Excellence Award

Should an "Excellence Award" be given out in an annual Event despite that there is no potential candidate qualified for the Award? This is a "million dollar" question and delimma.

I was invited recently to be a party to a Professional Body's Annual Award Committee and there were mixed views.

There is a view which says "YES. An Award MUST be given out in an Award Night otherwise if there is no Award given out, the Professional Body would deem to have no member of calibre. It would be an utter shame for the Professional Body and the profession". Hmm ... it does not sound right as it lacks integrity and transparency.

However, if there is a necessity to give out an Award for the night, the Award should then be rebrand to something else and NOT an "Excellence Award".

To me if there is no candidate meeting the criteria for the "Excellence Award" then it should not be awarded. If it is to be awarded, it would mean that the Excellence Award is given out to the individual who is only the "best of the mediocre" whereas it should be the best among the best of the "crème de la crèmes".

Criteria set for "Excellence Award" must not be compromised neither should be "watered down" unless there are good and valid reasons like unrealistic criteria been set in the first place.

There should not be any unnecessary external influence in the decision making process as well. If the decision had been made, it should be respected by all! However, should an appeal against the decision of the Awards Committee is necessary, the appeal must follow due process and within the stipulated time frame with good and valid reasons. Using "political" influence to change the Awards Committee's decision is a "no-no".

The "unsuccessful" nominee, who did not win the Award, should also have the courage and the humility to accept the decision of the Awards Committee. This is also a desired value of a leader ie humility. Should the individual desires to seek reasons for the failure to win the Award, the individual could approach the Professional Body for the reasons and attempt for the Award again, wiser this time round, for the following year.

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