Lucky Nominations

Posted: 8th June 2011

The London Olympics is going to be the biggest spectacle to light up and inspire Britain for a generation and you too can be a part of it. The Olympic torch relay is coming to every corner of the UK so that we all get a chance to take part in the celebrations. The organisers are looking for 8,000 ordinary people to carry the torch and the process for nominating somebody you know to be a torchbearer is now live.

They are looking for people who have contributed to their local communities and enriched the lives of others in some way. If you know someone who you think deserves to be considered, you are asked to nominate them by the 29th June, describing in about 150 words why you think they should be given the honour.

It's what happens next that I find somewhat mean. All nominees are entered into a ballot to create a long-list and it's only after that point that anyone actually reads and assesses their nomination to arrive at the final list.

The reasons for their nominations will not even be read if they don't make it through this lucky dip process. You think of an inspiratonal deserving person, perhaps someone who has dedicated all their spare time for the last 20 years to a local sports club, you carefully contruct an honest but dazzling 150-word description of why it would mean the world to them to carry the Olympic torch. Nobody reads it, they aren't drawn from the ballot and that's the end of it.

It reminds me of a story a friend of mine once told me about a job that came up in her organisation (best I keep it's name anonymous). It was a great post and lots of people applied. Her manager who was recruiting the post had a pile of CVs and applications to review. My friend said "Wow you have a lot of reading to do", at which point he took the stack of papers, split it roughly into two and threw one half of them in the bin saying "I hate unlucky people!"

The Olympic organisers don't have a great record with ballot processes at present and I think this one is particularly unfair because this time it's not just a set of credit card details, this is personal.


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