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An introduction to EFQM and its history

In this article Geoff Carter talks about the beginning of EFQM, recognising the commitment of 14 Founder Members and 53 Key Members.
Large modern office building in Brussels

EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) is a not for profit, membership foundation based in Brussels, Belgium.

It was formed by some of the leading businesses in Europe who wanted to work together to improve their performance. They also wanted to share good practices to help each other be more competitive.

On 15th September 1988, 14 European business leaders met with Jacques Delors, who was the President of the European Commission. Together, they signed a ‘Letter of Intent’ to form an organisation dedicated to increasing the competitiveness of European businesses.

EFQM was founded a year later when 53 other organisations joined the original 14 European companies to declare their commitment to achieving EFQM’s Mission and Vision to create a more competitive Europe.

In the subsequent 30 years EFQM’s reputation has moved beyond the borders of Europe to become a more globally oriented organisation. Its Purpose now is to build a better future for people, for communities and for organisations themselves.

Your task

When EFQM was formed in 1989, the biggest competitive threat for European businesses came from Japan.

Take a few minutes to think about your own country.

  • Which country or countries are generating the biggest competitive threat for your own country today?
  • Why are they able to pose this threat?
  • How are the organisations in your country responding to this global competition?

Use your personal log book to capture your early thoughts and feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments below.

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