The new EFQM model was presented in Helsinki in October 2019 and invites users to exciting discussions: What has changed in the 2020 model? Where are the new priorities, and what does that mean in practice? As part of the development team of the new version of the model, I do not want to withhold “deeper insights”.

From Ego to Ecosystem

Nicole Mayer from the Quality Austria Corporate Quality Team provides you with a good overview in a two-part series on the Excellence Blog. With the articles “Focus on the Future” and “Concept and Structure” you will find a coherent overall view of the new 2020 model.

In this context, I would like to highlight two topics in detail where there are major changes in the EFQM model: in the leadership area as well as in the relevant context.

The new management style – less hierarchy, more cooperation

In the “old” 2013 model – the long-term offenders will remember – the first criterion had a clear focus on the group of managers who, among other things, shape the future of the organization, act as role models, and manage change effectively.

In the current 2020 model, the topic of leadership clearly involves all employees: The classic setting of a direction by individuals or a management team “from above” is replaced by the invitation that it is more about the activity of leading – and less about the role. Each and everyone can use it to take the lead on their own level or in their own area and inspire, strengthen, change and thus develop.

In practice, this means establishing a collective capacity for leadership. Not just individuals but the entire organization or system contributes to this.

From context to ecosystem – being a role model for a sustainable future

With the new model inevitably will be new terms. A short language course simplifies our understanding: Compared to a rather passive perception of the context of an organization, the newly introduced term “ecosystem” implies increased requirements.

In addition to the identification of the context that affects the way the organization works, the 2020 model is specifically about deepening the interdependencies here.



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This results in increased dynamics with a greater need for control in order to ensure the economic, social and ecological performance in the system.

Metaphorically speaking, this point also opens up the horizon of consideration from the perspective of the organization: in addition to internal micromanagement related to the company, regional or global well-being is taken into account through increased macromanagement (e.g., through overarching activities in the area of circular economy). In view of the ecological challenges, the expansion of corporate responsibility in the direction of a larger, social whole appears to be an important contribution.

Do you still have questions or perhaps need support in transforming your organization from “ego to ecosystem”? As FACT Consulting, we have been using the idea of the EFQM model as a value framework for our work for a long time, actively shaping it and also accompanying companies in this context. Please feel free to contact us.

Related links:


  • Scharmer Otto, Käufer Katrin (2014): Leading from the Future