Five Prerequisites For Excellence

A Simplified Framework for SMEs aligned with the International Business Excellence Frameworks

WorkING smarter not harder - With Minimal Waste

Everyone pulling in the same direction - Alignment

Getting what you Measure - So measurING the right things

Sharing knowledge for maximum organiZational benefit

Proactively Improving your business

Do you have these common weaknesses in your business?

You and your management team are likely spending too much time working IN the business rather than ON it. You may have great ideas on how to improve things but little time to make the changes.

Do you know the Key Processes that run your business?

Are you measuring all the right things to track the health of your business?

Are you successfully executing your strategic Objectives?

Are you reactive to change, fighting fires rather than proactively improving your business?

Here are the 5 Prerequisites for Excellence in Business

Process Design & Improvement

All work is done through processes and 95% of all processes in a business are repetitive. Improving your processes improves your business.

Shared Strategic Direction

Having a shared strategic direction is essential so that everyone can “pull the rope in the same direction”. You need alignment with your strategic Objectives from top to bottom.

Performance Measurement & Feedback

It’s impossible to improve something if you don’t first understand the nature of the problem. “What gets measured gets managed.”

Knowledge Capture & Leverage

We live in a knowledge economy in which efficiency and growth is dependent on the quantity, quality, and accessibility of the information available.

Leadership & Management Of Change

The only constant for a modern business is change. To become a high performing business you must develop a culture of continuous improvement.

What you get with Business Excellence

Only a small number of businesses actively pursue business excellence in a holistic manner. Those that do outperform the industrial average Return On Capital Employed (ROCE) by more that 3 to 1.

Operational Excellence

Identify and agree your Key Processes and systematically improve them to dramatically improve the speed, cost and quality of what you deliver.

Strategic Excellence

Formulate and execute a strategy that works. Align your employees with your strategic Objectives and make the most of your opportunities.

Grow Your Business

Over a 5 year period, the cumulative net savings achieved by continuously improving your processes with the MBE approach will amount to at least 22.5% of this year’s sales. Example: a business with $50M current annual revenue  will realise $11.25M in net savings over the next 5 years.

WhAT Makes The MBE Framework Different?

The MBE approach is holistic and focuses on doing the right things in the right order. The 80 or so current international frameworks are also holistic, each with 7-9 common criteria with which we agree. However, we simplify and integrate these 7-9 criteria to form just 5 all-encompassing Prerequisites for full business excellence in any SME. This makes the criteria more accessible and memorable for SMEs.

All the current international frameworks are designed to help businesses measure how well they are performing against their 7-9 criteria for excellence. Unfortunately, they are devoid of guidelines on how best to implement their stated criteria.


In stark contrast, the MBE approach gives you a fast start with early gains. Critical mass is progressively reached across all 5 Prerequisites within just two years. From then on, you simply consolidate what you have learned and reap the rapidly compounding net benefits.


Our research into the take-up rate of the international frameworks suggests that the effective market penetration of business excellence in SMEs globally is only about 1-2%. We believe the main reasons why the international reference frameworks are not popular among the myriad of SMEs today are that they are too complex and costly to implement and take far too long to make a substantial impact on the business.


SMEs cannot simply be treated as small versions of large businesses because they have unique characteristics. Here are some of them:


1. They often have limited financial resources to invest in new ways of doing things.


2. Most employee training is unstructured, ad-hoc, and in-house, delivered with little or no professional support staff.


3. Owners / CEOs / Managers often spend most of their time working IN the business, with little time to work ON the business.


4. Owners / CEOs / Managers often try to control every aspect of the business and fail to delegate enough.


5. Immature or irrelevant processes and ineffective IT support systems often result in reactive fire-fighting when things go wrong.


6. A top-down, hierarchical approach to strategy deployment is often aggravated by the inability to allocate resources flexibly and swiftly across organisational unit boundaries to where they are needed most.


We have developed our own MBE reference framework and MBE approach that together address these characteristics..


Assess your business against the 5 prerequisites

What Does the MBE Framework Give You?

Businesses that implement the MBE Framework master the 5 Prerequisites for excellence.

Identify, track and Improve your Key Processes that RUN your business

Capture the knowledge buried in your employees’ heads and make it accessible to your entire business

Track the health of your Key Processes via carefully selected Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Formulate, track and execute your strategic Objectives that CHANGE your business.

Remove waste and dramatically decrease the cycle time for repetitive processes in your business.

Create a VISION that defines what it means for your business to WIN. 

Institutionalize the Fast Process Improvement (FPI) technique to identify and fix a problem process within 8 weeks.

Institutionalize the Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) technique to completely redesign and implement a Key Business Process in as little as 3 months.

Ensure process improvements are made permanent by metaphorically ‘wedging’ them before the close of every FPI or BPR project. 

Implementing Excellence in small and medium businesses

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