Archive for May, 2012

7 Tips on Winning Awards – #7!

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Use metrics wisely.

Regardless of what type of award you’re applying for, metrics will undoubtedly be key.

You can’t just claim to be great and expect judges will believe you: you must provide proof, empirical evidence, objective measures.

And they can’t be just any objective measures, they have to be clear, accurate and compelling. You can’t vaguely toss around numbers and expect to impress a panel of experts.

Here’s a great example I used in a final project for the excellent Virtual Facilitator Trainer Certification course I recently took (nice employee benefits, right?). How would you answer this poll?:

The revamped sales training yielded $5 million in new revenue. Is that a good result for a sales training program?

A. Yes
B. No
C. It depends

If you answered C, give yourself a gold star. It depends. For starters, what was the goal?

If it was $2 million, fantastic. If it was $10 million, not so much.

They say content is king? With metrics, CONTEXT is king.

Let’s try that sentence again:

The revamped sales training yielded $5 million in new revenue, vs. a goal of $2.5 million.

Ah! Now we’re getting somewhere. There’s a basis for comparison – what you did vs. what you aimed to do.

But wait…what if you provided even more context?

The revamped sales training yielded $5 million in new revenue, vs. a goal of $2.5 million, and 2010 results of $1.75 million.

Even better – you beat the target AND significantly improved over last year.

To further show impact, you could indicate:

  • These results vs. industry benchmarks, if available (and superior)
  • Marketplace implications, such as out-selling competitors in the same category for the first time
  • Comparisons to your company’s other sales training programs, if warranted, e.g.: showed greatest improvement, had most significant impact on sales in 2011, biggest revenue boost in 100 years, etc.

Conclusion: to use metrics wisely, always put data in context. 

In other words, results vs.:

•Previous year/s
•Total (points, population, etc.)
•Previous version

And be sure to include all the implications of these fantastic results.

Thanks for reading and good luck!

This concludes the series, Seven Tips on How to Win Awards. I hope you’ve found it helpful in that it has inspired you to go for it – to tell your story and win recognition for your outstanding efforts.

I welcome your comments and feedback, either here or by e-mailing me at deb @ debarnoldink .com.


The rest of the series:


Tip #1: Know Who You’re Talking To

Tip #2: Read the Question

Tip #3: Start Early

Tip #4: Tell a Good Story

Tip #5: Keep it Simple

Tip #6: Be Succinct


Best Euphemism Ever?

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

As seen at the fabulous Ballard Farmers Market…











Learning Program and Team Awards 2009-2014


ASTD Excellence in Practice

Technical Training Award
Training Management Citation (for new programs)
Learning Technology Citation
Workplace Learning & Collaboration–Leadership Development (x2) Award, Citation
Workplace Learning & Collaboration–Onboarding Citation
Sales Enablement Citation

Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning

Best Custom Content Gold
Best in Learning Strategy and Governance Gold
Best Leadership Development Program Gold
Best Innovation in Learning Technology Silver
Best Leadership Sales Training Silver
Best Integration of Learning and Talent Management Bronze
Best Use of Games for Learning Bronze

Brandon Hall Technology Excellence

Best Advance in Social Learning Technology Gold

CLO Magazine Learning in Practice

Technology Innovation Gold, Division 1
Innovation Gold, Division 1
Business Impact Gold, Division 2
Business Impact Bronze, Division 2


Learning Organization Ranking Awards


American Society for Training & Development

ASTD BEST #1 (up from #32 in one year)
#2 (up from #37 in two years)

ELearning! Media Group

Learning! 100 #1 (first year on list)

Chief Learning Officer Magazine

LearningElite #1, #4

Training Magazine

 Training Top 125 #1, #2 (up from #41 in one year)