Reputation of a Noble (Nobel) Prize

January 24, 2016

Reputation of a Noble (Nobel) Prize

“For reputation is a funny thing. Scandal can destroy it overnight, of course, and the foundation’s trustees might fairly argue that their cautious approach has avoided that fate. But reputation can also slip away, unnoticed, as the world’s attention shifts elsewhere.”

This was a closing quote in an article about the eroding reputation of The Nobel Prize. First, there is the fact that the prize money is not as much as some other prizes (i.e. Breakthrough) and there are questions being raised about its long-term financial viability and image. To combat the slow slide, the CEO Lars Heikenstein is elevating the prize’s worthiness by jumping into social media, conferences, concerts and debates, among other things. There is also concern about the relevance of some of the Nobel’s category awards and how competitors are marching into the 21st century with categories such as neuroscience and nanoscience.

The main issue raised by the article struck me as one that many companies face. Organizations may sometimes play it too safe in balancing reputation and risk and in some instances, they may need to push the envelope or risk falling off the cliff into oblivion. It sounds as if Heikenstein is making strides but this is a good early warning for many companies and organizations who resist not changing with the times.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

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