A: Whatever the fcuk I tell them to say.
This was my question to, and answer from, a Toronto, Canada lawyer before the hearings that lead up to the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000.
The real power behind established independent franchisee associations (IndFAs), is a handful of lawyers in North America.
All professionals will act so as to further and strengthen their current and future cash flows. This is not a huge insight.
But when the two objectives conflict (actually solving problems versus appearing to solve them) the professional’s needs are satisfied first because no one has the experience, knowledge or interest in challenging how the problem is framed.
Lawyers compel franchisees to deal with problems in the same way that denies the information/communication/internet revolution has ever happened. THINK: Would you want your doctor to treat you the same way the physicians did 100 years ago?
IndFAs never fulfill their potential because that would interfere with the dominant credence good providers’ interests (ie. the franchisee “Fixer” attorney). The credence good cheating problem is overcome by severing the attorney’s influence.
He is either allowed to do
- the diagnostic work (strategic planning) OR
- the proposed solution (actual litigation), BUT never both.
This helps to reduce the inherent conflict in being able to (1) frame the problem and (2) deliver the solution the the “problem”.
Any experienced IndFA executive knows that the lawyers have effectively captured almost all of the IndFAs. The litigation is a well-thought out puppet show between the industry’s legal titans.
- This is the real reason that the American Franchisee Association is dormant: its attorney “supporters” want it that way.
- Same why the AAFD so frequently put their foot into a warm pile of poo and lacks any credibility at all.
IndFAs are ineffective and usually deemed a “failure” because that serves the most powerful stakeholders interests to do so.
The solution is to move toward a franchisee-centric model such as an Attorneyless franchisee network, AFN where no attorney can capture and disable the web-enabled massive power that franchisees have (Stewart’s Law of Group Power).
This is especially true when the franchisor is a publicly traded corporation in a mature industry that touches the public every day in a very intimate way in a rigid 24/7 product cycle.
The way out starts with one independent thinker asking for a 2nd opinion.