Why we need common sense more than ever, and how to harness it

Put down that book about management theory! What franchise leaders need today is good old common sense.

Why we need common sense more than ever

Leadership courses in management schools tend to focus on how problems have been handled before. But today, the pandemic, economic chaos, government uncertainty and cost of living increases have created a storm we have not previously experienced. Relying on management gurus for remedies today is like expecting Plato to fix your computer.

How to hone your common sense.

You don’t need books, training seminars, speeches or videos to hone your common sense.  You’ve already got it, but you probably need space to harness its full potential.

What you need is

  • Time to look at the bigger picture. Make time for this.
  • Relaxation: Great ideas and solutions arrive when you are relaxed. Lie in the sauna, go swimming, make bread – whatever works for you.
  • Confidence that you can crack the problem. If you’re worried use a trick from the acting world – recall a previous situation where you made a decision that led to success. Channel that feeling of positivity.
  • An enquiring mind and capacity to learn. Thinking outside the box starts with looking outside the box.
  • In-depth knowledge of your own business and how it works. At Walfinch we use The Metrics Method, our unique formula that uses data analysis to show which business activities increase revenue. Developed over a decade, we know that following it helps franchisees to fly.

The franchise advantage

The franchise model encourages devolved leadership and consultation.

In fact, it makes consultation essential: a franchisor will never force a bunch of franchisees to do something they are sincerely opposed to. Wisely chosen franchisees will argue back, because they are leaders themselves.

Consult franchisees

If you are a franchisor, consider discussing the strategy needed to address current challenges (recruitment, the cost-of-living hike) with your franchisees. Here at Walfinch we encourage an inclusive ideas strategy,  so we know that this way, franchisors get the advantage of franchisees’  common sense too.

This doesn’t mean you are obliged to do what the franchisees say – as a leader, strategy is still your job, and your franchisees depend on you for it – but you’ll be making better-informed  strategy that franchisees are more likely to follow.

Franchisees – consult your staff

If you are a franchisee, consult your staff. Most will have useful, common sense ideas about how strategy can address the issues confronting the franchise. At Walfinch we find that consulting staff about strategy ideas can deliver new insights and help staff feel closer to the company. This can increase retention, as the risk of ‘us and them’ feelings among staff is reduced.

So, chuck out the management books and use your common sense – it’s free, and after all, strategies not backed up by common sense will almost certainly fail. Common sense is one of the things Walfinch looks for in franchisees, so if you know you have it, come and talk to us.

Amrit Dhaliwal
Amrit Dhaliwal