April 19, 2013
A colleague related a story to me today. He was being a bit of a stickler on a quality issue with a contractor. The client, knowing that one of our projects had just won an award, said, “You’re just looking for another award.”
I was so proud of my colleague when he related to me that he turned and answered, “Of course I am. Any time I come to work, I expect that what I do will be worthy of awards.”
That answer is indicative of more than a simple expectation of quality. Quality is an inherent requirement of any award competition out there, but for most awards, there is something more that the judging committee is looking for.
To build an awards culture into an overall corporate culture, the expectation needs to encompass not only quality. It needs to encompass overcoming challenges with creative, yet sensible solutions. It means looking at the scope of work in the beginning and understanding the project as a whole and how individual elements can come together to form an extraordinary solution. It also means looking for ways to save the planet and our client’s pocketbook along with new ways to inform our publics and to solicit feedback from them.
The quest for excellence that each of us puts forth every day can have dramatic and positive impact on the eligibility for awards. Thinking from the standpoint of “what opportunity does this project have to be recognized” impacts how we think about our projects and the level of excellence that we can achieve as we go about our day to days.