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Champions Within

An Award Program that recognizes the work of specific individuals and project teams for their achievements in motivating and nurturing innovation for social & environment good WITHIN their respective companies.

Photo of An Old Friend
17 11

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The purpose is to align the incentive for “doing good” not directly with the company, which is often an abstract network of individuals, but to inspire the individual project teams themselves, most of which are not comprised of executives with broad corporate missions but lower and mid-tear employees addressing the daily challenges of advancing on a new generation of business.

An esteemed Award Program celebrating the accomplishments of small and medium sized “project groups” is a poignant way of directly encouraging hard work by inspired employees towards advancing social good within their companies. The nature of such a reward, celebrated with the appropriate style of PR and choice of prizes would encourage people at other companies to work with conviction towards projects of their own social and environmental interest. The theory is that in order to move whole companies towards social good you must inspire the people within.

A selection committee of accomplished leaders would pursue the most compelling nominations through a series of interviews and discussions. Continental Committees would filter applicants by industry and industry leaders would select winning teams based upon industry knowledge and the resources provided to them by the nomination process. 

Continental Finalists would be rewarded with recognition and cash and then continue to an International Committee for a final competition to award the winning company's team a Grand Prize.

Selection is not about the quantity of votes (evening the playing field among large and small companies) but about the nature of the "project groups" achievement and process for success. A focus on "Self Consistency" would be determined by each industry panel of judges, in advance of the competition's nomination round so that specific target criteria would be directly addressed through the nomination process.

Outward recognition for personal achievements within a company is highly under utilized as a tool for motivating companies. This concept attempts to acknowledge the champions within!


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Photo of DeletedUser


How does the idea of a business for world benefit show up in this concept? I can see individuals acting in ways that deliver social benefit but it is unclear how this part of a broader business strategy.

Photo of An Old Friend

I agree that it is not clear yet, I have the following in mind:

The people who comprise a business can be inspired in so many ways. Traditionally, a vision and its targets are passed down from the hierarchy to employees at middle and lower levels who should be aspiring to meet and exceed those targets because they are clear and beneficial for the company and hopefully beneficial for the world.

An intelligent company listens to all its employees because each individual has a unique perspective on the same company, informed by his/her aptitude, experience and imagination. "Champions Within" wagers that by adding new incentive to the expression of employee ideas to voice and engage projects for world benefit, that the vision and targets set by their companies will "organically" change from the bottom up... grassroots yada yada.

So many people are frustrated by how little their role at work directly helps others. I have more faith in these employees at persuading their companies to do "business for world benefit" than i do in companies persuading their employees at the mercy of investors.
"Champions Within" is a fledgling attempt to galvanize many employees' dissatisfaction and promote expression of world-benefiting-ideas upward through the company.

It can be said that "Champions Within" still lacks sufficient incentive, that "recognition" and "prizes" aren't enough to manifest a change in employees expressing their ideas... definitely open to improvements!!!

thanks again :)

Photo of DeletedUser


I have always felt that people are motivated when they grow and develop as people. Maybe what we need comapnies to do is to create enough "space" and opporunity within the workplace for employees to grow and develop. I wonder if the companies that create the spaces and opportunities them should be recognized for their efforts and should be encouraged to describe how they do it.

Photo of An Old Friend

yeah, after all, i think that would be a whole lot easier than giving awards to individuals... but i am hesitant to suggest another award for companies... i feel like there are so many. how can we make one that truly impacts the way business gets done and is not simply a forum for the recognition of good deeds (which should be made a natural part of business)... and i don't like certifications on boxes because there are already so many and they are always suggested... certainly there is room for something very innovative... but after some good thought, i think an award program (such as the ones i have thought of so far) are not be the right approach.
i like some of the ideas that target investors, but i think it will be difficult to actually act on that level...

what if a 3rd party website gave discounts on products that met certain "world benefit standards" to help more consumers buy/demand them? the funds could be raised by asking companies to buy into the program with the chance to be listed on the site... kind of like a but for goooood. :]

how can high unemployment in usa and europe be utilized?

will commit the problem to my dreams tonight and see what they can come up with :)

i think it's time to move onto a new concept!
thanks for your feedback

Photo of Ashley Jablow

Really interesting discussion here! Roger's point about recognizing businesses that give employees the 'space' to innovate is a great one, but I also like John's points about going beyond a certification or checked box to illustrate this kind of company action. John, I wonder: in the time since you first submitted this concept, have you thought more about how to recognize those 'champions within'?

Photo of An Old Friend

Companies have mechanisms (such as awards, bonuses) that reward desired behavior. In particular, it is interesting to see these artifacts on desks and walls throughout the organization. Once, I was in my boss' office, and asked him about the award that was proudly displayed on his wall, above his desk. We talked about it for an hour. (Side note: I think that giving the award publicly, in front of other employees, is important; it sends a signal about what is valued...)

Photo of An Old Friend

the part of the idea i like is that individuals receive direct recognition for their world benefit work. however, i full believe it is difficult to streamline a process of rewarding individuals.

a way around this is to avoid outright recogniation and provide a support infrastrucure across companies for individuals on world benefit projects.

so if an employee at whirlpool needs low cost pumps for sanitation projects in developing regions, he or she can post a link to the project on multiple social media platforms (along with with basic contact information and things whirlpool and the project are keen on collaborating for) and people from other organizations pipe up when there is an opportunity. It might inspire more individuals to collaborate into world benefit projects if they can share information with other companies.
While it doesn't explicitly REWARD individuals, it may help the performance of world benefit projects and spread collaboration.

Photo of Mike Hatrick

This is an excellent discussion - I had the same impression as Roger when I read the idea.

I feel that the risk is that the concept as described rewards the individual and as such there could be a clash of interests between the individual and their employer.

If the concept was developed as has also been suggested that the business gets some form of kudos (which is the intent of this challenge) then I think it becomes more feasible.

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