By Katrina Vo posted April 14, 2021

A new book, Think Again, by psychologist, Adam Grant, has got us thinking. We reckon clear thinking is particularly important right now because franchise leaders need to both maintain strategic clarity, and build the confidence of their people in the midst of uncertainty and tight budgets. And as you'll see from our Franchising Fact below, this is an area that definitely needs more attention. In this Positive Franchising Update, you'll learn:

  • More about our CEO, John Cooksey
  • Five ways to sharpen your thinking
  • What franchisees rate their franchisors as being weakest in
  • Why you might consider registering for the Franchisor Excellence Masterclass

We thought we'd also share below an unexpected gift that COVID brought us - the ability to run real-time workshops with our clients around the globe. The map below shows the destinations we have virtually visited so far this year. Thank you Zoom! 

HOW WE'RE MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Connecting the global franchising community - one workshop at a time!

While working from home may have been a new experience for many, FRI transitioned into a virtual business back in 2012. At the time, people kept asking how we kept our team engaged and productive. Hopefully, now you know. What we have only recently started doing, however, is running interactive virtual workshops with franchisor teams around the globe. This has literally opened a new world of opportunities for us to connect with our clients, and help our clients connect with each other.

MEET THE TEAM: John Cooksey, CEO...and Sensei

What do you get when you combine an ex-Yum! Brands franchisor executive, psychologist, Black Belt martial arts instructor, and all-round nice guy? You get our CEO, John Cooksey. Prior to joining FRI, John held international HR and Operations roles with KFC and Pepsico, was a senior consultant with the Gartner Group, and led a network of licensed recruitment offices. John also gets small business as he has run his own start-ups in the healthcare space. If you are coming to any of our education programs you'll get to meet John, otherwise, he's looking forward to catching you when he can.

BEST PRACTICE INSIGHTS: 5 ways to sharpen your thinking

Here are five useful insights from Adam Grant's new book, Think Again. We believe these have particular relevance to franchisor executives, especially given our Franchising Fact below. 

#1. Think like a scientist. When you start forming an opinion, resist the temptation to preach, prosecute or politic. Treat your emerging view as a hunch or a hypothesis and test it with data. This will help you to maintain the agility to pivot.

#2. Beware of getting stranded at the summit of Mount Stupid. Don't confuse confidence with competence. The Dunning Kruger effect is a good reminder that the better you think you are, the greater the risk that you're overestimating yourself, and the greater the odds that you'll stop improving.

#3. Embrace the joy of being wrong. When you find out you made a mistake, take it as a sign that you've just discovered something new. Don't be afraid to laugh at yourself. It helps to focus less on proving yourself and more on improving yourself.

#4. Practise the art of persuasive listening. When trying to open other peoples’ minds, we can frequently accomplish more by listening than by talking. A good way to start is to increase your question to statement ratio.

#5. Remember that less is often more. If you pile on too many different reasons to support your case it can make your audiences defensive and cause them to reject your entire argument based on the least compelling points. Instead of diluting your argument, lead with a few of your strongest points.

FRANCHISING FACT: What areas do franchisees rate their franchisor leaders as being weakest in?

No, it's not fairness or trustworthiness. In fact, these are the highest rated areas. The areas franchisees rate the lowest are forward vision and innovation. Only 56% of franchisees agree their franchisor leadership team has a clear strategy to protect the future of their network, and only 58% agree their network is staying fresh and innovative. Interestingly, brands that have longer-tenured franchisees typically perform poorer in these two vital areas.

For this reason, we believe that well-established franchisors need strong strategic thinking and influencing skills to keep themselves and their franchisees fresh and growing. Otherwise, both can drag each other down and hold back a franchise network from reinvention and evolution. This is also why we place so much emphasis on thinking and influencing skills in our Franchisor Excellence Masterclass.

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