A New Excellence Business Model to correct for EFQM Excellence Model shortcomings

1. Does the EFQM Excellence Model have some shortcomings?

Yes, it has, at least in my opinion.

If the reader is not familiar with the model, he is advised to go to the Appendix to read about what is the EFQM Excellence Model as well as about its Positives and Strengths.

The EFQM Excellence Model Framework is shown in the above picture of the heading.

2. Possible Weaknesses

a)      Duplication: In the model, we observe some duplication of content that adds more to complexity rather than to enhancement. As we show by the table below the two components of the model, “The Fundamental Concepts” and “The Criteria” are referring to almost the same or identical things.
On this point of repeated content, the EFQM documentation states that “the text from the Fundamental Concepts is repeated in its entirety in the relevant criterion parts and that in some cases, the text from the Fundamental Concepts has been adapted to fit the specific context of the criterion part.”


The Fundamental Concepts

The Criteria

New (N) or Existing (E)

Adding Value for Customers


Creating a Sustainable Future


Developing Organizational Capacity


Managing with Agility

Harnessing Creativity & Innovation
Learning, Creativity and Innovation


Leading with Vision, Inspiration & Integrity


Succeeding through the Talent of People


Sustaining Outstanding Results
People Results, Customer Results, Society Results and Business Results


Consequently, we think that it will serve simplification and clarity in practice if the two were made into one by having the 1st one, the Concepts, incorporated in the 2nd, and omit the section on Concepts altogether.

Furthermore, the well-defined meaning of the Criteria makes superfluous any of their verbal expressions that now serve as Fundamental Concepts. Besides, the latter’s existence as a separate component may [...]

By |November 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Excellent companies care how to handle a difficult customer

An outrageously behaving customer at the teller counter was vociferously complaining about his bill being not right refusing to pay it and creating a lot of commotion all around the office.

What should we do to handle such a clamorous customer?

Here, following, are six brief steps that may serve to remind us the way to a satisfactory structured response.

First, however, take urgently the noisy complainer away from the front line to a back office supervisor who has a private office of his own, and with the complainer’s permission close the door.

Step 1: Before going into the meeting, you as the supervisor in the case, make sure that you have

Three very important prerequisites:

Have the necessary training to deal with difficult customers
Have the willingness to act on behalf of the customer trying your true best to find possible solutions for the complaining customer within the context of the company rules
Have the eagerness to make the necessary time for handling the complaint

Other things you should have:

The necessary resources and knowledge to deal with the case
The appropriate authority for making necessary decisions
Access to higher level support that might be needed

Step 2: At the beginning of the meeting: the preparatory stage

Calm the complainer down by expressing and showing explicitly and convincingly to him your willingness to listen to understand his situation
Devote time to put yourself in the customer shoes and try to see things from the complainer’s side
Show respect for the complainer but firmly state that you expect him likewise to respect the company and its office environment
Remember that niceties can never substitute for the need to address the real problem

Step 3: During the meeting: the actual process

Engage constructively – Listen actively to [...]

By |November 12th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Internationalization: Which foreign country to go to – A Country Comparison Calculator

Many times the internationalization of a company to a certain country has its origin in some random occurrence and not in a systematic approach. As a result later on with the passing of time problems occur that put the enterprise in serious difficulties and give rise to regrets.

The purpose of this article is to show that the choice of a foreign country with which a company will start its internationalization can be constructively made by following a methodical approach based, in some way, on quantitative criteria and should not be left to chance events.

In addressing the issue, we developed a “Country Comparison Calculator” presented here. This calculator entails the selection of appropriate criteria which it then quantifies and categorizes into two groups: (a) Opportunities & Strengths and (b) Risks & Weaknesses. We viewed Economics from the angle of Opportunities and Strengths while from the angle of Risks and Weaknesses we viewed the rest categorizing them in line with the PESTELE, the extra E is for Ethics, into Politics, Society, Technology, Environment, Law and Ethics.

The selected criteria are shown in the tabular form that follows. We especially note that some criteria are company purpose-specific (Foreign market sector specific entry in the table).

Each of the criteria is made up of a number of sub-criteria. For these sub-criteria, there exist data from published sources. The data collected are then used to fill in the cells for each sub-criterion in the comparison table for each country (not shown here). When all the data for all sub-criteria are completed, the interested party, on the basis of the quantitative picture of the relevant part of the table, evaluates quantitatively each criterion, say on a scale 1 to 10, as in [...]

By |October 29th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Evaluation of the Seminar “Implementing Strategy by the use of KPIs”

The evaluation by the participants of the seminar “Implementing Strategy through the use of KPIs” has been excellent. The Topics, Instructor, Contents, Exercises all were evaluated from 90% and above, while 90% of the participants stated that they will put to immediate use the knowledge they acquired.

You can see the content, the analytical program and more information (in Greek) at http://sardossolutions.com/?p=5020

The seminar can be adapted as to be offered within one company for its specific needs in Cyprus or elsewhere. For companies in Cyprus, it can be subsidized by AnAD to cover its full or almost full cost.

You are welcome to communicate with us, Panikos Sardos, either by phone: +357 99640912 or by email: psardos@sardossolutions.com

Our thanks to all participants and collaborators

By |October 19th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Κουλτούρα – Πως μετατρέπουμε μια κακή κουλτούρα σε καλή

Το άρθρο στα Μέσα Κοινωνικής Δικτύωσης στα αγγλικά, συγκέντρωσε πολλά λάικς και ευνοικά σχόλια από προφέσορς, επαγγελματίες διοίκησης και ανθρώπινου δυναμικού
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/culture-turning-from-toxic-healthy-everyones-panikos-sardos/ και https://www.linkedin.com/groups/39683/39683-6319188550948651012

Ο μηχανισμός που η κουλτούρα σχηματίζεται σε ένα οργανισμό ή εταιρεία έχει σχέση συνήθως με τους ιδιοκτήτες και τους πρώτους λίγους ανθρώπους στην αρχή της ζωής της. Οι άνθρωποι που είναι ήδη μέσα στην εταιρεία έχουν τη δύναμη να επηρεάζουν πως οι νεότεροι άνθρωποι εργάζονται και συμπεριφέρονται. Περαιτέρω όταν η εταιρεία μεγαλώνει, οι υποψήφιοι που επιλέγονται για εργοδότηση είναι κόσμος παρόμοιας σκέψης . Με αυτό τον τρόπο η κουλτούρα επιβιώνει και προωθείται και όσο περισσότερο μένει χωρίς να ελέγχεται τόσο περισσότερο βαθαίνει ρίζες.

Τι είναι όμως η οργανική κουλτούρα? Ο τρόπος που κάνουμε πράγματα στον οργανισμό ή στην εταιρεία μας, ο τρόπος που συμπεριφερόμαστε, ο τρόπος που μεταχειριζόμαστε τους άλλους, ο τρόπος που εμείς τυγχάνουμε μεταχείρισης, ο τρόπος που συνεργαζόμαστε ο ένας με τον άλλο, ο τρόπος με τον οποίο σχηματίζουμε τις φιλοδοξίες και το όραμά μας, ο τρόπος που τα διάφορα επίπεδα ιεραρχίας ζουν τις ώρες εργασίας μέσα στον οργανισμό κλπ

Όταν δεν υπάρχει η σωστή κουλτούρα, προκαλείται μεγάλη σπατάλη και ως επακόλουθο η απόδοση της εταιρείας υστερεί. Αλλά και στρατηγικά και μακροχρόνια, δεν θα καταφέρουμε να εφαρμόσουμε τη στρατηγική μας εάν στον οργανισμό μας υπάρχει μια κουλτούρα που είναι αταίριαστη με τους στρατηγικούς μας στόχους ή που είναι τοξική.

Η σπουδαιότητα της κουλτούρας είναι τέτοια που επιβάλλει σε κάθε μάνατζερ και εργαζόμενο την υποχρέωση να μην αφήνει μια κακή κουλτούρα να διαιωνίζεται. Το οφείλουμε στους εαυτούς μας και στον οργανισμό μας να συμβάλουμε στην προσπάθεια να τη διορθώσουμε και να τη βελτιώσουμε.

Για να το πετύχουμε, θα πρέπει να αναγνωρίσουμε τι είναι η κακή, τοξική κουλτούρα. Και για να την κάνουμε αναγνωρίσιμη, παρουσιάζουμε [...]

By |October 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Culture – Turning it from toxic to healthy is everyone’s responsibility

Let’s briefly explain the mechanism of how culture takes roots in a company: The formation of culture, usually, relates back to the owners and the first few people at its start. The people already in the company have the power to influence how the newer people work and behave. Furthermore when the company is expanding the new people that get selected are “similarly minded” people.  This is how culture is propagated and the longer it stays unchallenged the harder it becomes.

What is organizational culture? The way we do things in the company, the way we behave, the way we treat others, the way we are treated, the way we cooperate with each other, the way we form our aspirations and our vision, the way different hierarchies live their daily working lives in the company and so on.

When the right culture is not in place, it generates a lot of waste and operational efficiency suffers. Strategically and long-term, we will not succeed in implementing a strategy if a toxic or conflicting culture is installed.

The importance of culture is such that it imposes on every manager and worker an obligation not to leave a bad culture unchallenged to perpetuate. We owe it to ourselves and our organization to make our contribution in the endeavour to correct and improve it.

To do so we must recognize what is a bad, toxic culture. To help make it identifiable and visible, presented below are some of its frequently encountered elements:

Secrecy, lack of communication and feedback, the creation of barriers between those that order and those that must obey resulting to a climate of mistrust, conflict and hate; egotism enhanced by distance of geography or hierarchy; silos serving as a bulwark [...]

By |September 28th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Correct work disengagement by investing in training your people

70% of workers are disengaged from their jobs according to Gallup; that’s a shocking statistic reported in the Blue Ocean Leadership (HBR Classics) that puts on the table the responsibilities of those that are in management positions.

For firms with such a high work disengagement, productivity, reputation, customer service, all go down the drain. Furthermore good employees that do more than their share of work find themselves lost in the group’s deficiencies and in the eyes of the many are equally blamed for the firm’s poor performance. It is for this that all that hold management positions have an obligation to correct this problem and stop turning a blind eye.

Disengagement when left unattended, like a virus, spreads and reduces the power of everything. Leadership/management is pivotal in turning things around; Jack Welch at GE, Alan Mulally at Ford are classic examples of how leadership can overturn a bad status quo. The contrary is true: when engagement is high, the organization works with enhanced power and finds itself on the path of success. People’s behavior will change when they are sensitized through training and know what is expected of them.

Disengagement left as is, is probably an easy choice as it requires no action from the higher-ups, no hard work from anybody. It will, however make deterioration deeper, and in time beyond control, and will eventually raise the question of the responsibilities of those whom the system has entrusted in the organization’s steering positions.

If on the other hand, management takes the initiatives to go to the front, confront problems and correct for deficiencies, the upturn and progress that will ensue will be attributed to the managers and their actions. The company, its employees and the community will [...]

By |June 22nd, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Is Management an Art?

The more I think about Management the more are my thoughts that it is an Art.

If composing a poem or music is an art, why not treat management likewise?

Composing a poem demands to select and put words next to each other in a way that will make their combination explode, so to speak, in the reader’s mind.

Similarly, composing music involves selecting and putting notes next to each other in a way that they will powerfully stir the listener’s emotions.

And what about management?

Managing an organization is selecting, placing and directing people at work in a way that the combined effort will magnify the result of simply adding up their individual contributions.

In any of the three, knowledge is, of course, a prerequisite.

If we call art the acts of composing a poem or music, why not call management so?

After all, besides composing and directing, management has a balancing act too!


To those who might be further interested in management services: Panikos Sardos is the Managing Director of P&E Sardos Business Solutions Int., a management consulting firm that offers advisory services, coaching and training and can be reached by email: psardos@sardossolutions.com, telephones: +357 99640912, +357 24400884, www.sardossolutions.com

The systems approach and Why Organizations fail

When we describe things as a system, we imply that these things have interconnections.

We cannot draft a new strategy without simultaneously making changes in the organizational structure. Nor can we bring in new tools without changing our systems and sometimes our structures.

The interconnections and how the parts are interconnected, are as important, and sometimes more important than, the actual parts.

We purpose to interconnect parts to form a system in such a way as to create the capacity in the system for synergy that is for the system to give an output that is greater or more valuable than the sum of its actual parts.

This interconnection of the parts of the organization is a fascinating topic. Can the interconnections play in the end an equal or even a more important role than the actual components which they interconnect?

To search for answers, let’s look at the organization, its various parts and their possible relationships

1.       The traditional way of looking at the organization

We look at the organization from outside and we see that it is composed of parts which we conventionally recognize as:

Structure that sets up the organization in terms of divisions, business units, departments, sections, subsections.

Systems and procedures that describe the processes of getting work done

Staff that do the operations and who possess various Skills

Machinery, premises and tools that are mostly associated with capital expenditure and once purchased become difficult to change

Management/Leadership levels that are responsible for creating purpose and identity, and capacity for execution. They must foresee opportunities and risks and keep the organization viable now and in the future

The Board that together with executive management/leadership provides leadership, takes responsibility for Organization identity and purpose (Vision, Mission) and the overall governance for the organization’s long-term [...]

By |March 31st, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Why McKinsey 7s model needs a new look

McKinsey 7s Model is, perhaps, the best model of how a firm should handle its most critical constituents: Strategy, Structure, Systems, Leadership/Management (Style), People (Staff) and Skills and Tools (Skills). For a quick description and explanation of the model, you may read among other articles the following:


The McKinsey model of the firm derives its importance from mainly two things:

(a)    It brings to notice the interconnection of the firm’s critical issues. This is to say that no single issue can be dealt with independently of the others: changing one requires that consideration must be given as to how the rest should change too. The effectiveness of the firm is achieved when all the model elements are aligned in a kind of harmonization of conditions, actions and behaviors.

(b)   It elevates the soft issues to an equal, if not more important, status besides the hard issues, and further, it places the Culture (Shared Values) at the centre of them all.

And if we now feel the need to review and take a different stance on the model, it is only with regard to this positioning of the culture as the centre of them all.

We, by no means, mean to say or imply that we do not acknowledge the importance of culture. But we want to indicate that culture cannot be at the pivotal point of the firm’s success and well-being.

The reasoning is simple. Culture is of a long-term nature, static in the short-term, and therefore for short-term decisions, actions, and changes cannot be a driver. Though its possibilities for fostering to a lesser or greater degree the others render it prominence, it is not the driving force of all that composes a firm.

For a central driver, we need [...]

By |February 1st, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments|