Chasing The Windmills of Awards

What you see Is Not what you get

August 6, 2019 | By Risktal Thought Leadership

Some of the common marketing material that we find online nowadays that organization X received Y award and organization Z is celebrating receiving the award for best something…

To start with, let us reflect on the mushrooming number of awards out there; where every other day there seems to be a new award program, initiated by a new authority (and sometimes not really an authority) that grands an award to some organization… This is called the “Commercialization of Awards”.

When you evaluate a award program you generally look at the following:

  • Credibility – Is it administered by a credible authority in the field;
  • Comprehensiveness and Specificity of Assessment Criteria;
  • The quality and competence of the assessors;
  • The robustness of the administration of the program, review and governance;
  • The integrity and impartiality of results assessment

We have consulted in some award winning organizations, and were appalled by the quality of processes that have been vetted by the award  authority as examples of excellence; which make us quite skeptical about the whole credibility of these award programs.

Through a social affair we met a professional who introduced himself as an assessor of one of these programs. It was sadly amusing, that after questioning him about how got selected to be on the panel, to discover that that was because of people who knew him as opposed to be based on merit!

For those who are wondering what message we are trying to send here –

  • Don’t be misled by fake awards and having a couple of documents in an organization’s archives does not mean that their processes are excellent.
  • If excellence is what you are after, you need to look holistically and in detail how to enhance the organizations culture, processes, systems and people to excel in all respects.