Survey Says: Franchise management is an increasingingly Deskilled trade

August 22, 2009

BiasedSurveysWho you going to trust?

Bias can be introduced into almost any activity.

Franchisors should be concerned with their franchisees’ attitudes. After all, they’re the ones closest to the people that pay everybody’s salaries: the end customer.


Yes. Normally.

Franchising can become not too outward, service focused. Management can, if not careful, over time treat franchisees with not just indifference by wholesale contempt.

Only a seriously out-of-touch team would force any franchisee to fill out a survey, supervise them as if they were children or imply any penalties for failing to do so.

The sad fact is that franchisors can threaten, threaten and threaten for decades (it seems) without any consequences.

Only at the end of their career or when franchises revolt,  do they see that ultra-short thinking come with a price. D’oh.

Franchisees don’t start but quickly are taught to be a skeptical bunch. Doofus mid-level grunts (many of them long gone as ex-employees) create that stereotype. You’d think that well-educated senior managers would be smarter than that.

Management skill is like a physical muscle: use it or lose it.

Franchisees must be patient as managers are replaced with ones that have the life experience and intellectual and emotional capacity to cope with such a sophisticated commercial relationship such as franchising.  I think the real change occurs in the 3rd to 5th year of any Attorneyless Franchisee Network, AFN.

It’s worth the wait, I assure you.

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.


Writers: Making language work for the reader

January 15, 2009


“That nasty man who did so much good.”

Paul Valéry

Is it because Voltaire wasn’t afraid to be nasty that he did so much good? Almost certainly. There is no convincing evidence that writers can do their job by being nice.

And why should they be nice? To be asked to dinner? To be part of a corporation of writers, which like all corporate groups rewards discretion? To be rewarded with money, prizes and titles?

Nice writers are usually working for someone or senile or in the wrong business. Those who have done the most good, as Voltaire pointed out, have “mostly been persecuted.” The nasty sort continue to be persecuted in most countries. In the West they have to deal with more sophisticated assaults such as bankrupting lawsuits and job loss. Worst of all – in this society of expensive communication systems – they are threatened with irrelevance.

What about their messy lives, their greed, their jealousies, their hypocrisy? Who cares? Voltaire himself had a more than average number of flaws and contradictions. He still created the language which ended a regime…

Their only job is to make language work for the reader. That is the basis for free speech. Whatever the vested interests of the day may be, they invariably favour an obscure language of insider’s dialects and received wisdom. So the writer turns nasty. It’s a public service.

— excerpt from The Doubtger’s Companion: A Dictionary of Aggressive Common Sense, John Ralston Saul

The franchise industry has made me a writer. For better or worse, I am that: I can do nothing other than type. And no one is more surprised than me.

I consider what I do to be a public service. I have created an index method for a U.S. $1 trillion per year industry, created an institutional memory of any published article and broken the back of those that enable this modern tyranny.

By any measure I have paid the price and more. I am indebted to no one. I am a free man and choose to associate with others who value freedom.

The time of reckoning coming quickly.


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