The Third Turn

Dr. Mark L. Vincent's Blog

But franchising seemed so simple!

Posted by Mark L. Vincent on Feb 5, 2015 6:00:00 AM

Many folks who get started in some sort of associational arrangement, be it a franchise, chartering a club with a national organization, establishing a congregation connected to a denomination, or simply licensing some intellectual property, do so thinking that pooling resources makes sense.

All too often it as if two ships seem to have come parallel to each other, not realizing that they are actually on a very slow course to collision. They don't notice because they notice the way their specific need is met by the other at the moment rather than how it will not be met in the future if the mutual selfishness that brings them together prevails.

The mutually self-interested moment that brought them together is what leaves bruises on each other when the banging up against each other happens. And it will happen. If the only goal was coming together, then there is no remaining momentum to help them find new alignments. Getting renewed alignment can be more complex than reading the legal language in the franchising contract!  Thankfully there are ways to work at this conceptually that provide wise guidance.

Consider the following diagram:


It's graininess is proof that it has been around for awhile!  It essentially draws on Luft's Zucchini Connection to demonstrate that the ongoing viability of a franchised arrangement begins with commonly derived understanding of the customer/client decision. The economic result (benefit OR harm) becomes a new reason for a franchisor, franchisee, and even vendors with whom they must work, to strategize and strengthen the organization they build and adapt together to continue meeting customer need.

When customer need is not considered and mutual self-interest replaces it, then customer need and positive economic results are ditched, along with the partnership of organizations originally formed to meet it.

It begins with design.

-mark l vincent


Topics: process consulting, franchising, associational systems, organizational development muse, Mark L. Vincent, Design Group International, organizational problem solving


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