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Derek - EMP's are not sustainable as credible recognition programs, for all the reasons you've outlined. Any such program tied to recurring time frames will ultimately fail, because at some point you'll cycle through all legitimate contenders and either start repeating or selecting those who have not yet won, for the wrong reasons.

Readers of this blog already know that the best and most effective recognition programs are ad hoc and event driven exercises that reinforce cultural importance. Once begun, however, they need to be sustainable and carefully managed, else their effectiveness will become compromised.

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