Once upon a time in 1874, an aspiring scientist named Max Planck entered the University of Munich intending to study physics. There he encountered established physicist Philipp von Jolly. Jolly became Planck’s mentor and teacher, but not before advising the eager young scholar to steer clear of physics and apply his energies elsewhere.
In Jolly’s view, in the waning decades of the 19th century, the field of physics was mostly settled science. His friendly counsel to Planck regarding physics was that “in this field, almost everything is already discovered, and all that remains is to fill a few unimportant holes.” Planck persevered nonetheless, eventually winning the Nobel Prize for his pioneering establishment of quantum theory.
Planck’s work represents a pretty impressive breakthrough for a field in which no major discoveries remained to be made. Jolly’s famous misapprehension is a reminder to us all that we tend not to know nearly as much about the world around us as we think we do, and that there is always room for innovative thinkers and their creative ideas.
Speaking of innovative thinkers, there are a lot of bright ideas in the IT certification realm, and one of them is about to receive an impressive spotlight. That’s right, it’s time for the annual Innovation Award, bestowed each year by the IT Certification Council (ITCC) in recognition of one of the many innovators who keep expanding the boundaries and enhancing the usefulness of IT certification.
The 2019 Innovation Award will be the fifth such prize to festoon the mantelpiece (or possibly the bathroom) of one lucky winner. It’s also a great opportunity to both achieve professional recognition and spread the word among IT certification peers about useful ideas and technologies.
That lucky winner could be you, or someone you know, because the ITCC Innovation Award is open to everybody in the IT certification realm. You don’t have to belong to some stodgy academy, or drive a fancy car and live in California. The only requirements of the winner are that he or she a) be employed in the IT certification industry, and b) have done something or made something in the past two years to improve IT certification.
What, exactly, that means is at least somewhat open to interpretation. The ITCC, however, offered up some examples in their announcement of the nominating period for the award. For example, a nominee might have done something to:
- Increase the security of a certification test
- Develop or improve a method for evaluating IT competencies
- Improve the convenience of, or market access to, a certification program
- Enhance the respect for, and/or demand for, certified professionals
Once you’ve identified a worthy individual, all you need to do is write up a brief statement (1,000 words or less) that addresses five key points:
- Description of the innovation
- Description of the genesis of the innovation
- Describe the value or benefits from the innovation to the various stakeholders
- What are the measurable results
- What lessons were learned as a result this innovation
Note: Don’t blow everything in your nomination paperwork: Those selected for final Innovation Award consideration will also be asked to participate in a follow-up presentation and interview.
The nominating period runs through Thursday, Jan. 24. Click here for more information, or to submit a nomination.