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All that glitters is not (always) gold

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All that glitters is not (always) gold

CRITERION’S BILLY BURNSIDE RELFECTS ON THE OLYMPIC GAMES AND HOW WE MEASURE SUCCESS.


I enjoyed the recent Olympics from Tokyo and admit to being a bit of a fanatic about them. I believe this year’s was a huge relief for sports fans when you consider the pandemic and all the uncertainty that has brought to our lives.

There has been plenty of coverage of how well ‘Team GB’ performed and it got me thinking about how we measure success, as a nation when it comes to sporting events, and in business.

I watched with interest the reaction of some athletes to their own achievements.   One particular episode was Boxing Silver Medallist Ben Whittaker’s reaction to missing out on gold.  Asked about winning silver, Whittaker told the BBC: ‘You don’t win silver, you lose gold. I’m very disappointed with myself.’  While I’m sure a ‘heat of the moment’ reaction, he will hopefully reflect on his fantastic achievement more positively as time goes by.  His is not an uncommon reaction from athletes across sports.

The awarding of Gold, Silver and Bronze for the top 3 athletes is inexorably linked to success in the minds of all athletes.  But why is ‘true’ success, in the eyes of many, seen as the exclusive preserve of those who win Gold?

Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals were first awarded at the 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, USA – before that a variety of medals, cups, trophies, laurel wreaths etc. were awarded.  A little-known fact is that, in addition to the medals, every athlete placing 1st – 8th receives an Olympic diploma and all athletes receive a participation medal.  The IOC obviously recognise the effort and dedication it takes for athletes to even qualify to represent their country and compete at the games.  So why Ben Whittaker’s reaction to winning a Silver Medal?

Previous research in this area concluded that bronze medallists tended to be happier than silver medallists.  The reason?  Silver medallists were disappointed by ‘not winning gold’, whereas bronze medallists were content with bronze because they were more realistically facing leaving the Games with no medal.  I can understand the psychology, but it does emphasise the fact that silver medallists, through perceiving they have ‘missed out on Gold’, lose sight of the fact they have achieved a remarkable thing – winning an Olympic Medal!

Recognising performance excellence can be challenging in our industry.  One initiative that is setting out to do just that is STAR.  STAR is an industry initiative bringing together platforms, providers, life companies and transfer / asset managers to create a long-term solution to improving customers experience of transferring pensions, savings and investments between companies, by setting and measuring participants against a best practice framework.

STAR is about to enter a key phase, MI Reporting and Accreditation of participants.  This will measure all organisations performance across the four STAR categories (ISA/GIA, Individual Pensions & SIPPs, Occupational Pensions and Fund Managers) with each company receiving a Gold, Silver or Bronze Award.  The hope is that, through these annual awards, the industry will improve over time through collective investment in improved processes, investment in technology and clear, consistent and transparent customer communications.

The first STAR Accreditation is at the start of 2022, covering 2021 transfers and re-registrations.  It will be interesting to see how individual companies perform and I am sure many will covet a ‘Gold Award’.  But the bigger prize here is less about individual performance and more the fact that the industry has come together to improve service performance in this critical process, and improving the outcomes for customers.  In her excellent book ‘The Long Win: the search for a better way to succeed’ ex-Olympian, Dr Cath Bishop, looks at the damaging obsession with winning in all aspects of life.  She argues that ‘winning’ is about ‘pursuing excellence in a way that has integrity, within a framework of values and purpose’, and ‘seeing success as more than a short-lived, short-term moment in time’.  If STAR can deliver an easily understood framework that helps identify areas of process efficiency and encourages improvements across the industry for the benefit of customers, then all the participants, whether they achieve Gold, Silver or Bronze Accreditation, can feel proud of being part of this initiative.

© 2022 CT Holdings and Services Limited (CTHS), a joint venture between TISA Exchange Limited and Criterion Tec Limited.

All rights reserved. Company number: 11700872.

SERVICING AGREEMENT

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A problem was detected in the following Form. Submitting it could result in errors. Please contact the site administrator.
1. APPLICANT COVERED BY THIS REGISTRATION.
Please note this registration will not be processed if Step 1 has not been completed.
If your organisation is acting only as an affiliate, you do not need to complete Step 2.
2a. CHOOSE YOUR BRAND
STAR manages the administration of third-party access to the portal, rather than the member firm. This allows for a smoother transition for the member firm and allowing immediate access to the supplier to submit MI on their behalf. STAR will hold an approved list of users per supplier, which will be allocated to your account at the point of registration. This ensures each ‘external’ user has the same access across all their client accounts. Supplier access is restricted and they do not have any ability to see any company information for any client other than what they submit on your behalf. You as the member control access for any other users within your organisation. We will include a more detailed description about the user access on your welcome email and it is clearly defined as part of the User Guide.
STAR RELATIONSHIP MANAGER FOR FIRST BRAND
This person will be the main contact for all notices and other formal communications under this agreement and will be responsible for the administration of the members portal access (including without limitation the providing, updating and removing of authorised User access to the portal during the Term).
2b.
STAR RELATIONSHIP MANAGER FOR THE SECOND BRAND
This person will be the main contact for all notices and other formal communications under this agreement and will be responsible for the administration of the members portal access (including without limitation the providing, updating and removing of authorised User access to the portal during the Term).
2c.
STAR RELATIONSHIP MANAGER FOR THE THIRD BRAND
This person will be the main contact for all notices and other formal communications under this agreement and will be responsible for the administration of the members portal access (including without limitation the providing, updating and removing of authorised User access to the portal during the Term).
2d.
STAR RELATIONSHIP MANAGER FOR THE THIRD BRAND
This person will be the main contact for all notices and other formal communications under this agreement and will be responsible for the administration of the members portal access (including without limitation the providing, updating and removing of authorised User access to the portal during the Term).
3. INVOICE INFORMATION
Invoices are sent by email as standard, if a printed invoice is required please note the address and your requirements in the additional information section.
4. DECLARATION
Before we can process your Brand Registration a STAR Servicing Agreement needs to be signed. Your signatory must be duly authorised for and on behalf of the organisation named in this application.
We only need one signed STAR Servicing Agreement which will cover all brands that you wish to register.
STAR will email the servicing contract to the signatory email address (provided below) through our electronic platform Yoti. This declaration must be signed in order for your application to complete, once we receive the signed agreement we will instruct our finance department to issue your invoice.
You have already supplied a STAR Servicing Agreement, we will be in touch if we need anything else.

Application submitted successfully

Thank you for applying to join the STAR accreditation scheme. We will endeavour to respond as soon as possible using the contact information you’ve provided to us.