AB Thinks  →  26th September 2016

We won! So what?

I have written in the past about the real importance of awards.

It is not just the opportunity to celebrate with colleagues and clients, but to benchmark, measure and reflect. Did we set ourselves clear, tangible goals? Did we stop to check if the ball hit the back of the net or sailed over the crossbar? The awards season is a time to review our work and the process of creating it.

It is also a time to consider what success looks like.

At this year‰’s Institute of Internal Communication’s Awards, held last Friday at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on London’s South Bank, our invited clients – KPMG, the Post Office and Hitachi Rail – all walked away with glassware. It was by any standards a great night – three Class Wins and 13 Awards of Excellence, including a nomination for Best Agency.

It brings our total awards tally over the last five years to more than 50. Indeed, AB has won awards consistently since it was founded in 1964. Our trophy cabinet takes some dusting.

But success, it would appear, is subjective and fluid. The more we achieve, the more our expectations grow. Although the mood in the AB camp on Friday night was upbeat, the team felt we can and should accomplish far more.

This ambition is vital, especially for an agency that‰’s more than five decades old. Maturity can breed complacency. Being a long-established player in any industry can create a sense of entitlement. We’ve seen this before, particularly in the utility and finance sectors, when well-established players took too much for granted – their customers, the competition, the need to innovate. Gradually they saw their position weaken because tradition, familiarity and convention are no match for imagination, fortitude and drive.

So, I welcome our collective refusal to rest on our laurels. Whatever we achieve, we are still capable of more.