The Pyjama Experiment

Welcome to 2016! This Tip on setting resolutions is based on an experience I had many years ago, but which has stayed with me. As a young boy I was erratic with a vivid imagination. My grandmother referred to me as the mad professor. After daydreaming my way through high school and failing English, my school principal had to be talked into letting me complete my final year. Thanks to a last minute study binge I passed and got a uni place studying Hotel Management. I hated it, dropped out and bummed around for a year, distracted, aimless and frustrated. On the advice of my grandmother I signed up for a 10 week Yoga course. Read entire post

Flower Power!

A client recently asked me to explain the concept of proactivity. The best examples of basic truths often come from nature, so let me tell you about a miraculous bunch of flowers currently growing in my wife’s garden. What makes them so amazing is they virtually appeared out of nowhere from a crack between two pavers, as you can see in the photo below. While the other plants have been carefully positioned in luxurious pots, with just the right mix of sun and shade, this vibrant bunch of violas has decided to grow and thrive in the middle of a concrete wasteland. This is what I call a plant with a proactive attitude! Read entire post

Perfect Timing

We’ve just landed in Sydney. The ding goes off and the aisle quickly fills with people grabbing for their luggage. I would normally be one of them. But I am in a window seat and a small elderly man is sitting next to me blocking my escape. I wait for him to move but he just sits motionless, staring ahead into space. Read entire post

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


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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