Caring is a Strategy

This is a story I found in the book Practically Radical, another reason you should practically go buy it. Seriously, it’s a game changer.  This story had me tearing up.  Read on, you’ll see why.

At the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Chicago kids come to get some of the best treatment for Cancer in the World.  A new building was going up,  the Yawkey Center for Cancer Care and construction workers on the project had to walk past the Dan-Farber Institute every day.

The Boston Globe Reported: “It has become a beloved ritual at Dana-Farber, every day, children who come to the clinic write their names on sheets of paper and tape them to the windows of the walkway for ironworkers to see.  And, every day the ironworkers paint the names onto I-beams and hoist them into place as they add floors to the new 14-story Yawkey Center for Cancer Care.

The building’s steel skeleton is now a brightly colored, seven-story monument to scores of children receiving treatment at the clinic – Lia, Alex, and Sam; Taylor, Lzzy, and Danny. For the young cancer patients, who press their noses to the glass to watch new names added every day, the steel and spray-paint tribute has given them a few moments of joy and a towering symbol of hope.”

“Everybody saw the kids smiling”, foreman Mike Walsh from Ironworkers Local 7, told the reporter, “And that’s what you want to do, keep them smiling.”

These ironworkers aren’t paid to make kids smile but they do.  I’d bet they get a lot out of the seemingly menial task of spray painting names on steel beams.

How can you care more than your competition?  The ROI you ask?  Sometimes the most valuable things a company does can’t be measured.

What’s your spray paint?


Hat tip to Tori Dundas for informing me about this book.
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