The success of leadership and business depends very much on its culture
Having stepped into the role of acting managing director at Caremark in June, I’ve had time to reflect on the ease of the transition from one leader to another. Granted, I’ve come from within the brand itself but the lack of disruption and willingness of staff and franchisees to embrace such change is cause for contemplation.
A good franchisor should have a culture that can facilitate a leadership change without brand damage or disruption. Strong foundations created by genuine teamwork, with everyone working together towards one goal, will provide stability and ensure longevity when changes arise.
In today’s relationship-centric marketplace, franchisors must understand culture and values are as important to prospects as return on investment and operations manuals. Franchisees want to feel part of something bigger – to be a member of and contribute to a network of likeminded professionals who share their aspirations and ethics.
Our culture at Caremark is everyone matters. From our carers out in the field to our franchisees, our head office staff and support team, even our founder and managing director – we want everyone to feel valued. Creating our culture of togetherness has been meticulously planned and rolled out with military precision. It’s quite a new concept for the care sector but we’re already reaping the benefits. I would encourage any franchisor or business owner to look inwardly at their own vision, values and culture and ask themselves: what would happen if I wasn’t here?
This very culture within our brand has enabled our managing director to take a sabbatical and me to step seamlessly into the role. And with the autonomy to drive the business forward to new heights during my time in office. Archaic, managing director-protectionism has no place in a progressive, modern company and I believe it’s why we continue to thrive.
For potential franchisees, the structure and culture of any franchisor’s head office team is something that’s worthy of inspection. Does the brand hinge on one central personality? What would happen if that person needed to step away from the business? What measures are in place and who, if anyone, is earmarked for succession in the event of a planned exit or extended leave? And, if it’s not someone from within the internal team, why not? They may feel like uncomfortable questions to ask and I guarantee they probably aren’t ones that instantly spring to mind when doing your due diligence but they’re worth asking.
It’s also worth questioning existing franchisees about this culture before you sign on the dotted line. It’s easy for a franchisor to tell you they have a togetherness culture but successful cultures are lived as well as talked about.