Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Comp Laude Nominations are Open

It is that time of year again. Time to make nominations for the Comp Laude awards. This concept is the brain child of the late David DePaolo. Comp Laude started about 6 years ago, and has received predominantly positive feedback in the workers' compensation marketplace. At it's root, is the foundational belief that there are positive people and companies in this system that are making a difference. 

David expressed his Comp Laude Award vision in various forums. In one of my favorite DePaolo posts, Being Batman, He said
So I took those critiques (of workers' compensation) and suggested that if indeed one does something good for workers' compensation then that person or entity should be recognized with a Comp Laude nomination.
It is one of my favorite posts because David also suggested there that we are all different, colored by "individual experiences" and thus having different perceptions. David was always about better understanding each other. This post explained his personal "life algorithm" which he said "bends each experience into a positive factor." In other words, look for the lining instead of focusing on the cloud. That is easy to say, but hard to do. In the years I knew David, however, he was adept at it. He never hesitated to point me towards the positive. 

David referred in Batman to a poster that inspired him, and after which the post was titled. He said it
depicts a child in a Batman costume. The caption is, "Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman."
And that, David said, "summarizes my philosophy quite well." David was about accentuating the positive. And his mental attitude and inspiration lives on in the Comp Laude  Awards. I have written about Comp Laude before. It has been discussed on the WorkCompWireSedgwick ConnectionBusiness WireGood News Work Comp, and Bob's Cluttered Desk, among others. The volume of good press speaks volumes for his vision and legacy.

Good News Work Comp calls the Laude Gala a "must see," that honors "those that are changing the story of workers' comp." Many others have made similarly complimentary comments about these awards. There have also been critics. Some have challenged the notion that Comp Laude is worthwhile, or that any educational program is worthwhile. Some critics have been derisive and dismissive. I perceive some of those criticisms seem to relate to individual disappointment over the lack of success of particular nominations. Remember, not every nominee will win, and unanimity on winners may be elusive at best. You cannot decide who wins, but you alone can decide if someone is nominated. 

I am not here to tell you that critics are wrong, and I certainly respect their perspectives and conclusions. But faced with their Eeyore perspectives, David would not have missed a beat; he would have focused his inner Pooh. Responding to such criticism or doubt, I can hear him with something like "you know what they say Judge, 'there's no such thing as bad publicity,'" of course quoting P.T. Barnum. David always pointed me at the positive. 

So, the 2017 nominations are open. When I saw that on Twitter last week, I immediately thought of a few people worthy of nomination (I did not mention some like Mark Pew, and Dwight Johnson and Becky Curtis, and others because they have already won), and I tweeted that list out. In ten minutes, I was able to suggest 13 worthy nominees from the top of my head. What these folks all have in common is that I have seen them strive to do good for this industry. I harbor no illusions that any of them is perfect or infallible. That is not the point. The point, as David says, is
that if indeed one does something good 
That does not mean that they change the world. That does not mean that they re-vamp or re-design an entire process. Your nominee need not summit Everest, swim the English Channel, or wrestle live alligators to qualify. Your nominee needs to do "something good." After a few decades in this business, I have learned that there are many examples of people, employers and service providers falling down. Who among us has not? There are also a great many stories of people getting back up, striving to do "something good."

In ten minutes, I thought of 13 worthy nominees. You cannot tell me that you cannot think of one. Everyone that reads this post knows someone that has persevered, struggled for the benefit of a person, a process, a program, or an ideal. Everyone knows someone that is worthy of a nomination. 

David "inspired a genuine legacy of highlighting and acknowledging individuals and companies that exemplify all that’s good in #workcomp," according to Good News Work Comp. The top category Laude award, the "Summa Comp Laude" was renamed last year in honor of David, and is now known as the "David J DePaolo Award," which is only fitting. 

Last year, Richard Victor of Sedgwick was presented that award. Mark Pew of Prium was presented the Magna Comp Laude. The complete list of winners is posted on WorkCompCentral. The list includes a pharmacist, a nurse case manager, a therapist, a claims professional, attorneys, philanthropy, an injured worker, and industry leadership. No matter whose name is running through your head right now, there is a category for appropriate recognition. 

Everyone that reads this post knows someone that deserves recognition. Everyone knows someone that has done "something good." Since David is not here to write a 2016 blog post and remind you of that, I wrote this one myself, an admittedly poor substitute. But, consider yourself reminded. Consider yourself encouraged to nominate someone that deserves recognition for their will, heart, dedication, determination, caring, performance or participation. 

Nominate someone that you think has done "something good." Not everyone will win of course, but your nominee will be honored to be listed as a nominee

As Ferris Beuller reminded us eloquently in 1986: 
life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
Don't miss this opportunity to recognize integrity, effort, and good with a Comp Laude nomination. You never know how long people will be in your life. So take the opportunity to recognize their contributions and achievements today.

Photo courtesy of WorkCompCentral. 

Don't be a Cameron Frye. Surely you have seen something "good" to report today? As Wayne Newton (or Ferris) would sing, Danke Schoen ("Thank you very much") for making your nominations.

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