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United Airlines Mock Safety Video: What’s the Bigger Message?

I am sure we have all seen it by now. The Jimmy Kimmel’s mock safety video that has gone viral.

The news and social media has exploded. While the video is humorous, the outrage felt by many is real.

United Airlines is not alone. There have been other very public stories in the banking and merchant world as well. It seems like there have been more of these types of stories recently than I can remember. We live in a connected society.

At its core, these stories illustrate quite graphically people being misled about what they bought, mistreated, stuck with their circumstances, and in many cases not having an ability to do anything about it on their own. Those are the circumstances, but what is the underlying issue?

Hidden not too deeply in these stories are some basis questions. What are the principles that these businesses are representing in these circumstances? What is the culture they are trying to build within their companies? How do they view customers and people?

When you boil it down, business is about principles, culture, and people. While not true of all “big businesses”, it is important to ask when you are going to make a purchase, buy a business service, or partner with a business – What principles do they stand for? How have they worked with others? How have others been treated?

It brings us back to some basic ideas. Bigger is not always better. The lowest price is not necessarily the best. Values are important. Service with integrity is critical.

It may sound a bit odd in this day of online transactions, but we still think it is true. It’s what you do after the handshake that counts.

Mike Carow

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