Eclipse Awards turns 14!
by Toby Barazzuol on Tuesday Apr 3, 2012

It's hard to believe that Eclipse Awards started 14 years ago this week in a 400 sq.ft office in Yaletown.  We've come a long way since then - gaining experience, learning, improving, experimenting, evolving, perfecting our craft, creating value, and making people happy.

We're lucky to be able to work with thousands of wonderful companies and organizations that also value happiness in the workplace and appreciating their people!  It's given us a unique perspective on the power of recognition and what it means to nurture your social capital.

As we approach our work with a broader, long-term perspective, it's encouraging to see so many new projects and ideas coming to life through Eclipse Awards.  The past year has been amazing as we've watched the seeds we planted in previous years start to blossom. Some of the highlights include:

What's next for Eclipse Awards?  We'll certainly continue to share our experiences on the power of recognition and the importance of happiness in the workplace.  We'll continue to explore how to create more value while using ever fewer resources because this is the essence of sustainability for us.  And we'll continue to cultivate the idea of building stronger communities and developing community champions through recognition. Finding a way to mix these ingredients together in a magical way is the passion that drives us!

So in keeping with our tradition, we wanted to share 14 of the most important things that we've learned over the past 14 years:

1. Treat everyone with equal respect
We may have different jobs and responsibilities, but in the end, we are all simply people trying to make our way in this world.  The energy we put out is the energy we receive back.

2. Your people are your greatest asset
Work with great people, let them do their job, and find ways to make sure they feel happy, engaged and appreciated.  These are the people that will work hard for you, generate ideas for you, solve problems for you...or not.  Recognize their efforts and appreciate them!

3. Recognition is powerful
It speaks to a basic human need that we all have to feel valued and appreciated and part of a community.  Recognition empowers people and creates new opportunities for them.  It helps engage them in your community and culture.  Happy people make companise and  organizations stronger.

4. Put your clients’ minds at ease
Find out all of the things that might worry your clients, then put systems and policies in place to address them.  Erase any worries from their minds.  See #5.

5. Be bold & daring
If you make a guarantee, make it a strong one and stand behind it.  If you embrace technology or sustainability, do it in a way that sets you apart from others.  Businesses are amazing vehicles – think outside the box and unleash your creativity!

6. Embrace Awesomeness
“Going green” is simply the evolution of how we do business and how we choose to relate to one another and our planet. Understanding sustainability is the single greatest investment that you can make towards your future success, but it's not an end itself.  At Eclipse, striving for sustainability is simply a part of our commitment to being awesome!

7. Choose simplicity over complexity
Wherever possible, remove excess and make things easier for everyone. Design simple systems and simple policies. Leonardo Da Vinci said  “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”.

8. If you make a mistake, take responsibility & fix it quickly (without complaining)
It’s inevitable – at some point a mistake will happen.  When it does, we accept responsibility and do our best to fix it, whatever the cost.  It’s how we handle ourselves when things go wrong that is the most important.

9. Enjoy yourself!
Have fun with the people you work with and the people you work for!  Take care of business and make things happen, but don’t take yourself too seriously :)

10. “Full effort is full victory”
Mahatma Gandhi said, "Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment.  Full effort is full victory".  Take satisfaction in your commitment to an idea or a task - give it everything.  This is even more important than the eventual outcome.  Commit yourself to service and to making people happy.

11. Get involved in your community
A business is more than something to simply generate dollars.  It’s about putting your time and resources into enriching the social, environmental and cultural aspects of the community you’re located in.  This is how we will change the definition of value, as businesses become engines of community regeneration.

12. Collaborate
It’s hard to do everything alone, and not much fun. Find creative new ways to work with your staff, your suppliers, other organizations in your community, even your competitors.  All business happens within an ecosystem, and we can accomplish a lot more together than we can alone.

13. Don’t base your decisions simply on dollars
In business school, they teach that everything comes down to money.  However in reality, the truly magical and wonderful things happen when we de-prioritize money and focus on other things such as beauty, happiness, integrity, community and creating memorable experiences.  See our commitment to the Living Wage.

14. Compete on value, not price
Our world is changing quickly and we need to find new ways to live together and with our planet. See #13, but when we purchase solely on price we are forcing companies to continually cut quality.  Instead, we need to make our decisions based on the full spectrum of value that a company creates: financial, social, environmental and cultural - these are all important considerations for successful companies of the future.

So there you have it, the essence of our style of business at Eclipse Awards.  Today more than ever, people want to feel valued and appreciated.  We're rediscovering the imprortance of the person within the organization and it's a powerful insight.

What will the next 14 years hold?  We're not sure, but we're certainly ready for it!

What are the important lessons that you've learned?  What are your secret insights?  We'd love to hear from you!



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