May The Force Be With You!

There’s a story about a young man who was looking for answers to the big questions in life. Someone suggested he should study philosophy, so he visited a local university. The professor of philosophy looked him up and down. “I’ll teach you philosophy if you can answer the following question to my satisfaction.” Read entire post

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

Every franchisee starts as an idealistic rookie — enthusiastic and open to learning. Over time many of these people will become seasoned veterans, with a toughness and self-assurance you only get from hard earned experience. They are also likely to harbor a degree of skepticism toward the inevitable new initiatives that flow from head office each time a new senior executive joins the franchisor team. Read entire post

Why 28% of Franchisees Get the Thumbs Down

Following a recent post on why happy franchisees go sour, here is some research on why franchisors become frustrated with their franchisees. A simple measure of satisfaction with our choices in life (applicable to buying products as well as selecting franchise partners) is whether we would make the same choice again in retrospect. This is a question we ask franchisees in our ACE Satisfaction Survey and, on average, 65% of franchisees say they would invest in the franchise again. Read entire post

Why Franchisees Go Sour

A franchise recruitment manager asked me why franchisees, who were once strong supporters of their network, go through a “sour” phase. While there are many reasons for this souring phenomenon, I’d sum it up as a loss of hope. The good news is, there is a cure. In this Tip I’ll share four areas we’ve discovered through our research that promote what we at FRI call an ACE Mindset. This is where franchisees are Advocates for the business, Committed to stay, and Engaged in supporting network activities. Read entire post

The Prometheus Tree

When I was last in Denver my speaking agent, Katrina Mitchell, took me into the Rocky Mountains. We drove higher and higher, past the tree line, until we reached a grove of Bristlecone Pines. While these trees look small, gnarled and unassuming, they have deep roots, character and power. Like old yogis and hermits they have learned the ways of the world and can survive in the coldest and most inhospitable of climates. Read entire post

The Surprise Hotel Room

If you travel a lot like me, you will have experienced your share of over-priced, poorly designed hotel rooms. Maybe you’ve wondered why your room doesn’t have a power point by the bed so you can charge your phone and use your alarm without having to jump out of bed in the morning. Maybe you’ve also been woken in the early hours by the hotel’s bedside clock alarm set by somebody else, and fumbled in the dark trying to turn it off. (I sometimes wonder whether mischievous hotel staff do this on purpose!) Read entire post

Can I Give You Some Feedback?

You probably cringed when you read the subject of this Tip. In fact, neuroscientists have found, saying this to someone triggers the same threat response in their brain as hearing footsteps walking up behind them in a dark street. Yet, if you work in the franchising sector, you will know that feedback between franchisees and franchisors is an essential part of the job. I’m not just referring to field managers giving franchisees feedback about brand standards. It is not uncommon for franchisees to also deliver some tough messages to their franchisor team. An important opportunity for us all then, if we are to grow professionally and personally, is to learn how to give and receive feedback. Read entire post

The Science of Being Happy and Successful

I have just returned from a three day conference with 350 business psychologists, where we discussed the latest research on enhancing performance and well-being at work. One session was on positive psychology, defined as the science of well-being and which studies the conditions under which people flourish. The latest model to emerge from this field, and which I will share in this Tip, is called PERMA. It stands for Positive emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement. Read entire post

Why I Hate Town Hall Meetings

Most franchisor executives and franchisees have experienced group meetings that have become so negative, many of the participants have vowed not to attend again in the future. This usually has more to do with the process of how meetings are conducted, than the content or the issues being discussed. Molehills can easily turn into mountains if people don’t feel listened to. On the other hand, highly contentious issues can be discussed in a calm and constructive manner if meetings take into account sound principles of group psychology. Read entire post

New Research Findings on Field Managers

Results are now in from our latest research at FRI, The Field Manager Performance Study. These findings could make a big difference to the satisfaction of your franchisees. Over the past 12 months we’ve been asking hundreds of franchisees to rate how likely they would be to recommend their field manager to other franchisees. Next we’ve been asking what the highly regarded field managers are doing that adds value to the business and what the less highly regarded field managers could do to add more value.  Read entire post

Greg Nathan is a psychologist, author and an international expert on the franchise relationship. Connect with him on Google+ or Linkedin.

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