Q&A: Stevie® Awards Insights & Tips from Judge Mahmoud Mansi

Posted by Maggie Gallagher on Thu, Apr 28, 2022 @ 11:23 AM

Mahmoud Mansi is the Founder of HR Revolution Middle East Magazine – the media partner for the Middle East & North Africa Stevie Awards. As a professional, Mahmoud has worked in management consulting, auditing, education, training and development, project management, community development and sustainability, arts and culture, event management, business journalism, and media management.

Mahmoud is a global public speaker. He has traveled and spoken at conferences in Nigeria, Sudan, India, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. He has spoken eight times at TEDx, in addition to speaking at global human resources conferences such as SHRM TECH, ATD Middle East & HRSE.

He is the author of “Sustaining a 360° Agile Workplace: A Millennial Perspective” in addition to eight other books in entrepreneurship, social sciences, literature, gender, and culture dialogue.

As an activist, Mahmoud Mansi has won several awards such as the “Sea of Words Literary Award 2010” from the Anna Lindh Foundation in Spain, the “Culture Shift Award 2013” from Egypt’s British Council, and the “Brand Ambassador Award 2018” from His Excellency Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Alleem Knowledge Center in UAE.

Mahmoud 1Besides participating as a Stevie Awards judge, Mahmoud Mansi has been acting as a brand ambassador to encourage more organizations and professionals to join the Stevie Awards either as nominees or jury members. He has published more than 30 articles in HR Revolution Middle East Magazine, in addition to being featured in Dostor Newspaper in Egypt, received an honorable mention at the university he works at; The Arab Academy, for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport, and was interviewed on Egypt’s National T.V. speaking about the award, judging process and sharing case studies from award-winning entries.

Connect with Mahmoud Mansi on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mahmoud-mansi-hr-philosopher-014b0a121/?originalSubdomain=ae

The Stevie Awards asked Mahmoud a few questions about his judging experience:

The Stevie Awards: Mahmoud, as someone who has various experiences in judging, what makes The Stevie® Awards distinctive?

Mahmoud Mansi: I believe the Stevie® Awards is simply a pioneer for various reasons and I am enthusiastic to share in-depth details.

1-Geographic & Demographic Outreach: The Stevie® Awards embraces, promotes, and welcomes diversity, business innovation, and excellence with a wide range of geographic and demographic outreach through its various awards: Middle East & North Africa Stevie® Awards, Asia-Pacific Stevie® Awards, German Stevie® Awards, The American Business Awards®, International Business Awards®, Stevie® Awards for Great Employers, Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service, and Stevie® Awards for Women in Business.

2-Diversity in Categories: The Stevie® Awards has a group of specialized categories for corporate, NGOs, governments, start-ups, and individuals, which encourages all different market segments to apply in what they think is their competitive advantage from products and projects to best practices in management. Also, the categories are annually updated according to new trends and market development.

3-Easy Entry Access: Interested individuals fill out the “Request an Entry Kit” form from the website, and will receive an email which contains all details regarding the categories, eligibility, and entry process. Also, unlike most trending awards, there is no entry fee to the Middle East & North Africa Stevie® Awards which encourages the business community in all its sectors to participate.

4-Great Customer Support & Guidance: There is a Stevie® Awards professional team dedicated to guiding nominees towards applying in the category that best suits their points of strength and this team provides support throughout the process if needed.

5-Accurate Judging Process: Nominees should feel secure as they are in good hands. The Stevie® Awards assure that the jury members are experts and professionals in their industry, in addition to having the judging process monitored and audited to assure quality and resilience. Another important point is that nominees can attach extra files to their main submission to emphasize on their application with further evidence and supporting documents.

The Stevie Awards: You have been judging the Stevie® Awards for three years now in a row, why do you find interesting in the experience?

Mahmoud Mansi: With each round, I feel enthusiasm and passion for discovering something new. I am always curious about the evolution of humanity and it is well reflected in innovation contests and awards. It is like reading the news to know what’s new in the business, only that these news updates are explicit to the Stevie® Awards Jury. Although each judge can review a minimum of 20 entries I always enjoy challenging myself to go the extra mile. I am looking forward to participating as a jury member in the upcoming years and discovering what further the evolution of humanity would bring to us.

The Stevie Awards: Why is it important for organizations to apply for business awards?

Mahmoud Mansi: Innovative organizations deserve to be well-recognized. It is the right of its customers and employees to know that their provider or their employer is unique in the market. However, contests and awards provide other advantages besides recognition and branding, such as healthy competition, benchmarking, promoting innovation and teamwork within the organization, and receiving constructive feedback from the judges who are experts in the industry in order to develop further.

The Stevie Awards: Can you share with us some tips for those who want to enter the Stevie Awards?

Mahmoud Mansi: I believe organizations and individuals need to consider several points as they apply for the Stevie® Awards. As a judge, I have noticed that sometimes there is a gap between innovative ideas and well-written proposals. Some entries are exceptionally innovative but are not well written and well presented, and other entries might have less innovative ideas however they are well organized and neat. As jury members, we focus on both. Indeed the Stevie® Awards promote innovation, yet as professionals and experts, we need to witness how this innovation has turned into a tangible outcome.

Here are some points that have to be considered when preparing for the award: innovative initiative, clear business case and objectives, impact on community and stakeholders, teamwork and engagement throughout the project implementation, change management, proposal writing style, project timeline, and efficiency, the return on investments, and the journey itself preferably documented with testimonials, pictures, and videos. Another important angle to consider throughout the proposal is the usage and reliability of data analytics tools including statistics, illustrations, and ratios in revealing results, in addition to having the proposal reviewed and edited by all relevant project leaders and stakeholders before submitting the final version to the Stevie Awards.

The Stevie Awards: What are the benefits of being a judge, and how do you apply to become one?

Mahmoud Mansi: Being selected or nominated to become a jury committee member is an honorable and distinctive position. It does not only reflect one’s expertise in a certain profession, but it also reflects that this person has high ethical standards and is well-recognized and trusted among his/her community.

Here are some benefits of being a judge at the Stevie® Awards:-

  • Self-Development & Awareness; learning about best practices in the industry and learning the new market trends and direction.
  • Recognition; during the judging process, the jury members get recognized on the Stevie® Awards website and by receiving a hardcopy judge certificate.
  • Profile; judging is a unique experience and it is added to one’s professional profile as an achievement.
  • Award Ceremony; all jury members are welcomed to attend the award ceremony, enjoy a spectacular night, socialize with award winners and other judges, and see the outcome of their work.
  • Win the Judges’ Lottery! $500 is randomly offered to two judges, from all those who score 30+ entries, plus two additional prizes of $1,000 to two judges, from all those who rate at least 60 nominations. The prizes change from year to year and between Stevie Awards competitions.
  • Receiving invitations for future judging opportunities.

For those who are having plans to judge at the Stevie® Awards, the following link has the details: https://stevieawards.com/you-be-judge , and make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated and it reflects your experience and competitive edge. Writing and publishing some articles on your profile is recommended.

The Stevie Awards: How can you develop yourself in order to remain a competent judge?

Mahmoud Mansi: I always try to become a competent judge by keeping pace with the new market trends and best practices by continuously working on consulting projects, reading books from iconic figures in the industry, watching TED Talks, getting enrolled in certification programs and workshops, attending conferences, in addition to reading opinion articles in blogs, interviews with industry leaders and academic papers. Besides working on developing my knowledge and experience, a judge is also an auditor, project manager, and business coach.

The Stevie Awards: What would you like to say to those who are not shortlisted or selected as award winners?

Mahmoud Mansi: Every organization that seeks development and works towards providing better services and quality products to its customers and smarter management systems to its employees, with a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach, is indeed a winner in the eyes of all its stakeholders. the Stevie® Awards will either grant an organization the chance to be recognized or provide tips that support the organization to further develop, and these are actually two different types of awards; recognition and development!

Another point to keep in mind is that many organizations can win the award title “today”, but true winners are the agile organizations that are able to sustain their initiatives and assure that they remain impactful on the business, employees, customers and the community.

Topics: Middle East Stevie Awards