Franchising is a halfway house between being an entrepreneurial business owner and taking a job with all the certainty and uncertainty that entails.
Franchising is a common next-step for managers who leave their safe employment and want to set up and operate their own business. But they don’t have the ideas or the appetite for a wholly new business of their own. As a business model, franchising offers significant benefits to:
- the person granting the franchise (franchisor)
- the person operating the franchised business (franchisee), and
But with benefits come inevitable costs and risks. So, in this article, we’ll look at the Big Idea behind franchising, what it is and what it means for business people on either side of the transaction.
Continue reading Franchising: Half-way to Independent Business Ownership
17 March is St Patrick’s Day. It is the feast day of St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who, legend claims, drove all of the snakes off the island.
But, St Patrick is little more than a Big Idea. Legend swirls around him. And, although there almost certainly was a historic figure on whom those legends are based, little of the truth survives. What there is remains so cloaked in myth that it is hard to distinguish.
So, what is the Big Idea of St Patrick? And what do you need to know about the modern phenomenon of St Patrick’s Day?
Continue reading St Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland
No. An article on memes is not an excuse to re-post a bunch of funny internet memes. We’re more
grown-up boring than that, here at Management Pocketbooks.
And it’s not as if we think you don’t know what a meme is. Of course you do. So, why have we made it the subject of one of our Big Ideas articles?
Because a meme is an idea that sticks around. It is a Big Idea!
Continue reading Memes: Ideas that Spread and Evolve
Self-help wasn’t always a multi-million dollar industry. Its origins go way back to when the first caveman or cavewoman got up off the floor, brushed themselves down, and got back on with it.
So what is there to say about a Big Idea that’s been around forever and is almost certainly wired into our genes?
For me, it is the self-help industry that is the story. It’s a story of:
- academic rigour and genuine solutions, alongside
- mindless credulity and outright charlatanry
Continue reading Self-Help: Therapy for the DIY Age
In a world filled with temptations to take shortcuts, governance is our defence. It provides us with the direction and control that maintain the standards that serve the many against the carelessness or abuses of those with power.
It feels to this observer that never in my lifetime has the need for governance been as great as it is now.
Continue reading Governance: Steering the Good Ship
Why is Amazon so successful? A big part of the answer is A/B Testing. Unknown to most users, we are subject to thousands of A/B tests every week. It tells Amazon how to layout a page, which products to offer you, and even the font size on the buy buttons.
A/B testing is ubiquitous on the internet and it powers millions of marketing decisions a day. Yet the idea is shockingly simple. What has changed is the technology that allows marketers to carry out their A/B tests on statistically significant samples quickly and easily. That’s what the internet and web technologies have given us.
So what is this age-old idea, and what can it do for you?
Continue reading A/B Testing: Finding the Optimum
Faster, better, cheaper. Isn’t that the goal of every manufacturing process? It sounds hubristic to even try but, thanks to Moore’s Law, that’s what the semi-conductor industry has achieved year after year – for nearly 60 years.
And it’s Moore’s law that predicted that trend towards smaller, faster, cheaper, and more energy-efficient computing.
Indeed, chip manufacturer Intel calculates that, if the automobile industry had performed as well as Moore’s Law, we’d now be driving cars that:
- Cost us around $0.04 (£0.04 or €0.04)
- Get almost 2 million miles per gallon (700,000 km/litre)
- Can travel at nearly 300,000 mph (500,000 km/h).
But there are clouds on the horizon. Inevitably, for physical reasons, Moore’s law must reach an end. But strangely, this makes it a good time to look at it.
Continue reading Moore’s Law: Faster – Better – Cheaper Computing
The quest to understand human personalities has been going on for 3,000 years, or more. The Big Five Personality Traits are just the latest in a long line of models that take us towards that understanding.
And, it would be as absurd to think that the Big Five Personality Traits will be the last word on the matter as it would have been to stick with the four humours. But perhaps what the centuries of scientific development, and acres of statistical analysis, can assure us of is that we are honing that understanding.
How like the Big Five our 22nd Century model will be, we cannot know. But, for now, the best representation we have, of the fundamentals of human psychology, are the big Five Personality Traits. So, what are they?
Continue reading Big Five Personality Traits
Key Performance Indicators – or KPIs – stem from an insight that is most often attributed to Peter Drucker, in his 1954 book titled, ‘The Practice of Management’:
‘What gets measured gets managed’
That attribution may be contested, but the central assertion seems pretty sound. If your organisation measures performance against a specific metric, then its managers feel an incentive to manage their parts of the business, so that they perform well against that metric. KPIs are nothing more nor less than the key – or most valuable – metrics.
Continue reading Key Performance Indicators: KPIs
Voice of the Customer, or VOC, is a process for systematically listening to the perceptions, needs, wishes, expectations, and fears of your customer or end-user. We do it to ensure that the new products, processes or services we are developing will truly reflect what they want and need.
This means we’ll be able to expect people will want what we produce, and so buy and use it.
When you listen to the Voice of the Customer, you learn what the market demands are, and can develop new products to meet them.
Continue reading Voice of the Customer (VOC)