By now, most everyone is aware of the two black men who were handcuffed and escorted out of a Philadelphia Starbucks because the white manager called the police after they wanted to stay, and use the restroom, without making a purchase. Naturally, this was blamed on racism.
And so, today is Starbucks’ National Overreaction Day, where they shut down all the stores and make all of their employees pay for one manager’s mistake.
I’ve read two management books in my life. One of them was The Dilbert Principle, by Scott Adams. One of the lessons I learned from the book is that when one employee has an issue that requires identification and correction, you don’t address it with the entire team as if they all have the problem.
For example, if one person is chronically late, you don’t sit with the entire team and tell them all that everyone needs to come in on time. When you do that, the people on the team who are always on time will resent you, and the person it’s directed at will ignore it and assume it’s directed at someone else.
The proper resolution is to confront the chronically late individual, explain the issue, and work together toward resolution. A person can’t solve a problem they don’t know they have.
If Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson had read this book, he wouldn’t be making this classic management mistake.
Starbucks has essentially chosen to treat its entire workforce as if it’s racist and needs training. And the best part is the employee who called the police has been removed from the company and will receive none.
If I were a Starbucks employee, I’d be insulted as hell that I needed to take their diversity and inclusion training and would most certainly decline.