Social proof: “Fitting in” as a franchisee serves somebody’s interests

April 7, 2010

Behaviour is influenced much more that that we commonly think.

Bob Cialdini suggests a very useful model in his Science of Persuasion.

Social proof is a central one used in franchising. What our peers believe to be true is very persuasive to us.

Social proof:

a psychological  phenomenon that occurs in ambiguous social situations when people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior. Making the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation, they will deem the behavior of others as appropriate or better informed. Wikidpedia

“Normal” in franchising is initially set by the franchisor for their newbie.

Another “Weapon of Influence” (authority) helps the franchisor orient the new franchisee to a subservient, look-to-Big-Daddy mentality.

However, this new “normal” is eroded as franchisees become more experienced. It all seems to go one way.

Sharing information between peer franchisees defuses the power of social proof and authority as behaviour-modifying techniques.

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Careerism can lead to burn-out

March 19, 2010

I know.

I worked for about 6 years, post-Ivey MBA, in large organizations.  Not a great “fit”, as they say.

Hugh MacLeod gives some career advice for coasting franchise executives.

That’s what happens when you’ve sold your soul, exist to get the next paycheck and your job becomes ‘not to get fired’. Pretend your interested, show up to the meetings and hopefully find meaning elsewhere in your life.

A better solution is to find meaning in everything you do, everyday- even if it means a pay cut.

Try to live as authentic of a life as you can.


Abuse is primarily a sign of low quality people

March 12, 2010

Building a complex, national organization takes talent, skill and patience.

Leading independent businesspeople because you’re “not the boss of them”.

It’s much cheaper/easier just to trick someone into a prison and then hire thugs to guard them, isn’t it?

Any small band of low-quality individuals can run an abusive franchise system.

And because they can, they frequently do.


Move around reptiles, don’t even try to educate them

March 6, 2010

Why waste your time?

To be “fair” when they haven’t shown you 1% “fair”?

They can only drag you down and make you feel like shit.

They’ve had their chance.

They’re going extinct anyway…


My vocational love/hate relationship

January 25, 2010

I don’t hate franchising.

Quite the opposite: my life is full of the fondest memories of people I have known as franchisee, employee, observer and advocate.

Just don’t ask me to forget how it used to be or try to convince me that it couldn’t be better.

Those not remembering or giving up, hold the brown end of this stick.


It may be those who do most, dream most.

January 21, 2010

I’ve always wondered why franchisees are criticized for believing in themselves and others.

I know I have to learn more discernment.

But please, don’t knock trying to improve things or yourself.

That’s kills dreams and people.

The cartoonist/blogger Hugh MacLeod has an interesting story. He frequently gets emotions, especially isolation.

Humour helps.

Stephen Leacock


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