This month saw the launch of The Gatwick Diamond Business Awards (GBDA2020 for short)… and I was happy to be there.
Meeting and chatting with past winners, sponsors, and of course the fab Gatwick Diamond Business team, set me thinking. Why are awards important to individuals and organisations? Is it solely glorified marketing? Or is there more to it?
From speaking with others, it’s clear that the whole awards experience can bring unexpected insights, renewed motivation and lasting business benefits. So, when it comes to business related awards it appears to goes much deeper than platitudes and posh frocks.
Internal assessment and external scrutiny force you to challenge yourself or your business differently, taking it far beyond glorified marketing. Plus authenticity comes from a balance of style and substance. And certain types of awards seem to enable this in a very special way.
On reflection, my thoughts are there are seven key aspects at work…
Analysis: Analysis within a business setting often follows criteria set by that business. Analysing against criteria and questions set by others encourages you to see data in a fresh way, to check if you’re measuring what matters and to identify unexpected trends.
External: Presenting to your directors and managers is one thing; presenting to external peers is a whole different ball game. There is no shared history and drawing them into your world takes a bit more effort. Stepping back and seeing your business through the eyes of others is always healthy and good for business.
Pride: Awards encourage you to translate the pride you have for your business and achievements into a format which is unlike other marketing collateral. The depth and succinctness often required means it’s actually quite a powerful mix. A great foundation for authentic communication.
Process: It might not be the glamorous side of awards but the structure they present takes you away from the routine functioning of your business. Looking beyond your business bubble and taking a fresh view are always beneficial.
Progress: The throughline* presented by a good story takes the reader / viewer on (yes, I’m going to use the ‘j’ word so be prepared!) a journey. Presenting stories which show your progress help judges connect, understand and assess your business. Back in the business, demonstrating progress in this way can be much more engaging than figures and forecasts.
Rigour: Having gone through the doctoral learning experience, I’m a big fan of rigour. It’s empowering and rewarding. Awards push you to go beyond off-the-cuff statements and over-liberal spin. They challenge you to dig deeper. Taking time to do this often brings rewards which are much longer lasting than the award itself.
Showcase: When all said and done, awards are about showcasing your business. The fundamental difference, for me, is you are being showcased and promoted thanks to the assessment of people outside your business. And that has a special value attached.
Together, in balance, these seven aspects bring the potential for awards success, and even more importantly from my perspective, encourage organisational and personal growth.
For those who do put themselves in the awards spotlight, the rewards can be much greater than the shiny statue and the press coverage. It’s a chance to reflect, develop and be proud of achievements. It can even be the catalyst to a whole new chapter.
* throughline… theme or idea running through the narrative of a film, book etc
PS. For anyone wishing to enter GDBA2020, the deadline is 22 November 2019. You can find out more about categories and what’s involved here…