We’re a humble lot us New Zealanders, if we were going to have a slogan it would probably be “pull yer head in, you’re not an All Black”. Tall poppy, humility, call it what you want, but what it means is we have a great reputation overseas for being nice and approachable but sometimes we struggle to trumpet out own successes.

We shouldn’t though. Because there are huge numbers of Kiwi individuals and businesses succeeding and they should be allowed to talk proudly of that.

We’re proud because we have an amazing group of clients who were finalists at the recent Excellence in IT Awards. We put together nominations for five clients, four became finalists, and three won, two won the top awards. We’re proud of our amazing clients who do amazing things and we’re proud of the work we did in getting them to the awards.

But the sad thing is a number of organisations possibly didn’t bother to nominate themselves or didn’t feel right doing so. We got on the phone to our clients and said “hey we think that what you do is really excellent and there are these awards coming up and we think you should go for it.”

Then we sat down with them and talked about why they deserved to win and that was all reflected in the judges' comments for each of them which I’m going to replicate:

Excellence in Software: CricHQ

“The judges especially liked the team’s great technical leadership in its early adoption of crowdsourcing, and continuing to look for new opportunities to develop the product.”

Young IT Professional of the Year: Thomas Mitchell from Hunchbuzz

“All the finalists were amazing, but the judges found Thomas’ can-do attitude and sense of social responsibility humbling for someone in their early 20s. Operating at the intersection of innovation and entrepreneurialism, Thomas is an inspiration.”

New Zealand IT Professional of the Year: Victoria MacLennan from OptimalBI

“The judges felt Victoria was the epitome of the technology advocate, working at all levels to elevate the development and use of technology in New Zealand. She walks the walk and yet remains incredibly humble throughout. We’re very proud to recognise Victoria as the 2016 New Zealand IT Professional of the Year.”

Why would you bother to nominate yourself for an award? It can be time consuming, you don’t really get anything out of it, and winning doesn’t help your bottom line.

Well actually none of those things needs necessarily be true. Yes, nomination forms can be time consuming – or you could outsource it to a PR firm (cough). Not getting anything out of it? Well you get a validation of the work you do, which can be a huge morale booster for you and your organisation; and as for your bottom line – being able to say you’re a national award winner means that people know you’ve got the chops to do what you say you’ll do – and do it brilliantly.

It can be a jungle out there when it comes time to figure out what awards you should go for, but that doesn’t mean you throw your hands up and say “bugger them all”. Put yourselves out there. Be proud of the excellent work you do and own it.