The IFA Annual Convention in Orlando provided an opportunity for us to learn about some of the challenges facing franchises of all kinds, from specialty retail to healthcare and QSR.
We attended an incredibly insightful session, “Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals (WIGs) – The 4 Disciplines of Execution” with featured speaker, Chris McChesney. This session advised franchises on four critical principles to ensure that major initiatives don’t burn-out, die or otherwise fall between the cracks. The disciplines outlined were valuable and, if implemented, promise to help franchises keep their critical initiatives on track.
Through this discussion, McChesney painted a clear and realistic picture of the challenges that franchise operators face daily.
Fire, fire! – Operations professionals in any business are the firemen and women of their organizations. From dealing with unexpected challenges ranging from the weather to system outages, operations teams are on the front lines of problem-solving on the fly. This means that a significant portion of every day is wrapped up in addressing whatever obstacle that particular day may bring. As a result, operations professionals must be extremely deliberate about leveraging whatever time remains to implement strategic goals.
So many goals – In light of the speed of technological change and business today, the list of priorities is long. And while all the items on the list may be very important, limited resources and time make completing that list impossible. Franchises need to carefully vet their priorities and narrow the list to 2 or 3 critical priorities at a time. A longer list is a set-up for failure and may result in the demise of all the projects due to lack of time and attention. Pick your “wildly important goals,” as McChesney calls them, and stick to them.
Traps and snares – In any good business, smart people have good ideas and teams are always looking forward to “what’s next.” That means that every single day, people have worthy plans, want to have valuable discussions and engage in meaningful activities. Unfortunately, while important and worthwhile, these activities can be distractions that pull operators away from their WIGs. Don’t fall into the trap of saying “yes” to every good idea or being part of every proposed meeting.
Franchises will continue to face challenging conditions, stiff competition and overwhelming opportunities. The ability to stay focused on and successfully stick with the plan is critically important. What other challenges do you face as a franchise operator? Take some time to think about focusing in on your WIGs and see the benefits of accomplishing the most important things at the end of this year.