Most of the world paid attention when…
Two black men walked into a Starbucks in downtown Philadelphia on Thursday afternoon and sat down. Officials said they had asked to use the restroom but because they had not bought anything, an employee refused the request. They were eventually asked to leave, and when they declined, an employee called the police.
As much attention as that incident garnered, the whole world stood up when Starbucks announced that they were closing 8,000 stores for racial-bias training.
Now, Starbucks is not some backwoods corporation with no awareness of cultural sensitivities. Their values and their reputation has been and is about treating every single person as equally as possible. What happened in Philadelphia shouldn’t have happened. Starbucks has already done everything that can be done to make sure that doesn’t happen.
You can imagine how awful this moment was for those two men, and arresting these two young men for using their restrooms was not the identity Starbucks had fought for.
So, what Starbucks going to do about it?
Well, Starbucks is going to sacrifice millions of dollars by closing their stores to make sure both their identity and their values are secure. 
Every business in America should pay attention.
Whether you feel as if you company already has a healthy culture established or whether you don’t think things like racial-bias training are important, it would be wise to pay attention.
Starbucks is big enough to call this an isolated incident by a rogue employee.
They could point to their prior training.
They could cite their track record.
And while all of those three above are true, Starbucks is willing to shut it all down to make sure all of their employees get it right.
So, for your business. Consider these lessons:
If Starbucks can have a rogue employee, you can too.
All manner of prior training isn’t enough.
Your track record goes out the window when something happens.
You many not need to shut down your doors, but every smart business in this day and age needs to have a plan. What’s yours? Ask these questions about your business.
Do you have a written anti-bias statement?
Have you, and do you train your staff in these areas?
How do you communicate these things to your customers/patients?
No matter where you are in the spectrum of these issues, learn from Starbucks’ mistakes and their corrections to better protect your practice and your customers.
Gordon Duncan is the CEO/Consultant of ProSight Success and has trained employees for nearly 20 years.
ProSight Success has several tools to help you with all of this. Your best value is the full 7 Step, 7 Book ProSight Success System. We offer it in 3 formats:
Digital ProSight Success System
Paperback ProSight Success System
And our best value: the ProSight Success Workbook that includes a digital copy and a free hour of consulting.
Of course, Gordon Duncan, our CEO, is also available for private consulting. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
No matter what, don’t surrender your ground in the eye care industry. You have so much to offer.
Gordon Duncan is an award-winning educator, salesman, teacher, manager, and writer. He has taught in the public school system, lobbied for school's accreditation, managed eye clinics, led sales' teams, and also publishes books on theology, church, and culture.