Would you want to win a beauty contest for your business? Or to put it another way, is an award as valuable if it has been won based on a public vote rather than judged? It’s a question I found myself musing over last week while at the Yorkshire Children of Courage Awards.

At that kind of award ceremony – which honours children and young people who face struggles on a daily basis that most of us can’t imagine – it wouldn’t matter to me at all whether the winners were voted for or chosen because they were all exceptionally deserving of the accolades heaped upon them. It is truly one of the most humbling experiences I’ve ever had. Even though this was my third time at the event, that emotion doesn’t fade.

But in a business context, my answer to the question is a little different.
My view on the best kind of business awards to win
If it was me, I’d want to win an award which signalled the quality of my business. If it was me I’d want to win an award which was genuinely an independent verification that our work, our service or something about our business was better than many others (on that occasion). If it was me, I wouldn’t want to lose to a business only because it was better able to leverage votes.

That’s my view based on the approach I would take for my business, because I would want someone to see I had won an award, check out how the award had been decided on and see that we hadn’t just won a popularity contest.

And yet, as I always say about awards, what matters is the strategic reason for [...]