Franchisee advisory committees are frequently chaired by Nurse Ratched

December 10, 2010

I have suggested here that franchise systems are an example of a total institution as defined by Erving Goffman.

Mental hospitals are a traditional example of a total institution.

There are lots of Nurse Ratcheds in franchising and lots of acting out franchisees.

Look to those that create the environment, not those who have to endure it.


Going Postal: Self, family then workplace violence (not if but when)

September 7, 2009

PhysicalAbuse

I had covered what Erving Goffman defined as a Total Institution earlier:

…a place of residence and work where a large number of like-situated individuals, cut off from the wider society for an appreciable period of time, together lead an enclosed, formally administered round of life.

Franchised business models can become so intrusive, demanding and dysfunctional as to create an environment that breeds workplace bullying.

Intimidation leads to violence, just as predictably as you see in other “hermetically sealed” institutions such as prisons or non-voluntary psychiatric wards.

I worked at a provincial psychiatric hospital (St. Thomas, ON)  for 9 months as a medical audit coordinator just after my Ivey MBA in 1985. I reviewed hundreds of inpatient and outpatient medical case histories: about 1/3 including the most serious crimes you can imagine that can fall under a Lieutenant-Governor’s Warrant. I interviewed many partners and children and their abuse always, always, always was much earlier, pervasive and shame-filled than the subsequent police and justice system intervention.

I came to appreciate the fragility of mental health and the origins of family violence.

Franchisors set the business model: they are almost 100% responsible for the way humans try to survive an, at times, inhuman situation.

That franchisees can be managed into a situation where they are baited and then  go postal would not be a surprise to any mental health care professional I have ever known. Any minimally competent human relations professional would know that a primary truism in human psychology is: behavior is caused, it very seldom arises from no where.

Workplace violence starts with aggressive thoughts — then — verbal threats and in extreme cases, will manifest itself in property damage and physical assaults. Way before any visible signs (chairs through windows, managers fearing for their safety), the bullying target has become to a danger to “self and others” in their secret places: in their family.

To control a man’s livelihood is to control his life.

When senior management flagrantly bullies a group’s informal leader, this aggression is processed as an assault on everyone that supports that individual. That behavior is beyond the executive’s legitimate authority and is therefore he or she is personally responsible for their actions under the law.

A corporate culture of entitlement, unjustified superiority and arrogance often manifests itself in a preoccupation with form over substance (ie. it’s easier to spin a crisis rather than fix it). When managers push and push and push for no valid business reasons, the most vulnerable (families: partners and children) suffer the most.

Workplace violence is more likely the more management views the target group as a “problem” or as even subhuman (ie. lacking in intelligence, weak mind/strong back).

Individuals who control franchise systems should conduct themselves in a lawful, just and appropriate manner if they happen to be viewed by others.


Just my imagination

November 4, 2008

The first casualty in franchising is your ability to problem solve because your imagination is being intentionally short-circuited.

  • The surest sign of a nazi is their lack of humour and joy in other people’s happiness.
  • Their abilities to suspend judgment and engage in play is dead.

The road back is through music, poetry, especially when shared with others.

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. Howard Thurman

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Albert Einstein

It is usually the imagination that is wounded first, rather than the heart; it being much more sensitive. Henry David Thoreau

Imagination rules the world. Napoleon Bonaparte

The lunatic, the lover, and the poet, are of imagination all compact.  ~William Shakespeare, Mid-Summer Night’s Dream

The fundamental job of the imagination in ordinary life, then, is to produce, out of the society we have to live in, a vision of the society we want to live in. Northrop Frye


The Role of Shame

November 4, 2008

The situation you find yourself in can make you much more vulnerable to authority.

Those that control your environment can be franchisors, lawyers, bankers or even health care professionals. Shame or self-disgust is a very powerful emotion.

Under extreme situations, it is logical to to see extreme behavior.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975

The film’s unauthorized screenplay (by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman) was restructured and adapted from author Ken Kesey’s 1962 popular, best-selling novel of the same name so that it would appeal to contemporary audiences. It won 5 academy awards

Quotes from the film

McMurphy (Jack Nicholson): [when asked about Nurse Ratched] Well, that fucking Nurse, man. She, uh, she ain’t honest.
Dr. Spivey: Oh now, look. Miss Ratched’s one of the finest nurses we’ve got in this institution.
McMurphy: Ha! Well I don’t wanna break up the meeting or nothing, but she’s something of a cunt, ain’t she, Doc?
Dr. Spivey: How do you mean that?

McMurphy: She likes a rigged game, you know what I mean?


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: