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“Striving for Excellence” Workshop (S4Ex)

Is your business or organisation well sorted, and seriously aspiring to becoming world class?


In this very intense 3 day residential workshop, management teams use the EFQM Excellence Model, a globally respected management tool, to individually conduct fact-based, holistic, no-holds-barred assessments of their current position against criteria that reflect global good and best practices of highly successful organisations. They identify gaps in performance relative to the Model’s 9 criteria, and prioritise improvement opportunities.

The EFQM Excellence Model

“The Model, which recognises there are many approaches to achieving sustainable excellence in all aspects of performance, is based on the premise that excellent results with respect to Performance, Customers, People and Society are achieved through Leadership driving Policy and Strategy, that is delivered through People, Partnerships and Resources, and Processes.” – EFQM

More than one company management team can participate at the same time. If participants have recently completed in in-depth Strategic Alignment workshop or exercise, the length may be reduced.

The same is true if this is not the first assessment a team has completed.

Striving for Excellence Follow-up

The follow-up session is held on a single company basis immediately, or shortly after, a management team has completed the S4Ex workshop. During this time, teams consolidate their individual assessments into a consensus view of the organisation, identify and prioritise consensus-based improvement opportunities, and develop detailed action plans to address them.

These are the first steps in what must become a cycle of continuous improvement in an organisation is to increase its level of excellence over time. Ideally, the Self-Assessment process should be coordinated with an organisation’s strategic planning process.


Though a company that has reached this level already has a strong culture of excellence, we recommend mentoring for teams responsible for Action Plan implementation.

How to prepare

Compile, review and bring along:

  • your organisation’s formal vision, mission and values statements
  • detailed documentation on:
    • policies, strategies, and plans
    • goals and objectives
    • measures (leading and lagging) currently in use,
    • results achieved over the past few years
    • stakeholder analysis
  • Bring along a pencil, sharpener, calculator and rubber
  • Make arrangements to avoid work-related disturbance during the workshop
  • Dress comfortably

How does it compare to Aiming for Excellence?

The Striving for Excellence workshops go into greater depth and result in an even more robust assessment than Aiming for Excellence workshops. Companies should have a robust strategic planning process in place, and at least 3-5 years of measurment data available before considering an S4Ex workshop.