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I Look But Do I See?

For about the last 3 weeks there has been a continuing post about an
occurrence in the nation’s capital from 2007 as part of an experiment of
the Washington Post. You can see the link at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myq8up
. So here is my question how many of us go through the same kind of
situation at work. How many of us as managers in or out of the HR
staffing area tend to ignore what is going on around us?

Everyday
we witness people within our organizations who are doing outstanding
things with the tools we provide them. They are producing for our
organizations above and beyond what we expect. Our usual response is a
cavalier attitude which basically says that’s great but you really do
not need to spend the extra time. Do not spend the extra time to make a
customer feel like the organization cares. Do not spend the extra time
to assist your fellow employee because it might send the wrong
message–What ever the wrong message is.

If we expect our human
capital to be engaged in our organization we need to take the time to
recognize the worth of our employee base and respect those who go out of
their way to do more than just getting by.

For those of you who have not seen the story behind the above thoughts, see below:

“In
Washington DC , at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, a
man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During
that time, approximately 2000 people went through the station, most of
them on their way to work. After about four minutes, a middle-aged man
noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and
stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.
About four minutes later, the violinist received his first dollar. A
woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
At six minutes, a young man leaned against the wall to listen to him,
then looked at his watch and started to walk again. At ten minutes, a
three-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly.
The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed
hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time.
This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent –
without exception – forced their children to move on quickly. At
forty-five minutes: The musician played continuously. Only six people
stopped and listened for a short while. About twenty gave money but
continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of
$32. After one hour: He finished playing and silence took over. No one
noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all. No one
knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest
musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever
written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before,
Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100
each to sit and listen to him play the same music. This is a true story.
Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized
by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception,
taste and people’s priorities. This experiment raised several
questions: In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do
we perceive beauty? If so, do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize
talent in an unexpected context? One possible conclusion reached from
this experiment could be this: If we do not have a moment to stop and
listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the
finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments
ever made… How many other things are we missing as we rush through
life?”

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