No matter where they are headquartered, businesses entering this category should be able to
demonstrate that they have expanded their operations into new territories recently, providing details of
the rationale behind their move, the logistics of operating in a new market, the financial results they
have seen and the alignment of their expansion with their long term business strategy.
Organic growth can seem hard to locate amidst macroeconomic turbulence, but this award recognises
businesses that have grown through their ingenuity and persistence. Entrants should outline the
strategic and practical steps they took to grow their business, the challenges they overcame and,
importantly, the financial results that demonstrate the wisdom of their decision-making.
M&A activity is notoriously hard to get right – beyond the mechanics of the deal itself is an array of
potential pitfalls that see many (if not most) mergers and acquisitions fail to deliver the expected
value. Judges in the category will be looking for evidence of an M&A deal that has delivered across
multiple fronts – financial performance, cultural fit between the parties involved, and better outcomes
for employees, customers and other stakeholders. Entries can come from any or all of the parties
involved in a deal.
How your employees experience issues of diversity and inclusion is intimately linked to your corporate
culture. This award recognises businesses who have genuinely made inclusion part of everyday
working life. Judges will be looking for evidence of positive action to improve equality across the
business, backed by hard evidence from employees themselves – in terms of improved
representation, measurable employee data and the experiences of individuals.
Change comes from the top – but while most leaders are happy to discuss the centrality of ESG to
their business models, relatively few are actively championing change. This award will go to a CEO
who can demonstrate through both their words and, crucially, their decision-making that they
understand how important ESG goals are to their business and are happy to be actively judged by
their performance in this area.
This award is for a CEO who has made DE&I matters central to their strategy, and to their own
measures of success. To claim the award, they should be able to point to actions they have
undertaken that have led to measurable change in their own organisation, and demonstrate how the
tone for these changes has been set by their own values, by role-modelling the right behaviours,
communicating clearly with key stakeholders and being answerable for embedding inclusion at all
levels of the organisation.
All progressive businesses recognise the threat climate change poses to their own future, and this
award is designed to recognise companies that are making real progress in embedding sustainability
into their business models. Entrants will need to provide details of the work they’re doing, what
changes they have implemented and what impact this is having on the environment. Judges will look
for evidence that a commitment to sustainability is embedded right across the business’s operations.
Businesses must constantly do new, different, smarter or better things if they are to thrive in a
competitive market. This award will recognise organisations that have put effective and inspirational
innovation at the heart of what they do – whether that means creating groundbreaking new products
or services, rethinking their fundamental approach to their operations or entering completely new
markets. Entrants must be able to demonstrate business growth and (where appropriate) market
impact as well as clearly articulating how and why they innovated.
This award recognises consistently brilliant performance, allied to a long-term business strategy.
Judges will be looking for businesses with a proven track record of growth that can be measured in
decades; entrants should outline the history of their company but also how this continues to influence
their strategy in the present day, as well as details of their financial performance over time.
To win this coveted award, a CEO should be able to demonstrate excellent performance against
multiple criteria – financial, reputational, employee engagement – balanced with a clarity of leadership
in the vision they communicate with employees and markets. Judges will look for a leader with a
clearly articulated strategy and the evidence that it has helped deliver for the business.
Open to all CEOs who are in their first CEO role and have less than two years’ experience in the role.
Judges will look for evidence of a clear vision and an early impact across financial and reputational
Each of these awards recognises the quality of leadership in an organisation in the broadest sense of
the word. The winners will be organisations who are defined by their clarity of purpose, dedication to
doing business the right way, powerful communication and empowerment of individuals. Entrants
should explain how they define their purpose and values, how this aligns with their business strategy
and how this has led to measurable success – which could include through financial performance,
employee engagement, customer satisfaction or rapid expansion. Judges will be looking for
organisations which demonstrate leadership at every level but which, crucially, can make a clear link
between these behaviours and their strong performance.