LinkedIn Business Awards – Pointless!
This sounded like a really good idea – LinkedIn, a place where all high calibre business professionals congregate, produce business awards (in partnership with Webex) in the following categories;
- Start up
- Leader of the Year
- Business Innovation
- Rising Star
What a great idea – this could be like the Oscars for a European business community on LinkedIn, how exciting!
Until you see the list of finalists!
Now I don’t mean to be disrespectful to the individuals concerned, I am sure they are all very capable but are they the best that LinkedIn has to offer out of over 11 million users throughout Europe?
If this was the Oscar nominations it would be equivalent to the academy announcing “And the next nomination for best actor is…………….William Roche for his stunning performances as Ken Barlow in errrr…..something called Coronation Street from England!! (As everyone in audience looks at each other in stunned confusion) OK I know the Oscars are worldwide but you get the point!
So how has this happened? Well, LinkedIn had all the best intentions I’m sure but the selection process is flawed. For a start anyone can nominate themselves (apart from the rising star category which is likely to be a nomination from a relative, partner of colleague!). Secondly the initial shortlist voting is by normal LinkedIn members – a great idea if people only voted for those they believe should win but this has proved to be far from the case.
LinkedIn’s own guidance on this states;
“To win, you’ll have to be a master of collaboration, someone who revels in the possibilities afforded by sharing ideas and one who can provide tangible proof of success”.
In reality what has happened is that those nominees who feel they have a chance of winning have been desperately canvassing (or mastering collaboration!) anybody and everybody they can to accumulate votes. I have seen numerous status updates, group posts and direct messages pleading with me to vote for them – some from people I know (1st tier) and others from 1st tier connections asking me to vote for their 1st tier connections i.e. someone I may not have even heard of before!
Whilst I can understand their eagerness to get votes, these nominees ought to think for a minute about how much this devalues the awards. What value is there in winning an award that merely honours those who canvass the hardest for votes?
The reality is that this contest has now got nothing to do with the quality and capability of the nominees.
Now this may all sound very negative but I genuinely think LinkedIn have missed a great opportunity here – if this had been a shortlist selected by a panel of experts then it would have some credibility – maybe they could have let the users vote from this list but they have chosen to do it the other way around (the final winners are selected by a panel) and this has made the award worthless in my opinion.
Hopefully lessons will be learnt and we can look forward to a credible awards process next year where the winners really do have something to be proud of.