SciFest introduces the Business Excellence Institute Award

Dublin, 1 February 2021

The Business Excellence Institute, the only global membership body for business excellence professionals, is delighted to announce that SciFest – Ireland’s largest and most inclusive STEM fair programme for pre-third level students – is introducing an award for projects with the greatest potential for business impact. The Business Excellence Institute Award, will go to the project with the greatest potential to positively impact organizations, industries entered in each of SciFest’s 16 regional fairs.

Speaking about the launch of the new award, John Bourke, the Institute’s President, said:
“This is our 7th year sponsoring SciFest. We’re happy to see that it has gone from strength to strength and that it is successfully addressing the challenges of Covid-19. This year, we’re delighted with the introduction of the Business Excellence Institute Award which aligns closely with our values.”

Other SciFest awards include the Boston Scientific Medical Devices Award and the Intel Technology Award.

About The Business Excellence Institute

The Institute is a membership body, headquartered in Dublin, with members on 6 continents. It is dedicated to promoting business excellence as a multi-disciplinary profession, excellence in management, and the pursuit of results for all stakeholders. To learn more

About SciFest

SciFest, now in its sixteenth year, is a series of one-day STEM fairs, that take place locally and regionally across the island of Ireland. SciFest 2021 regional fairs will be run online and the deadline for the receipt of entry forms is 23 March. SciFest always welcomes new sponsors – alongside the Institute, Boston Scientific, Intel, and others – wishing to encourage students in STEM. To learn more visit:

For further information, please contact
Neal Traynor: +353-87-908-5684

A Christmas Kiss

Continuing our tradition at this time of year of mixing fun and learning about excellence, we are happy to share this little kiss with you.

Last year, we posted about how innovation in the public sector brought postage to the general public, facilitating the introduction of Christmas Cards. The year before, we were happy to report on a Christmas Crises Averted. In 2017, we published a tale of a journey to excellence in Dickens’ Christmas Carol having previously looked at The Excellence behind Rudolph in 2016, and a Case Study on Santa in 2015.


Season’s Greetings & Best Wishes for an Excellent 2021

Wishing you a Happy Christmas and Holiday season and all the best for an excellent year in 2020

Feliz Navidad  –  Joyeux Noël  –  Buon Natale  –  Frohe Weihnachten  –  Veselé Vánoce  –  Boldog Karácsonyt  –  Glædelig jul  –  Vrolijk Kerstfeest  –  Hyvää Joulua  –  Wesołych Świąt  –  Feliz Natal  –  Καλά Χριστούγεννα  –  С Рождеством  –  З Різдвом Христовим  –  Maligayang pasko  –  Nollaig Shona  –  God jul  –  Mừng Chúa Giáng Sinh  –  メリークリスマス  –  สุขสันต์วันคริสมาสต์  –  חג מולד שמח  –  मेरी क्रिसमस  –  聖誕快樂  –  圣诞快乐  –  메리 크리스마스  –  كريسمس مبارك  –  كريسمس سعيدة

3 Courses to earn a Certificate of Leadership Excellence

We are pleased to announce that the Institute has partnered with Dalhousie University’s College of Continuing Education to provide students with three exciting new courses; Leadership Dynamics, Ethics in Action, and Mastering Strategy.

This demanding trinity of courses provides learners with the opportunity not only to learn about leadership, strategy, and ethics but also to learn how to lead, how to be strategic, and how to make ethical decisions. All three courses are learner-centric and take a constructivist approach to learning that combines active, experiential, social, and problem-based learning with more traditional pedagogical approaches.

People who successfully complete all three courses, achieving a grade of at least 80% in each, will qualify for a professional certificate of Leadership Excellence from The Business Excellence Institute.

Commenting on the Dianne Tyers, Dean of the College of Continuing Education, said that:
the College of Continuing Education at Dalhousie University is delighted to partner with the Business Excellence Institute to offer the three courses leading to a Certificate in Leadership Excellence as, together, the courses provide learners with the core knowledge, skills, and critical thinking required to become effective leaders who are able to make informed, ethical, strategic decisions in complex, dynamic situations… and that’s the kind of leader that all types of organizations need right now.

John Bourke, president of The Business Excellence Institute, noted that Dianne and the College of Continuing Education were well known to the Institute’s board and that they were happy to enter into partnership to provide the courses as they respected Dalhousie and the work Dianne was doing to progress the College of Continuing Education on its journey to excellence.

Both organizations look forward to providing these three impact-driven, rewarding, relevant learning experiences to people to help them develop as leaders who can navigate and adapt to today’s ever evolving challenges. Leadership Dynamics and Ethics in Action launch next week. Mastering Strategy launches in January.

About The Business Excellence Institute

Headquartered in Dublin, The Business Excellence Institute has members on 6 continents and is the world’s only global membership body for business excellence professionals. It is dedicated to helping people and organizations achieve outstanding results for all their stakeholders and, in addition to facilitating professional development, it helps organisations, ranging from small family businesses to federal governments, on their journeys to excellence.

About Dalhousie University College of Continuing Education

Dating from 1818, Dalhousie University is one of the oldest universities in Canada. Its College of Continuing Education develops and delivers innovative educational programs to assist individuals to prepare for and succeed both academically and professionally. The college has delivered innovative, quality education and training needs to its students and their employers for almost 40 years.

Andrew Kakabadse and Teresa Kemppi-Vasama are inducted into the Excellence Hall of Fame

Dublin, Ireland, 17 August, 2020

We are pleased to announce the induction of Andrew Kakabadse and Teresa Kemppi-Vasama into the Excellence Hall of Fame. Due to the ongoing battle against COVID-19, their induction will be celebrated next year in combination with 2021’s inductees.

Andrew Kakabadse

Andrew Kakabadse

Professor of Governance & Leadership, Henley Business School

Andrew is one of the world’s foremost experts on governance, boardroom effectiveness, top teams, and government. He has been listed in the world’s Top 50 business thinkers on two occasions (in 2011 and 2013). After starting his career as an environmental scientist and working both in the public sector and with an engineering consulting firm, Andrew joined the faculty at Cranfield University’s School of Management (where he is now an Emeritus Professor). His research has focused on governance and the performance of boards and executive teams. He has been a visiting professor at many universities around the world and has been a Visiting International Fellow at the Centre for Creative Leadership. You can learn more about him here.

Teresa Kemppi-Vasama

Teresa Kemppi-Vasama

Executive Chair Kemppi OY & Board member of Cargotec and LUT University

Teresa started her career in Andersen Consulting (Accenture). She then moved to the Finnish Red Cross where she grew her role and worked her way up to management. After over a decade with the Red Cross, she started to work in her family’s welding equipment business, Kemppi (an innovative pioneer in the wielding industry). In 2014, she was appointed as its Executive Chair. She was honoured as a Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year in 2015 and, in 2017, she was awarded with one of the ten first “Finland 100 Years Medals” by the Finnish Chamber of Commerce. She serves as on the board of Cargotec and of Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT University), is Chair of the Association for Finnish Work, and she serves as Vice Chairman of the Industrial Society of Lahti. You can learn more about her here.

About The Business Excellence Institute

Headquartered in Dublin, the Business Excellence Institute is the only global membership body for business excellence professionals in the world. With members on 6 continents, it promotes excellence and works to help organisations, from small family businesses to federal governments, achieve it.

About the Excellence Hall of Fame

The Excellence Hall of Fame was established in 2016 to recognise and celebrate people who bring excellence to life and have made outstanding contributions to the organizations in which they have worked, the discipline of management, or to society at large. Previous inductees include Henry Mintzberg (world-leading thinker on management and business strategy), Clara Shih (Founder of Hearsay Systems and Board Member of Starbucks), Ambassador Julia Chang Bloch (CEO of US China Education Trust), Raomal Perera (Serial entrepreneur and INSEAD professor), Eileen McDonnell (CEO and Chair of Penn Mutual), Feargal Quinn (Founder of Superquinn) and Martin Naughton (Founder of Glen Dimplex).


Teaching Strategic Management

We are happy to announce the publication of Teaching Strategic Management A Hands-on Guide to Teaching Success edited by Professor Sabine Baumann with a chapter authored by Institute members Dianne Tyers and John Bourke.

The book – which is written for strategic management instructors, faculty, and program directors – covers a wide strategic management knowledgebase and includes approaches, practices, and resources to enable learning for people at all stages of their strategic management learning journeys. The chapter written by Dianne Tyers and John Bourke focuses on executives.

Teaching Strategic Management A Hands-on Guide to Teaching Success (ISBN: 978 1 78897 835 4) is published by Edward Elgar Publishing and is available for purchase online here.

An ABC for Challenging Times

Here is a quick “ABC” on how to cope with a crisis:

A Acknowledge the challenges faced
B Be calm and transparent – don’t try to shield people from reality, it almost always creates problems
C Communicate and create a safe space for others to voice concerns and questions
D Don’t damage your credibility by promising things you cannot deliver
E Eat and sleep enough – look after yourself so you can look after others
F Focus on what you can control and take actions accordingly

When Life Gives You Lemons…

It’s a cliché, and I personally prefer the version I saw outside a café once which read “When life gives you lemons, give them back and say you wanted coffee”. Either way, at the moment, we have all been given a lot of lemons. So, is it possible for us to make lemonade?

Business owners the world over must adapt, and adapt quickly, to this new landscape, which will hopefully be relatively temporary. Schools are closed in many countries with students taking classes from home by video-conference and in many businesses, people who have worked closely together as a team are also working from home with meetings being conducted online. They are the lucky ones. Others have been laid off or need to risk manning the checkouts in grocery stores and supermarkets. Big questions have no immediate answer; How long will this last? Will governments implement suitable support packages for businesses? Will banks defer loan repayments? And so on.

Organisations around the world find themselves having to manage in the face of uncertainty. It might seem scary but managers always face uncertainty. We are now more aware of it and it can seem daunting but the same leadership organisations rely on every day can help them through the days ahead.

I know of one group of people who went to school together in the 80’s who have agreed to offer the services of their businesses to each other at significant discounts to help each other out if needed. I also know of a business that rents a premises in Dublin, Ireland, which was consumer facing and so saw its business dry up. They spoke to the landlord on March 18 about it, and they agreed, without hesitation, to reduce their rent significantly for the next few months. In doing so, the landlord demonstrated that he values the tenant and he has also helped ensure the business remains viable, so he has a tenant in future months. In this win-win situation, both the landlord and the tenant are making lemonade.

Elsewhere, we work with one business that has decided to offer to pay all its people full pay for two weeks if they need to self-isolate and, if the company is forced to close its factory, is prepared to keep everyone on half pay.

These are small examples of organisations taking care of their stakeholders, a core tenet of The Business Excellence Institute’s approach to running an organisation. So, what else can be done to make lemonade? If your organisation finds itself with less work than normal, why not work on some of those things that you have thought about doing for years, but couldn’t find the time? The important but not urgent stuff like strategy, team building, process improvement, leadership development or the professional development of your people with, for example, lean six sigma or communications skills training. These are just some examples of areas that will help improve your organisation and help it become more robust so that it can not only survive, but thrive, in difficult times.