Local connection: Modern lessons from the past - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

April 23, 2010

Local connection: Modern lessons from the past

Recently our camera took you inside a Bellanca Pacemaker, the first plane that Hawaiian Airlines ever flew, starting in 1929. The Bellanca can teach us some modern lessons, I think.

Hawaiian, then called Interisland Airways, gave free aerial tours to show people what it was like to fly. Free samples of new products is as effective today as it was 81 years ago.

Second, Hawaiian management today saw value in reconnecting their employees with their heritage. Proud employees give good service. And feeling their company's history, they're more likely to look at the big picture.

Third, one of the most frequent pilots of the Bellanca is Mark Dunkerley, Hawaiian's CEO. More corporate CEOs should get their hands dirty from time to time so they, too, can see the big picture as the employees do.

This isn't just business advice. As citizens, we should make the effect to involve ourselves in what the legislature is doing, stop sitting out elections, actually learn what's going on in government. It might not be as much fun as flying a Bellanca Pacemaker, but there's value in it for sure.