By Eric Parker

I was recently introduced to a presentation video by Sir Ken Robinson by Heneke Mackie from “The Buzz”.

In it, he makes it clear that we educate children “out of creativity” at schools and not into creativity.  We have become a generation scared to make mistakes!

Please watch the video which I can assure you, will be well worth it.

Do schools kill creativity? by Sir Ken Robinson

Having enjoyed the video, it made me think “are Franchisors regulating the creativity out of Franchisees?” Don’t get me wrong, in any brand there needs to be minimum standards and performance criteria.  The question is, are we really encouraging Franchisees to come up with new ideas or are we suppressing their creativity?

Remember, Franchisees are at the coal face interacting with customers, daily. Some of the best product, process and customer service ideas have come from franchisees in the leading brands of the world.

Imagine if we had a room full of your franchisees. They are all likely to potentially have a talent of their own, some of them could possibly:

  • Form a band
  • Fix a car
  • Solve an IT problem
  • Cook a great meal
  • Do home alterations
  • Paint a picture
  • Write a book
  • Discuss income tax issues

So, it makes total sense to encourage franchisees to make good use of their talents and creativity.  Encourage them to make suggestions, no idea is a bad idea!

Let’s make franchisees feel part of our team! “Them vs Us” is very dangerous, however in our experience it is still happening in a number of brands.

So how can we go about involving and encouraging our franchisees to not be afraid and feel rewarded for new creative ideas?

  1. Communication: Communicate with them regularly in a relaxed, non-threatening manner.  Ask meaningful questions about what they think could be done to improve the business and give the customers a better experience.
  • Credit where credit is due: If a franchisee comes up with a good idea, give them credit, include them in the brainstorming and testing. And make sure you test the new idea in their outlet.
  • Acknowledgement: Consider a reward for a new idea that is commercialised.  This does not need to be a substantial financial amount, but franchisees will appreciate the recognition.
  • Input: Consider circulating the new ideas to your franchise network and get other franchisees to comment on their validity within their franchise.

So, in conclusion you have a wealth of knowledge and talent in your franchisee pool.  Make use of it and you might be surprised how successful it will prove.

Franchising Plus