November 22, 2018
Andy Baldwin is one of our Lean Champions, and what greater waste is there than too many words? He has spread the use of plain English through our company, and most recently to our SOP’s. As a result WineWorks was nominated for New Zealand’s Plain English Awards for 2018.
Here is Andy’s report:
“A great evening was spent at the Plain English Awards Thursday November 15. It was a privilege to represent WineWorks and I was proud to display our logo on my shirt. The event was held at the City Gallery in Wellington. The MC was superb, the food and drink was great, and the venue was awesome.
I think it’s fair to say we were considerably overwhelmed on arrival by the company we were in, all heavy hitters in some pretty big public and private organisations. We certainly felt we were batting well above our average. In non-plain-English there was a ‘proliferation of Glitterati where ever one cast one’s oculars’. In plain English the place was full of ‘word-nerds’. On reflection, I think I was the only finalist who didn’t own the business, wasn’t CEO or a senior manager of the organisation. I believe this speaks volumes for the culture we have here at WineWorks, anyone can make a difference and do great things regardless of where you work in the business. That’s a real testament to us as an organisation and we should be damn proud of it. After the awards I had people coming up and asking me who I was. When they learned I was a finalist in the ‘champion’ category they were hugely impressed and wanted to know more about WineWorks, what we do and how we apply the plain English concept. This is great exposure outside the wine industry and fantastic to be recognized for our work.
While we did not take the Champion (or as Andrew Marshall likes to call it, ‘the grand poobah’) award, we came away with an ‘award of distinction’ as a runner-up. This is a huge honour considering the size of the other organisations in the final and the funding and experience they have. I am grateful I did not realise this award was the supreme award, until after the event, I was nervous enough just being there. Thanks Andrew for your comforting words during the awards.
The Champion award was taken out by the Ministry of Social Development. The judges place a lot of weight on the scale of the project and clearly MSD is huge, kudos to them for their hard work. They took out two awards on the night and a handful the year before. It’s great inspiration for us to keep developing our documents and our people. To have our work compared favourably against organisations like this is quite an honour.
Lastly, but definitely not leastly (is that a word?) a big shout out to everyone who helped with this. Shelly Davies gets a lot of the blame of course. Sue Whiteley, you know how much you helped and encouraged me. I am grateful to all the people across the business gave me feedback and input.
A special mention to Andrew. I don’t think he realised his contribution to this project until about a week ago when he read the nomination doc’s. It’s fair to say that a Manager who backs his people is a wonderful thing. Thanks Andrew, for your courage.