And The Winner Is…Handling Award Mistakes With Grace

For a long time I’ve shared the Oscars award process with people for different examples of how people might look at their own formal, best-of-the-best, award programs.

After 89 years of increasingly lengthy, and sometimes boring awards events, the Oscar bubble of perfection was finally burst last nights with a big snafu. It became apparent when Warren Beatty read the wrong Best Picture winner as ‘La La Land’ when in reality the movie ‘Moonlight’ won.

Yet, the Oscar Awards Ceremony still stands as an example of how you can handle mistakes even at a major awards event like the Oscars.

Let’s examine the mistakes more closely, look at how everyone handled the situation, and see what lessons we can all learn from this Oscar-level error. (more…)

7 Steps To Working More Collaboratively With Each Other

There has been a lot of talk, media articles and research lately about the interesting topic of “collaboration”.

Collaboration is simply the practice of willingly working together towards a common goal to meet some specific need for the benefit of the company.

Often, when you think about collaboration, you are immediately mindful of simply working with your colleagues who you are most familiar with.

But the challenge comes when you are forced into situations where you have to collaborate with others from other across different departments or even organizations.

For those of us with children or grandchildren, sometimes this collaboration across departments is like watching kids learning to play together in the same sandbox.

You just might hear some squawking between a few individuals and you could even see some kicking up of sand.

To make it really work, collaboration has some basic requirements that must be followed if you are going to be a successful collaborator.

Consider the following seven items for a smoother collaborative outcome.


Recognition Tip #34: Never forget people’s anniversaries.

A person’s anniversary is so important because they always remember it every single year. Your job is to also remember these special days in their lives. Buy a supply of assorted cards for your employees – cover birthdays, personal and company milestone anniversaries. Strive to find the “perfect” card that is just right for each person you work with. Make it extra important to write a special and personalized note inside. This adds value and meaning with sending your card.

No Matter Where You Go, Appreciate People

By virtue of their formal titles, leaders have a duty to acknowledge people wherever they are and wherever they go within the organization.

And for that matter, they even represent the organization as soon as they step outside of the company doors.

It can be making sure to give the simple pleasantries and greetings in the hallway or on the elevator. Making time for the informal chat in the cafeteria or before a meeting begins.

Leaders must always be on as far as seeking recognition giving opportunities.

No matter where you are or wherever you go as a leader you must make an extra effort to appreciate people and their contributions.

Appreciating people wherever you are takes focus and intention. (more…)

Instant recognition really does mean right away.

Don’t delay in acknowledging someone for their positive contributions. Waiting for the perfect moment to make a recognition presentation may actually cause you to miss out on the real opportunity of creating your own perfect recognition moment. 
Don’t miss out on making someone feel valued or acknowledging his or her achievements.

3 Things You Gotta Have In Your Recognition Strategy

No matter where in the world I have been and asked to conduct a Recognition Strategy session – whether in Columbus, Ohio or Mumbai, India – the end product has always been amazement at the simplicity and depth of what the people in the room just created.

What is a recognition strategy?

It is a written declaration of what leaders in an organization believe recognition really is and what it means to them. It also shares why they intend to practice recognition giving for the benefit of employees, for their customers and even for their shareholders.

Going into these sessions everyone involved always thinks they know exactly what recognition is.

Surprise! Not so. It often takes a little bit of education first to differentiate between rewards and recognition before we can proceed.

So, what must you absolutely have in order to create a well-crafted Recognition Strategy?

There are actually three things that you must have in a Recognition Strategy: (more…)

Why Recognize Them When They’re Just Doing Their Job?

One of the standard complaints against recognition that some people make, is if people are doing their jobs, why do you need to recognize them?

A good friend of mine likens this to someone saying, “I love you!” to their partner when they propose to them and then never saying it again. When the partner desperately asks after a year together, “How come you never say how much you love me anymore?” the response is simply, “I told you when I first proposed. Why do I have to say it again?”

It get’s worse when the diehard cynics in the room confront the need for employee recognition by saying things like, “We pay them well enough, what more do they want?”

Yet, for many people, though not everyone, there is an inherent need to feel that they’re making a difference. They want to know that their contributions are valued and appreciated by others.

I am going to tackle this question the best way I can by painting a picture and letting you decide.

Remember the question: Should you be recognizing people when they are “just doing their job?” (more…)

Do You Really Maintain A Culture With Recognition?

I have written before about stopping people from creating a “this or that” culture.

In fact, in the early stages of my career, I used to deliver a course called “Making A Real Recognition® Culture”.

Now I refute this belief I once stated.

You only need one culture.

Your culture is your company’s purpose, vision and values. It is the explicit way you do things where you work. It’s the common set of beliefs and appropriate behaviors everyone strives to follow.

You don’t need a culture of engagement, a culture of trust, a culture of collaboration, or a culture of growth, innovation, or change, for that matter.

You shouldn’t even have a recognition culture.

What you need is your very own culture – whatever it is you and your organization stand for.

But the question asked is whether recognition will help you maintain your organizational culture. (more…)

Recognition Tip #33: Send a chocolate bar message of Thanks.

Print up play-on-word chocolate bar wrappers of an employee’s favorite chocolate treat along with a message of appreciation. “Oh! John” (instead of “Oh! Henry” bar), “Wunder Gal” (in place of “Wunderbar”)…you get the idea. You could use sticky notes or careful rewrapping and write personalized words of praise or acknowledgment.