Fortunately in most sectors, at the start of the year it’s a long time until the first awards are dished out, and the inevitable black tie dinner is held to fund the jellymoulds that produce them. No, I am not talking about the judges.
If you didn’t win an award last year don’t worry it will probably be your turn this year. In the wider workplace sector in the UK, the format is so typecast that you could be forgiven for wondering whether you were attending a ceremony organised by Property Week, EG, BIFM, P&FM, CoreNet, BCO, Building, FX or Beezer. I made the last one up, they don’t have awards – at least not yet, but I am sure they will be watching closely.
So here are a few reasons for the despair:
- There are just too many – and so excellence is being diluted to the point where a level just above mediocrity might just trouble the engravers
- They don’t recognise effort, endeavour, courage or experimentation – only a vague notion of being “the best”, whatever that really means
- If you have ever entered for an award, how did you feel? Yes – they share the same genetic code as vanity
- Do you really want the publicity of being an “entrant” that didn’t win? It’s not about the taking part after all, it’s about winning
- They can expose poor performance as much as good – judges have to wade through far too many ill-advised entries – possibly a role out there for an awards-entry consultant (as there are consultant for everything else)
- As an entrant they still managed to get you to the usual London hotel at a shamelessly overpriced table, where a B-list presenter who didn’t quite make the cut this time around for I’m a Celebrity (because they’re not) hands out the factory-produced lumps of plastic/wood/glass/metal accompanied by eardrum-perforating short bursts of Eye of the Tiger
- It’s a quick hit – there are more awards next year, and the year after – can anyone recall who won any of the multitude of awards last year?
Working on the assumption that “not winning” an award is the new winning – as it fully preserves your mystique and is more exclusive – how about a shake up? Ladies and gentlemen, esteemed guests, I give you [drum roll, and a little canned suspense] – the 2012 workplace unawards:
- They recognise endeavour, a great idea, or a great experiment even if it failed (but made us think) – not the definition-defying “best” of anything
- No entry forms – word of mouth/twitter and other viral channels only, and no-one “enters” but is, instead, suggested
- Only three awards each year (that’s more than enough) and Categories are crowdsourced
- Categories change each year so each award remains unique – and forever
- Judging is crowdsourced – no panel, no preferences, no egos
- Awards are presented by the person that thought of the award in a low-cost social setting that changes each year, – no black tie, no school dinners, no minor celebs, no Survivor
No Survivor? Whatever next…….