A horrific event occurred in New York City in 1964. Kitty Genovese, a New Yorker was tragically stabbed to death. It later became clear that approximately 38 people either saw it or heard it happening. Sadly none of those people called the police.
This sad situation later formed the foundation for a series of social psychology experiments where it was proven that the greater the number of bystanders, the less likely it is that any one of them will lend a hand. It is called the Bystander Effect.
After the analysts poured over all the data and statistics in the US election (where it is not mandatory to vote) they generally concluded that there was a large portion of the voter base that wanted a change from the democratic politicians. However, was something else in play here?
Was there a significant portion of the population who thought there was no way Trump could win, because they thought surely others must be voting for Hillary Clinton? Was there a Bystander Effect??
These are things we may not know quickly, however, at a more performance related level, is there a Bystander Effect occurring in some sporting teams, or is it occurring in your business?
A friend of mine who is into team rowing was quick to point out that he personally thought something to this Effect was happening in some of his teams. In a boat where there is a number of rowers, he felt that some were not fully lending a hand to their rowing duties, leaving the stronger rowers to work harder. In effect there were some degree of rowers who were bystanders.
After a lacklustre performance, I recently heard Graham Arnold, the coach of Sydney FC ask his players to raise their hand if they felt they were giving 100%. No one raised their hand. Does he have a degree of players who in effect are soccer bystanders?
What about those sales teams that have team bonuses, or those companies that offer company bonuses, how many employees are not fully lending a hand to help meet those incentive goals while other stronger performers compensate?
Is there a Corporate Bystander Effect in your company?