AMALGAM INSIGHTS MEDIA ALERT: Starbucks is closing its stores. Is It Enough?

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For release 830am May 28, 2018

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Hyoun Park Steve Friedberg
Amalgam Insights MMI Communications
hyoun@amalgaminsights.com steve@amalgaminsights.com
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AMALGAM INSIGHTS MEDIA ALERT:  Starbucks is closing its stores and doing awareness training for all of its employees this week.  Learning researcher asks, “Is it enough?”

WHAT:  Starbucks says it’s closing its 8,000 stores tomorrow, May 29, for what it calls “a conversation and learning session on race, bias and the building of a diverse welcoming company.”

Todd Maddox, Ph.D., an Amalgam Insights Learning Scientist/Research Fellow, applauds the company’s commitment to ongoing training, saying that approach may work, but warns that unless the training is continuous, Starbucks runs the risk of backsliding:

“My hope is that the company utilizes training content that focuses on true behavior change, as opposed to simply teaching people to identify inappropriate behavior. I also hope that Starbucks goes beyond training during the onboarding process, and incorporates it as a regular, ongoing part of employee training. The brain is hardwired to forget and requires refreshers to consolidate information in long-term memory.


“Just as sexual harassment prevention and many other people skills are about behavior, so is unconscious (racial) bias and all other aspects of appropriate interaction. People skills matter in all facets of society and corporate life. It is time to embrace the science of learning and work to address these shortcomings with effective training.”

 

WHO:  Todd Maddox, Ph.D. has more than 200 published articles, 10,000 citings, and $10 million in external research funding in his 25+ years researching the brain basis of behavior.  He’s been quoted in Forbes, CBS Radio, Training Journal, Chief Learning Officer, and other publications on topics such as the use of virtual reality in workplace sexual harassment avoidance training.

 

Todd’s available for comment on this or other topics; if you’d like to speak with him, please contact steve@amalgaminsights.com.

 

Will Starbucks Make A $40 Million Training Mistake? The Psychology and Brain Science of Effective Racial Bias Prevention Training

(Editor’s Note: Todd Maddox, Ph.D. has over 200 published articles, 10,000 citings, and $10 million in external research funding in his 25+ years in cognitive psychology. Maddox is available for interviews on this topic at info@amalgaminsights.com)

By now, I am sure you have heard about the incident at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, where two black men were arrested for waiting for a third man inside the store without purchasing any items. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued an immediate apology calling the arrests “reprehensible.” He’s gone further, meeting with the two men in person and apologizing, as well as saying that all U.S. Starbucks will be closed on May 29 for racial-bias education for its employees.
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