgia Oglethorpe Assessment, Feedback and Award process.
The Award has eleven (11) eligibility categories (refer to page 38 of the Award Criteria for additional descriptions):
- Large Business - More than 1000 employees
- Medium Business - From 501 up to 1000 total employees
- Small Business - up to 500 employees
- Large Industry - more than 1000 employees
- Medium Industry - from 501 up to 1000 total employees
- Small Industry - up to 500 employees
- Sub Unit
Organizations participating in the Award process are required to submit and initial package consisting of an Eligibility/Intent to Apply Form and certain accompanying documents. This enables the Georgia Oglethorpe Award office to confirm eligibility and anticipate the number of applicants. If selected, the applicant organization will be required to submit a package consisting of an Application Form and certain accompanying documents, including responses to the Award Criteria.
Multiple application restriction: An organization unit and its parent organization may not submit applications for the Award in the same year.
Successive application restrictions: An organization which receives the Georgia Oglethorpe Award is ineligible to reapply for a period of five (5) years.
What is the maximum number of potential award recipients?
There is no limit on the number of organizations that can receive the Georgia Oglethorpe Award, since the applicant is assessed and is competing only against the Award Criteria. There is also no guarantee there will be a recipient during a given year, since it is possible that no organization may qualify. The Georgia Oglethorpe Award recognizes maturity in an organization's management system (against the Criteria), as opposed to recognizing the best of what is available in a given year.
What is required of the Award Recipients?
Organizations receiving the Georgia Oglethorpe Award are required to share their experiences with other Georgia organizations by:
Holding at least two Performance Excellence Showcases during the year the Award is received. The Georgia Oglethorpe Award Staff can assist in promotion and coordination.
Provide a write-up of non-proprietary information contained in their application, yet which could be of help to others interested in improving their management systems.
Making selected presentations at the Georgia Oglethorpe Annual Conference & Awards Banquet held in March.
Hosting an exposition booth at the Georgia Oglethorpe Annual Conference & Awards Banquet to further share their performance excellence strategies and to describe how those strategies impact their customers and bottom line.
Why would I want to become an examiner?
If you apply to the Georgia Oglethorpe Board of Examiners, and are accepted, it means you are invited to attend the Board of Examiners training and are expected to fulfill your commitments to the assessment and feedback cycle as described in the policy section of the application package. Upon your successful completion of the assessment and feedback cycle, you may be recommended for appointment to the Board of Examiners, which is a distinguished and earned honor.
Participation constitutes a win-win for you, your organization and Georgia, as you:
Enjoy the prestige and gratification of being appointed to the Georgia Oglethorpe Board of Examiners, which places you in a leadership position for helping to move your own and other organizations and people in Georgia, to higher levels of performance.