For one of Canada’s top five large cities, receiving the right awards and rankings can be precious indeed. A critical element in building a great reputation, awards and rankings give third-party recognition that you have done something well. In 2013, I was asked to develop an awards strategy for The City of Edmonton. The goal here was that it had to be strategic and focus on the City’s areas of excellence and strength.

There were many different parts of this project. We selected five cities and looked closely at what awards and rankings they applied for and lessons learned. An inventory of those awards and rankings the City of Edmonton might consider was developed. Almost 60 telephone or face-to-face interviews were held with the City’s community and business leaders, municipal councillors, Mayor and the City’s senior leadership team. As well, an internal survey went out to branch managers and directors asking for their input.

From this research, I put together a series of recommendations, observations and a plan for the City’s awards strategy.