We celebrated our Annual Awards last week. We had a mammoth, global, virtual teleconference with every site location connected and with most attendees congregated together on each site. I normally mute all the attendees on large telecoms when anyone is presenting. Without this technology, sessions can be distracting for the audience, and presenters are easily interrupted. That was exactly what we were after for the Awards Ceremony.
I began by letting everyone on the call know that Award Ceremonies are always better when thought of as a ‘participatory sport’ – cheering and applause, as well as shouting and laughter – are essential ingredients.
Everything about these ceremonies though is about recognition – recognising the eventual global winners; recognising winners from each Site; and recognising the hundreds of individuals and teams who were nominated for what they did – and how the did – in 2016 for their friends and colleagues, their clients and projects, and ultimately for patients.
The event itself is one of my highlights of the year. But it’s a culmination of many things. The principal one being the amazing work that is done every day in every location by everyone. Every single story described in the nominations is inspiring…and they are often moving and are always uplifting. It is impossible not to smile when I sit and read them. Pride, delight, humility, excitement – all strong emotions. All great emotions to feel.
We know the sort of contribution recognised in these nominations happens all the time, but in most organisations it is less obvious. More often our focus inevitably tends to be on solving big problems, sorting major issues. But although these acts of heroics are very important, they are but a small part of what happens every day in any organisation…in our organisation.
Every day every organisation has so many people who do great things because they can, because they want to and because their teams, their colleagues, their projects and their partners need them to. Actions that are seldom requested let alone expected, but actions that always make a difference. Actions that make a difference to not just the work we do, but to the environment and culture in which we work…in effect how we do the work
In our event last week we listened to stories of these actions being recognised and captured in the nominations. Nominations that are made our people about their friends and colleagues.
All the categories are outstanding, but the highest number of nominations we received – by a long way – were for the Heart and Soul of the year. There is a long citation describing this award, but the last line captures the essence…‘They tend to be modest in their approach but are insightful about others…our work place would not be the same without them.’
And when we announced these winners there was even more applause, more cheers, and more emotion on the call. For the winners and the nominees.
Our meeting finished a few minutes early…which gave me time to prepare for my next call. This was good news. Those few minutes gave me time to come back down to earth…to let my adrenaline dissipate…to regain my composure. That’s OK – I choose my words carefully when I say ‘…one of my highlights of the year’ – it would be more worrying if a session like this didn’t raise me up.
I sent out the announcement communicating the winners later that day. The only delay being down to us wanting to be certain that the link we included to allow access to every single nomination worked.
I was inspired and I felt proud. I still am.