Friday, 11 July 2008

An Award and a Reward

A guest post from Svati Bhogle of TIDE, 2008 Energy Champion in the Ashden Awards.
Some time, this time last year, when I was contemplating an application from TIDE to the Ashden awards, I mused over the usage of the word award and how different it was from the word reward. I understood that an award was more about an honour, a medal, a decoration but otherwise did the two words mean the same thing or were they different?

In the context of TIDE I redefined the words perhaps for my own convenience. I told myself that an award was more about recognition (especially by peers), giving the organization more credibility and exposure enabling it to extend its reach. Or an award is all about extension. A reward on the other hand is perhaps an incentive or a gift. In the case of TIDE the reward has always been our ability to bring on a smile, wipe a tear or smoothen a brow. In order obtain that reward we had to spend time, energy, money with people who mattered the most to us. So we were very focused on the intention – perhaps missing out on the extension aspects. But then should we not make extension our focus as that would enable use to bring on more smiles and one day eliminate tears?

This thought process, driven by the Chairman of TIDE enabled a clear elaboration of the road map and made the task of writing the Ashden application easy. I set for myself some guidelines when writing the Ashden application. These were:

  • Be clear about the substance that should be communicated
  • Communicate well through simple sentences demonstrating clarity of thought without being ornate
  • Be precise in what you write, avoid using general terms that conceal more than reveal
  • Argue your case logically and ensure that there are no contradictions in the submission so that the jury does not have to constantly flip pages and try and to unearth the truth.
  • Manage the word count to the extent process.

As we moved ahead through the various rounds, other messages that I had for myself were:
  • A review of the work of the past winners was enough evidence to suggest that the system works and brings out the best. So trust and respect the judging process.
  • Do not worry about the end result. You have the reward already, if not the award.

It was great however to get the award, the media coverage, the goodwill from expected and unexpected quarters, the linkages and other support that comes with the award. We now look forward to being both extensive and intensive in the goals that we set for ourselves.

Thank you Ashden.

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