Strategist Speaks On Being the Best in the Business

June 18, 2009

Strategist Speaks On Being the Best in the Business Most business, government, and non-profit executives would love to find ways to make their organizations operate as skillfully and efficiently as possible. But after the organizations reach a certain level of competence or quality performance, leaders can struggle with the task of moving their work teams to higher levels.

Pat Sciarappa, the organizational development director of the Florida Sterling Council, works daily helping the key managers of Florida organizations tackle such questions. She was a speaker recently at Saint Leo University, sharing her current observations with students in the Master of Business Administration program.

Sciarappa and the Sterling Council help companies and other kinds of workplaces apply proven standards of excellence to their own operations to boost revenues, levels of service, and customer/client satisfaction. And she gets to see and compare the business results from numerous organizations, partly as the result of an annual contest the council conducts that judges organizations on their application of quality-assurance and strategic planning measures from the council’s Sterling Management Model. The top performers receive the Governor’s Sterling Award. Simply applying for the award gives managers some insights into possible improvements, she said in an interview.

That’s because the application process helps managers identify the pivotal areas that should command most of their attention. “Most organizations have lots of data they have collected,” she said. “But they haven’t narrowed it down to the few critical data they need.”

Another common weakness comes in knowing how to structure a strategic plan, and how that task differs from rendering a description of what the organization does currently in its day-to-day operations.

On the other hand, she said, many of the organizations she reviews have dedicated workforces staffed by people who truly “believe in the organization.”

The statewide council also offers training sessions and information sharing through an annual conference. More information is at the Web site,