Every Friday, we here at Collective Next attempt to practice what we preach and gather together to think better and move innovative ideas forward. Today we were inspired by this Washington Post article describing a social experiment involving one of the world’s premier musicians, the Washington DC metro, and “one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin that is worth $3.5 million.”

Joshua Bell, considered by many to be the world’s best violinist, played six Bach pieces in a metro station in Washington D.C. Thousands of people passed by and only a few children stopped and acknowledged the performance in any way. Just days before, Joshua Bell had sold out a Boston theatre and the tickets averaged $100.

The fact that so many people did not recognize music that is considered some of the best music ever written being played by a musician that is considered to be one of the best in the world stimulated us to question how do people assign value.

If exceptional talent becomes unrecognizable simply because it is out of context, it is clear that context significantly affects perceived value. Talent that exists out of context becomes unrecognizable and unrealized.

Within organizations, context is defined by organizational culture. If exceptional talent exists within your organization, yet your culture is outdated or does not accurately reflect your core values, it will go unnoticed.

To ensure that talent is recognized and fully realized within your organization revisit your core values often and define your organizational culture accordingly. Business culture is not static. The most effective business cultures are those that adapt to facilitate and reinforce the values of the organization according to a continuously changing business landscape. Consistently refining your business culture will provide a fluid context within which exceptional talent will be fully realized.

Those are the thoughts we transcribed this afternoon. What are yours?