Language within Culture: A Failure to Communicate

December 6, 2008

frye1Franchisees and franchisors talk as if they are from another planet.

Language is one very important element of culture. Franchisees and franchisors have a much, much different worldview or culture.

  • I know this because after 10 years, viewed in a cultural or race sense, I should be defending franchisors not franchisees.
  • That the industry elite perceives me to be a Traitor to my own Class is why I cause some unease, over and above my willingness to share information.
  • I speak Franchising fluently, recognize that there are 2 founding languages that are totally intertwined and interdependent.
  • To reasonable participants on both “sides”, I am a credible translator and proven bilingual witness.

Outsiders must be quite confused when they survey the almost total of understanding from one side to another. In fact, they’re both alike in one key aspect:

  1. Franchisees do not understand franchisors (lack life skills that are trainable) and
  2. franchisors do not understand franchisees (no need to bother, until recently).

In this 37 second clip from the 1967 movie Cool Hand Luke demonstrates, the urgency of understanding both sides usually falls to the party in chains.

Every society whether ordered on merit, race or class, always (and I repeat, always) has an intellectual class: their teachers, scribes, writers, clerics.

  • Franchisors have the franchise bar.
  • Franchisees haven’t had anyone (until recently).

Therefore what we should be working toward is:

a sustainable economic model for the development and maintenance of an independent, international franchisee-oriented intellectual capability.

Note: The word “intellectual” should not be considered a “put down” and is not intended that way at all.  Any serious students of history know, however, that there are leaders and followers; early adopters all the way through to laggards, etc. But everyone must do their part, in their own sets of skills.

To me, franchisees must try to re-kindle their imaginations: What they really believe in.

And then they may start to gather together into small groups.

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


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