CEO Blog

First Amongst Equals?

Anne Marie Forsyth, CEO, CCA


This week Elise Christie, the British Olympian speed skater, sounded heartbroken in her tearful interview shortly after crashing out of her race in Pyeongchang. Expectations for her to win were high after her disqualification four years ago.
A radio debate followed raising the question about the pressure that sportspeople face today; the public
expect nothing less than outright wins. 
Do we overestimate the importance of winning? The example was given of Boris Becker, who when defending his Wimbledon title some years ago was unexpectedly beaten. His famous quote to an expectant press was ‘No one died’.

Winning of a different type was under the spotlight at our annual judges’ summit at CCA HQ in Glasgow this week. We met to consider refinements required to CCA Excellence Awards 2018 due to launch on 1 March.
There are 29 judges, all senior practitioners from 
public and private sectors with a massive collective wealth of experience of ‘what good looks like’. The group were unanimous in agreeing that the bar had been raised significantly over the last few years, and how incredibly close finalists were in terms of scores. 
How to ensure that these finalists are recognised and rewarded almost as much as an overall winner requires a delicate balance of sensitivity and creativity.
CCA awards are coveted by many leading global brands. In addition, we also recognise that there are many examples of innovation in customer service in local government, and smaller organisations whose flexibility and agility in approach can offer innovative ideas for transformation. At the end of the day winning is important, but so is the process of collaborative learning, entering, getting feedback and networking to accelerate improvements.
We have learned lots from our judges; not least the need to remove complexity from our awards process and how to appeal to new audiences. Ultimately the overall winners from the hundreds of award submissions will be all of us as customers who get to experience real verified improvements. Read the outputs from the session here
When it comes to the awards dinner on 15 November, competitive human natures will 
of course be difficult to quell, so the best advice is to learn from the actors at the Academy Awards and Oscars; they are truly masters of disguised delight when missing the big win – see some top tips from George Clooney here.
Depending on your temperament it’s either, ‘it’s not about the winning, it’s about the taking part’ or ‘Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing’. 
Whatever your nature, have a winning weekend!

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