1. The Oscars are Hollywood’s take on employee performance reviews. The good: nominees are judged solely by those most qualified for the job, namely, their peers. The bad: the reviews are conducted only once a year. (Then again, how much Joan Rivers can the public stand?)
2. Each year, 50 million North Americans tune in to the Oscars broadcast—half of them to see not who wins, but how the other nominees react when they lose. Remarkably, most of the runners-up maintain an inhuman degree of composure upon receiving the bad news, setting a good example for business leaders.
3. Few brands are as iconic as the Oscars. Why? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has barely tinkered with the Oscar statuette over the past 79 years, and exercises almost obsessive control over use of the Oscar image—and even the word.
4. It’s only a matter of time before an Oscar winner climbs onstage, pulls out her BlackBerry and thanks every person in her contact manager. But while those long-winded “acceptance” speeches make for bad television, they’re good business: by publicly recognizing the contributions of staff and colleagues, you cement their loyalty and encourage more good work.
5. Employee-recognition programs should take a cue from Hollywood Inc., which considers no job too small for an Oscar (39 will be awarded this year). While “Best performance by an administrative assistant in a supporting role” might sound trivial to you, it will mean everything to the winner.