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. I didn’t acknowledge him when he sat next to me becaus 
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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.” “There are two men. One is clean and one is dirty. I have o 
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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 exe 
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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 ou 
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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 Min 
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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 t 
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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 som 
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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  
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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  
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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. O 
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