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Seb Anthony

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Industry Awards and their hype


Do industry awards do any good or are they just an excuse for backslapping from a group peers who used to work in your industry but are now profiled external consultants with limited experience of best practice in disciplines?

Some UK awards get consultants in over the weekend for a 20 minute presentation by potentials, this is to a group of people who may or may not know what best practice is in whatever the discipline is, presumably due to time constraints they aren't able to question to any depth and the quality of the presentation is all. The subsequent award is paraded around as a benchmark of quality and integrity for years after.

I'm playing devils advocate of course but does anyone have any examples of real worth to customer, organisation and employee beyond or is it simply corporate badge wearing without challenging substance.
Juliet LeFevre

2 Responses

  1. depends on who’s awarding
    To a large extent, it depends on who is awarding the award. The Times 100 Best Companies to Work For is an award – and I think most people would consider this a badge worth having, certainly in terms of recruitment.

    IiP is also a corporate badge, incidentally, and from all the academic research I’ve seen, appears to add very little value. Doubtless IiP would say differently….but I have some papers if you’re interested.

  2. More than just silverware
    As a veteran of many award entries I have a strong view on this subject. Most people have a reactive approach to award entry… they cobble together entries in a couple of hours, and then complain when they do not win.

    However, if a company takes awards seriously, then that gives them another reason to set clear objectives, support diversity in learning, gain stakeholder input, measure ROI etc. I have seen companies dramatically improve their working practices when they set a goal of winning an award. The good news is that this more strategic approach to entering awards often generates silverware as well as better training practices. Then the newly measured ROI and silverware proves to the board that training investment is worthwhile… there is more training and better training… and more chance of winning an award next year… and a virtuous cycle is created.

    So yes, I think awards are worth it. National Training Awards are best though, because it is government funded and you stand a 22% chance of walking away with at least a regional award.

    If this all sounds a bit time consuming then you will be glad to know that all awards organisers are completely in favour of companies using external award entry specialists (I have asked about a dozen)… and there are “Award entry consultants” out there who will do your award entry for you for a few hundred pounds.


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