The nominations are coming in thick and fast, female involvement is close to reaching an all time high (as posted previously) and, next week, mobile billboards will be hitting major CBDs (thanks to your input).
However, one or two trends have emerged that have surprised me.
Last week, I posted several emails to ‘movers and shapers’ in some of Australia’s smaller capital cities, places unusually under-represented among our 2009 nominees, inviting them to spread the word.
(My message was simple: Get your local innovators nominating! Success breeds success, don’t you know?)
But that’s not the trend that has surprised me.
No. The big shock, this year, has been the very low number of ‘Micro Businesses Award’ nominations received (so far), closely followed by a comparatively low turn-out for the ‘AusIndustry Innovation Award’.
Historically, these are the two most popular award categories – they attract the most attention and most entries.
At the other end of the spectrum, nominations for the ‘Big Kahuna Award’ have jumped radically, from our second lowest nomination category to our highest.
What is happening!?
I’m guessing that the small businesses (4 people or less), which usually apply for the Micro Business Award, are too busy this year, working under-the-pump, around-the-clock, while the innovators are ‘sticking to their knitting.’
This is sad. Truly sad.
Because, if there is anything most small or innovative businesses need this year, it is a win. When morale is low, smart bosses look for reasons to celebrate. (We know this first hand. It’s been a tough year for media.)
And we also know that economic downturns bring innovation upturns. Necessity is the mother of invention, right? Australian businesses are being smarter this year, brimming with innovation. And we know this because you tell us.
The Big Kahunas know this. (That’s why they’re big.)
But where are the smaller, nimble, highly innovative companies? Because these are the organisations that have the most to gain.