Norfolk Business Awards: Meet the Large Business award judge

8:30 AM June 8, 2022

The Norfolk Business Awards 2022 present an opportunity to celebrate the successes of businesses of all sizes, and the Large Business of the Year award is no exception. Elliot Symonds, head of learning and development at Jarrold Training and the judge for this category, discusses what he will bring to the judging process.

Why were you keen to get involved in the Norfolk Business Awards?

I’ve enjoyed judging business awards before and this opportunity to be able to assess and judge large businesses was totally aligned to our strategy and services. We have judged before with council awards and enjoyed it.

What do you bring to the judging process?

Ruthless application of standards against strict criteria, and years of working in big businesses myself on a national and international basis. Having been with Jarrold Training for 12 years, I’ve been privileged to see the inside of hundreds of organizations from a developmental point of view.

What have your previous experiences of judging been like?

Wonderful. We really enjoyed the process, which is why we wish to do it again.

Elliot Symonds, head of leadership and development at Jarrold Training
– Credit: Jarrold Training

What inspires you in business?

When you see a business being able to change people’s lives; adding confidence, belief, security and growth. This is probably why we like our company vision of ‘Learn, Develop, Be Brilliant.’

Do you have any anecdotes of moments that changed your business strategy?

I’ll often talk about Henry Mintzberg as being a massive influence on me as a business guru. Specific moments when you go through an OODA (observe, orient, decide, act) loop and need to respond in a considered fashion to design an emerging strategy are what it is all about really, according to Mintzberg.

What will you be looking for in the winner?

Being the best against all the criteria blended with brilliantly engaged people.

What advice would you give to a business that’s considering entering?

Go for it. Entering will mean you examine your own business naturally.

Yes, we have diagnostic tools that can do it formally, but both should be an opportunity to relish and celebrate your successes and challenge yourself to improve in areas that might have been overlooked for a while.

Award criteria

The Large Business of the Year award will be given to the company that demonstrates all-round excellence in business.

The judging will focus on trading performance and future objectives, the competitive advantage of the business, and will look at examples of specific strategies which have driven business growth.

If your business achievements are impressive then this award is for you.

Open to businesses with a turnover of more than £ 5m.

To enter the Large Business of the Year award at the Norfolk Business Awards 2022, please visit

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