However we were not announced as winners of the award. This disappointment was further compounded when one of the judges (seated at our table) told us in disbelief ‘this simply cannot be, the independent judging panel voted for BrewDog as clear winners of the award’.
Events took a further twist when the people who got given the award refused to accept it as it clearly had ‘BrewDog’ engraved on the trophy as winners.
On Tuesday, 2 days after the award, I (James) took a phone call from Kenny Mitchell, Chairman of the BII in Scotland and Chairman of the Award Committee explaining the situation. To directly quote Kenny:
‘We are all ashamed and embarrassed about what happened. The awards have to be an independent process and BrewDog were the clear winner’
‘Diageo (the main sponsor) approached us at the start of the meal and said under no circumstances could the award be given to BrewDog. They said if this happened they would pull their sponsorship from all future BII events and their representatives would not present any of the awards on the evening.’
We were as gobsmacked as you by Diageo’s behaviour. We made the wrong decision under extreme pressure. We should have stuck to our guns and gave the award to BrewDog.‘
As for Diageo, once you cut through the glam veneer of pseudo corporate responsibility this incident shows them to be a band of dishonest hammerheads and dumb ass corporate freaks. No soul and no morals, with the integrity of a rabid dog and the style of a wart hog.
In my time working there, I must personally have seen years-worth, probably decades-worth (and, from afar perhaps even centuries-worth) of work simply discarded because it turned out not to be ‘right’ or ‘good’. This was done with very little animosity towards the people who did the work. There was a distinct difference between working on something that turned out bad and had to be discarded (fine – admirable, even) and doing bad work (bad).
Of course, no-one should set out to fail, that would clearly be ridiculous. Apple doesn’t either, but it does accept that things don’t always turn out as great as they were initially imagined; that’s just how a creative process works.
I think this highlights two things that many other organisations would do well to learn. First, what you have is what it is, it’s not the effort that was put into it. If it’s not worth keeping, it’s not worth keeping. Second, if you want the best results, you need to give good people the room to start over without feeling like they are failing.
“I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married,”
Maybe Obama finally figured out Republicans weren’t going to vote for him after all.
And this after about a week of people wondering wether Biden went off-script when he voiced support for gay marriage. You could say that Joe Biden, in a classic gaffe, started a chain of events that moved democracy forward in America. Some more suggestions for Biden: I’m absolutely comfortable with marijuana; I’m absolutely comfortable with single-payer health care.
Actually, Biden’s remark on the weekend was part of an A/B testing campaign.