Bank employees must learn how to how to spot counterfeit money. How do they eventually discern the fake? They do so not by trying to recognize signs of a counterfeiter’s mistakes, but by becoming so familiar with the genuine that spotting the funny money becomes natural. Malcolm Gladwell describes a powerful intuitive attribute of the professional art collectors in his book “Blink, The Power of Thinking without Thinking”. Gladwell tells the story of the J. Paul Getty Museum’s $10 million acquisition of a sixth century BC marble kouros in the 1980s. Employing typical caution and prudence, the Museum solicited a handful of experts—geologist included—to assess the piece. “I’ve always considered scientific opinion more objective than aesthetic judgments,” said Getty’s curator of antiquities Marion True. And the experts gave the green light; two days with a stereomicroscope confirmed the presence of calcite on the statue’s exterior—significant because dolomite can turn into calcite only over the course of hundreds of years. Science is good right? Sadly, the story did not end well; the kouros was a fake. However the museum had also solicited conflicting opinions. They had consulted three additional experts who had expressed their concern about the acquisition. Federico Zeri, an Italian art historian, found the sculpture’s fingernails odd. The first time Evelyn Harrison, a Greek sculpture expert, saw the kouros, she thought something was amiss. Thomas Hoving, former director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, met the statue and found it “fresh.” Not exactly the first impression that a sixth century BC statue should expect. Wow, a $10-million dollar error! According to crime expert Paul Davis, retailers who accept counterfeit monies have no recourse; they take a loss.
As grave as such astounding $10-million errors are, an even more sinister problem to business today are employees who are mismatched and are not authentic to their mission. Loud Amplifier Marketing, cited: “According to a new study, 66% of consumers have ended a business relationship over bad customer service. And 61% swiched to a competitor, while 39% just stopped buying.” Wow! Are you authentic to your role? Or, are you miserable? Let’s discover how to be impeccable!