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I am so happy Savio Rebelo was fired!

Savio Rebelo was fired?! Praise Jesus!!!

COO Replacement?

So when do we find out about Mr. Rebelo's replacement? I'm sure there are quite a few people here that are curious to know who Kumon has decided (or plans on tapping) as the next COO.

Vision and strategy

Dear Guest,

I can't thank you enough for this thoughtful, in-depth, historical perspective. When I came into Kumon, it was shortly before Toru Kumon's death, and Takeshi, his older son, did not survive him long
enough for me to have an opportunity to meet him. However, I have always felt a connection to this depth of caring for Kumon instructors of which you speak, and I attest that it is foundational to what Kumon truly is.

I was there when Hiroshi, his younger son, shared his vision at conferences during his short time as President of Kumon International. Through Hiroshi I heard and felt something of what it must have been like to be in the sphere of Toru, this passionate, visionary and inspirational father of children with very different abilities and aptitudes.

Speaking personally, I don't see how that vision was maintained when KNA took over many ideas like Junior Kumon and the computer system, as well as insights generated from voluntary study groups of instructors, with little or no acknowledgment of those who originated the ideas. How different things would have been had KNA, instead of developing an Elite system based solely on enrollment numbers, advanced student statistics and retention rates, grafted to its reward system a like recognition for those creative instructors whose inspirational ideas furthered the Kumon programs on a global scale. I would hazard to say that passion and caring for the many from the ground up are an essential part of what it means to be Kumon globally.

Additionally, I'm glad you raise the motivation of making the company public, because this confirms a long-held suspicion by many over the past decade or so, looking at KNA's actions and wondering if and when the company was going to go public. Unfortunately, as you rightly say, the consequences of too-rapid growth have been severe, including serious retention issues (which publicly have been put on the shoulders of predominantly the franchisees) and that "bottleneck in support resources" to which you allude, was further compounded by the loss of too many of the best and most competent staff.

Furthermore, I agree that a purely idealistic outlook is not going to address the serious challenges that are currently before us. To that end, we must build a strategic corporate plan, based on successful models putting to good use the resources of the Kumon University, rather than languishing in yesterday's patriarchal techniques. Included in this direction must be open and transparent communication and full partnership with all franchisees and our independent franchisee association, rather than closed-door discussions with a tiny handful of franchisees in the IACs. We need ethically sound leadership and relationship building standards.

Micro-managing petty aspects of centre management with isolationist habits and dictatorial actions while ignoring untapped market share for Kumon will not enhance the Kumon brand. Instead of,
as was the case this week yet again, discussions with colleagues bogging down in whether worksheets need stapling before or after work completion, we need to focus on what our combined approach should be to increase our market share in a way that is true to our company's character.

Obviously, making staples or the exact dimensions of study desks an over-riding priority is not in keeping with a grand vision. Are these details important to consider? Yes, but what should be a priority, and what is intrinsic to the success of all concerned, is putting the children first and fulfilling our potential as a world-wide company by developing strong independent learning skills in as many children as possible.

As we know, this was Toru Kumon's vision, and one that the IAKF and I stand by.

All the best,

Nicole.

SOME HISTORY OMITTED

To have a clearer perspective of the history of Kumon in North America, in particular with respect to the evolution of corporate policies and executives, it is important not to ignore that the death of Toru Kumon and his son in the mid-90's left a void that was never filled. Toru was a charismatic leader who connected with instructors not only in Japan but also all over the world.

None of those who succeeded him in the corporate hierarchy, least of all Savio Rebelo, had Mr. Kumon's genuine love for children and care and concern for instructors. The growth of Kumon in North America and throughout the world came directly from the efforts of pioneers who were never burdened with CTI, Feedback, or CMS, or how worksheets must not be stapled, or how instructors must man their centres from 10am to 6 pm. They worked with blood, sweat, and tears, through long daily man hours - without marketing support, or branch overseers.

KNA corporate executives "borrowed" or assimilated ideas from instructors and expanded from them with little credit to their originators (junior kumon, voluntary study groups, computer systems, etc.).

You said, "About twelve years ago, the company decided to get pretty serious about franchising, training, and marketing." In fact, one of the (highly classified) motivations for this strategy was to bring KNA public. Hence, enrollment expansion became the focus of corporate - at whatever cost! Everything that has had to do with "changing the direction and focus of Kumon" after Mr. Kumon's demise has evolved into very serious series of events (mistakes) that have resulted into today's corporate and franchisees' debacles.

Rebelo is a product of "faulty strategic corporate image engineering" that heavily discounted the cordial relationship between Toru Kumon and instructors in the 80's and early 90's. While Japanese leaders always expounded on the wisdom, teachings, and mission of Toru Kumon, they failed to nurture and appoint North American leaders with similar attributes or vision. For Rebelo to run amok with his style considered brutal by so many (staff) could only be attributed to whatever or whoever placed trust in him in the first place.

The centre expansion policy may have spiked enrollment but has also caused serious issues with attrition (or retention) as well as competency. Indiscriminate granting of hundreds of new licences to less than passionate or skillful franchisees created a bottleneck in support requirements. The hiring of new staff without any Kumon knowledge or experience to fill the need for ongoing support to less experienced franchisees only exacerbated the problem.

The departure of Rebelo may bring new hope but there are two problems. Whatever or whoever is or are responsible for that "corporate restructuring" in the mid-2000's is or are still there. The consequences of Rebelo's departure and the succeeding revelation surrounding "corporate differences" within the corporate hierarchy at the top will have long-term effects. For now, no one has a crystal ball for guidance.

Those in the business (of Kumon) will have to set aside passionate sentiments and begin a serious evaluation of their future. Let us hope that IAKF, an organization of Kumon instructors will succeed in its effort to have a seat at the top corporate level where it can be heard, and where it can contribute positively to Kumon's future in North America.

Thanks to all the amazing franchisees!

Dear Longtime Kumon Employee,

Wow! That is so generous and kind of you, but really, I can't take the credit. There have been so many people who have built this Kumon franchise here in North America, more than I could name or even know. Men and women who pioneered the program in those days when there was no brand awareness, and who have worked tirelessly to bring the Kumon method into the hearts and lives of millions of children over the decades. In this regard I think of people like Hikaru and Paul Matsunaga, the Otsukas, Jeannie Ianelli, and Mrs Kishibe. I also think of newer franchisees, people like Janet Kennedy, Connie Schmidt Kirman, and Amie Reid, people filled with incredible passion and determination to see the Kumon brand become all it can be.

I am humbled when I consider the dedication of my colleagues and all that they do and give and are. I feel privileged to represent them and look forward to the day that we can all work together in this same frank and open spirit that you are displaying here in your warm, genuine messages.

All the best!

Nicole

Dear guest, Thank you for

Dear guest,

Thank you for your response.

It was the fallout of the layoffs, the lack of communication in the months following, and the stifling of opinions that cemented many of the employees’ dislike of upper management. As indicated in my original post as well as in a post by another guest, Mr. Rebelo was a thoroughly unprofessional person. I will not write much more about the things he has said as I do not want to relive those moments; suffice it to say that the hypocrisy of his existence as the head of HR was equivalent to the hypocrisy of Michael Vick running a pet shelter. Or of Willie Nelson running a drug treatment facility. Or of James Bond advocating celibacy. You get the point. As COO, he demonstrated no regard for dissenting opinions. The CEO has been largely absent from the decision-making process, and up until recently the reins had been firmly in Mr. Rebelo’s grasp. He and upper management turned the environment into a “shut up, keep your head down, don’t ask questions” kind of place.

I would agree with you in that there is a certain amount of resentment directed at Mr. Rebelo for the layoffs – he directed his HR staff to literally empty the desks of the employees who were being let go while they were still at the office and to throw away any personal items that those employees had on their desks. His staff were in tears while doing his bidding. Additionally, the layoffs happened on the 29th of September 2010, and Mr. Rebelo chose not to offer the terminated employees any form of compensatory insurance, thereby leaving those terminated with just one day to get their affairs in order before having to begin COBRA. (while it is not mandatory to provide some insurance coverage following a layoff, it is the right thing to do) So yes, there is anger, and it was rightfully directed at Mr. Rebelo. There are correct ways to implement layoffs, but he chose to do it in a very poor fashion. He did not – as you state – “LEAD the company through a traumatic event”; rather, he forced it through a traumatic event without demonstrating one iota of leadership.

"Scapegoat” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “one who bears the blame for others.” The CEO at the time of the layoffs conveniently scheduled an international business trip beginning the day before the layoffs, and he did not return for two weeks. During that time, all questions and concerns were directed to Mr. Rebelo. Additionally, that CEO was absent for much of the remainder of his time with KNA (which was not very long), and the current CEO has not proven to be much more than a figurehead. Let me be clear – the majority of management decisions made in the last few years have been made by Mr. Rebelo and a few members of upper management who kowtowed to him. Mr. Rebelo is certainly not a scapegoat.

When I joined the company many years ago, it was a creative environment, one that encouraged differing opinions and did not punish people for speaking their mind. It was a place where franchisees were encouraged to get together, meet with the upper management, and jointly come up with ideas that would propel the company forward. That is true leadership. As I stated in my original post, the last few years have not seen true leadership – they have seen a dysfunctional management team. THAT is where the true resentment lies. Yes, the layoffs were a big part of it. The layoffs were a very tangible action that had wide-reaching implications, not only for the people who lost their jobs but also for the fearful staff who remained. But the Machiavellian attitude and the culture of fear that has been present at the company for the last few years is the manifestation of poor leadership.

All that being said, I think the company is already starting to recover. There is a growing sense of hope these days, one that I have not felt for a long time. This is still a great organization, one that needs a great leader or a great team of leaders.

Dear Nicole, Thank you for

Dear Nicole,

Thank you for your response. I speak for many Kumon employees when I say that I appreciate the feedback that the IAKF presents to the company. The years of experience that the members bring to the table is an invaluable source of knowledge, and I hope that the powers that be become increasingly receptive to you.

Your comment on choosing a COO is right on. We do indeed require someone who understands the Kumon system from many angles, who respects the method, and who can surround him/herself with differing opinions with the result being that the company emerges stronger and more united.

In terms of the CTI, I have heard some discussion about focusing on growing the existing centers and improving their quality rather than focusing on rapid expansion. To be sure, franchise growth remains an important part of company strategy, but some feel that the growth in recent years has been reckless and unchecked. With the recent change in management, it remains to be seen what actions will be taken.

Need a scapegoat for my anger

Longtime Employee: "In fall of 2010, approximately fifty (out of about three hundred) Kumon corporate employees were laid off without any warning or explanation. The VP of Human Resources at the time was Mr. Rebelo, the same person who would become COO (and ultimately be ousted in February 2013). Many of the people who were let go had been with the company for significant periods of time and were well-respected by fellow employees and franchisees alike."

Ahh, now we get to the real point on why Mr. Rebelo was not liked by corporate employees. He was head of HR when a mass layoff occurred during difficult economic times. Employees place their anger on him, particularly when after he led the company through such a traumatic event, he was promoted to COO. This isn't about employees needing the right leader. This is about anger with management over trimming down a bloated company.

Moving KNA forward

Dear Longtime Kumon Employee,

What a terrific summary of our Kumon history here in North America - thank you very much. Indeed, as I have been reminding Mr Hamanaka at every opportunity, rebuilding of trust amongst both employees and franchisees is vital for us to move forward as a company.

From what I am hearing, some positive changes are being planned within the company with regard to certain aspects of the Centre Transformation Initiative (CTI), more focus on the growth of existing centres, and so on. Are you hearing that too?

A lot depends on who is chosen as COO. As I wrote on the company's discussion forum shortly after Savio resigned: "While it is wise not to move too hastily to hiring a new COO, it is important
not to have a lengthy period where Mr Hamanaka must try to fill the very challenging dual role of CEO and a COO. We must find a COO with a proven trackrecord of communicating with (not at) a whole variety of people, a consensusbuilder. We need someone with balanced business and educational qualificationswho understands the North American mindset yet who will be mindful and respectful of the integrity and foundational precepts of Kumon, and who has the capacity to learn quickly. In short, it is time for a COO who can expand our horizons and provide hope. It goes without saying that this person would thoroughly understand the need for collaborative work with the franchisee association of record."

Nicole,
President, IAKF (International Association of Kumon Franchisees)

A history lesson: For the

A history lesson:

For the first thirty-odd years of its existence in this country, all it took to open a Kumon center was $500 and a pulse. Training consisted of three hours of reviewing the materials at a local branch office (if one existed). Instructors were allowed to operate their centers out of church basements, veterans’ halls, and even their homes. However, despite these humble beginnings (or perhaps because of them), the program started to take root and steadily grow in prominence.

About twelve years ago, the company decided to get pretty serious about franchising, training, and marketing. Kumon began to mandate that centers operate out of retail spaces, require that franchisees not have any other form of employment, and require franchisees to attend two weeks of training at corporate headquarters. The gradual changes were not easy to implement, but their results were worth the effort. This was considered the “golden era” of Kumon in the US – centers were doing well, brand recognition was improving, and morale on both the corporate and franchisee side was very high.

In fall of 2010, approximately fifty (out of about three hundred) Kumon corporate employees were laid off without any warning or explanation. The VP of Human Resources at the time was Mr. Rebelo, the same person who would become COO (and ultimately be ousted in February 2013). Many of the people who were let go had been with the company for significant periods of time and were well-respected by fellow employees and franchisees alike. This forced many departments to scramble to complete the work that was suddenly not getting done. Even more surprising was the lack of communication from the upper management to the people who still remained with the company. The franchisees did not receive an explanation either, which continues to cause great concern among the franchisee community. Following the layoffs, the company has seen more staff members leave voluntarily. The fallout from the layoffs has resulted in a company where fear is the motivating force behind continued employment.

Mr. Rebelo, the COO who was recently terminated, had only been with the company for about seven years, and had only been in his COO position for less than two of those years. In the time leading up to his promotion to COO, he was the VP of the HR department. He was notorious for making very unprofessional comments about people’s religion, race, weight, appearance, etc., but as he was head of HR, many staff members felt that they did not have any recourse. The few who brought their concerns to the CEO were simply reported to Mr. Rebelo, and he would continue his actions. The vast majority of Kumon staff are happy that he is no longer employed here.

To respond to some of the comments about leadership – it is true that great leadership goes hand-in-hand with a company’s success. The first thirty years of Kumon’s existence in this country were made possible by education pioneers and brave franchisees. During the period of 2001 through 2009, the company doubled and redoubled its efforts through outstanding leadership by great employees and dedicated franchisees like Nicole Smith, who commented above. However, over the last few years, Kumon has NOT had great corporate leadership. The company has had (and continues to have) excellent franchisees, corporate staff who are passionate about what they do, and a mission that brings out the best in everyone. But the constant infighting and lack of professionalism at the very highest levels have set the company back many years through demoralizing the workforce and the franchisees. It will take a great deal of rebuilding trust in order to move this company forward.

Re: franchise advisory board needed?

This franchise advisory board is only the most recent incarnation by Kumon. ACs have been created and disbanded in repeated cycles of hope and frustration by KNA for some years now. That being said, it is not looking good for this one so far. Within the first few months, 3 members out of the original 9 elected had already been dismissed from the US AC due to new AC membership rules created by KNA after the AC had been set up. The Canadian AC spokesperson was also recently dismissed because of rules insisted upon by KNA, leading to questions about whether the elections held were meaningful.

A stated goal of setting up the ACs was to improve communication and trust. Unfortunately, though the members of the ACs are hard-working and well-intentioned individuals, Kumon franchisees have been burned too often in the past. Though they want to believe this time it will be different, the precedent has been set that ACs have not fully represented interests of franchisees, and the betterment of the Kumon brand, but is primarily focused on representing management ideology and interests. Moreover, many of the most important requests presented by the franchisee community through the ACs have been simply denied by KNA, since it has no real consultative power.

In contrast, our franchisee association (IAKF), led by a volunteer board, has worked consistently to represent franchisees to KNA. We have been in place continuously over the past 7 years, have grown to include hundreds of members from Canada, the US and Mexico, and through our network with other franchisee associations in the UK and Ireland, Spain, Japan and Australia, can present an international perspective both to KNA and our membership.

From the time Mr Hamanaka arrived in North America in October 2011, the IAKF has extended the hand of friendship over and over again, showing our willingness to partner with him in any way available, including joining the ACs. Notwithstanding his responses over the past months, we remain ready and willing to work for best interests of all concerned - our Kumon students and their parents, the franchisees and Kumon staff.

Recent events underline the need for this excellent and unique Kumon program to be supported by an equally excellent relationship between KNA and its franchisee association. It is time for management to let go of its need to have all the control and to begin a true partnership with its franchisees.

Thanks to all who are participating and reading this discussion, and to Blue Mau Mau for hosting,

Nicole Smith,
President, International Association of Kumon Franchisees (IAKF)

Understood

When you wrote "rev" you were referring to systemwide sales. Kumon NA's systemwide sales are down, even though the center unit count is up. Got it.

To clarify, rev (or

To clarify, rev (or "revenues" or "money" or "paying students") is down company wide. Your other comments are understood.

You talk funny

You keep talking like a franchisor staff. "Rev is way down," you say.

A franchisee's revenues could be way up but her mandated expenses could be up even higher so that they lose money. Franchisors receive royalties and ad funds from a center's revenues so it is all franchisors are typically focused on.

For a franchisee what is of chief concern is what is happening with your profits and net cash flow. Are franchisees able to lower their expenses at a greater rate than flattening or falling revenues?

Unfortunately, we're doing

Unfortunately, we're doing poorly year over year. Rev is way down, and the increase in units is the result of lowering the qualification standards for franchisees. So, while the number of centres has increased, the quality of instruction has gone way down. This is something that is and will continue to hurt us. Any advantage we have over other supplemental programs can be attributed to the half century old learning method and many of our owners.

Brilliant directors hold up the sky

Well. I'll tell you this. Kumon's competitors are not doing so hot. Even worse are the independent learning centers that surround you. They are folding, while Kumon is growing.

I guess you center directors are just smarter than the rest of the industry. But even if that is the case, which I sincerely doubt, your brilliance shows recruiting leadership from Kumon NA.

Student success and business

Student success and business success come from the center directors, like myself. The upper tier management, like the ever changing president and the incestuous board have little impact on student/center/company success. Just lots of sound and fury signifying nothing. I'll get new students and I'll lose students this month. The upper leadership will have no effect on that. It's been that way for the two decades I've been at this.

Somewhere leaders have done something good

Staffer: "any success Kumon has is in spite of its leadership"

That's not possible. For millenia we have understood, "Ex nihilo nihil fit" or nothing comes from nothing. You'll probably recognize that line from Julie Andrews singing to the captain in the Sound of Music:

"Nothing comes from nothing. Nothing ever could. So somewhere in my youth, or childhood, I must have done something good.”

Kumon doesn't get to grow into one of the largest franchisors on the planet and the largest chain of learning centers in North America without leadership. A staffer or two might think so but it just is not possible.

KNA has 400+ staff in the

KNA has 400+ staff in the branches and at HQ. Rebelo took power during a period between Japanese presidents and was championed by a "Human Capital" leader who was also relieved of his KNA duties for lack of competence. Rebelo's rise was a fluke. Anyway, any success Kumon has is in spite of its leadership so the whole discussion is meaningless.

No more whitewashing, now mudwashing

Staffer: "I speak for hundreds of staff"

What?!? A franchisor of 1,500 franchised centers has hundreds of staff? Why?

Who cares if the COO wasn't a nice guy, that he didn't communicate to your satisfaction or that you think he was lazy? I guarantee you that each of Kumon's instructors have hired at least one staff that probably had the same thoughts about them because the instructors dared tell their employee that they needed to improve their performance or happened to look at them the wrong way. Apparently, management and the board liked ambitious Rebelo well enough that they promoted him again and again, with his most recent promotion being just a year and a half ago to the position of chief operating officer.

What is more concerning is the structural problems of Kumon North America. Why are so many of the senior executives appointed to its board of directors - President, CFO, COO, etc.? That creates an incestuous board that rubber stamps what the hired staff wants.

Another issue is that the staffers didn't understand franchising enough to know that a franchise advisory board is needed. According to the article, Kumon set up an advisory board only a year and a half ago. Where have you guys been during the past half century?

No more whitewashing

The focus of this article was on disagreements about how to factor in the valuable input from the franchis association, but that was just one aspect of the enormous and very severe problem with the COO. The "strategic vision" line is a ruse, and while one aspect of Rebelo's m.o. was to ignore and disrespect franchisees (including the franchise association for which he openly expressed contempt), he was also universally recognized as a terrible leader, abysmal communicator, ignorant of the Kumon method and philosophy, lazy, and a known violator human resources regulations. Rebelo was not "reasonable" by any stretch of the imagination. If the leadership of Kumon truly believes that this was a simple disagreement about competing ideals, they are blind to the seething animosity that countless staff and franchisees had toward him. No one in the company believes this was a simple resignation. Rebelo was terminated for years of impropriety, and my colleagues and I are dancing in the streets. Now it's time for the other North American board member to have a "parting" too. I speak for hundreds of staff when I say that we love the Kumon method and want to do what we can to bring it to children everywhere, but the current conflicts between the Japanese leadership and the U.S. "leadership" are ripping the company apart.

Don Sniegowski's picture

Article in Japanese: 公文最高業務執行責任者離脱が経営の亀裂をさらけ出した

Here is the article translated into Japanese. (Translator, thank you so much.) 日本人の皆様、下記にはこのクモン記事の翻訳です。

公文最高業務執行責任者離脱が経営の亀裂をさらけ出した
2013年2月12日 火曜日 03:18 ドン・スネゴスキー(Don Sniegowski)著

ニュージャージー州ティーネック市– 先週最高執行責任者(COO)サビオ・レベロ氏(Savio Rebelo) は、日本の公文教育研究所の北米子会社((Kumon North America: KNA)から退任した。同氏の辞任はこの(フランチャイズ)チェーンが異なった方向に分岐していく事を示唆している。 後任者が決まるまで現在のKNAの浜中明社長が最高執行責任も兼任する。

KNA学習センター・フランチャイズのジョー・ナティボ(Joe Nativo)最高財務責任者(CFO)は“レベロ氏の別離はKNAとの相互合意であると”述べた。KNAは2011年11月末にレベロ氏をCOOに任命した。 又彼はKNA取締役会のメンバーでもあった。  “レベロ氏は10年間在籍していた”と同氏は述べた。“KNAは彼の10年間の職務に感謝すると共に彼の将来の活動が好調である事を願っている”と付け加えた。

日本の一部の企業は未だ終身雇用しており、幹部が部下を首にするのは難しい。米国に駐在する特典の一つは雇用・解雇が割合簡単・迅速で組織の形成が出来る事である。 “今回の人事変更の為の計画は無い”とナティボCFOはKNAの上部経営層の安定性を断言した。

多様な国で組織全体の意見の一致を求める会社

2011年11月レベロ氏がCOOになる同月の少し前に北米の新社長に就任した浜中明氏はフランチャイズ・オーナー達に双者間に策略の相違があった事を“KNAの運営と方向について実質的な意見の相違があり、サビオさんが退社する事が関係者全体にとり最善であるとの相互の合意であった” とEメールで説明した。

公文は学習センターを標準化し品質向上をさせようと推進し、それをセンター・トランスフォーメーション・イニシアティブと呼んでいる。“我々経営陣は全員一致の調和の結論に到達する事を目指して建設的な議論をして行く”と浜中氏はオーナー達に断言した。  彼は会社内やフランチャイズ組織と調和を構築する事を目指している。ビジネス・オーナー達にとって会社がどの様に調和構築するかが問題の核心である。

レベロ前COOは公文フランチャイズ・オーナー達を代表する独立業界団体の国際公文フランチャイズ者協会(International Association of Kumon Franchisees: IAKF)を承認もせず又協力も拒否した。その経営スタイルは業界協会やそのリーダー達と頻繁に話していた楠澤秀樹前社長とは対照的であった。その後楠澤氏は全世界2万6千余りの公文学センターの戦略を統括援助する世界本社の取締役に栄転した。 “私達は浜中社長の前任者楠澤秀樹氏とは非常に率直な伝達が有った”とIAKFのニコール・スミス(Nicole Smith)会長は言明する。  カナダ人のスミス女史はオンタリオ州ハミルトン市にて公文学習センターを経営している。

KNA浜中新社長は最近独立志向の協会から引き離れて行った。むしろ既に出来上がっている団体を諮問機関とせず会社は1年半前に独自の諮問機関をゼロから形成した。レベロ氏やその他の人は独立業界協会には全く関わりたくない事を明確にした。

然しながら独立フランチャイジー協会はフランチャイズ組織に革新的なアイデアもたらす事が知られている。フランチャイズ・チェーンは複製に焦点を当てがちである為、注意しないと容易に胡麻擦り人間が会社に蔓延する羽目になる。その様な環境が自らの創りだした世界に反応する集団浅慮を培養する事になる。又それが創造性と技術革新を阻害する事にも成り得る。別業界ではあるが、3,219店のカールズ・ジュニア(Carl's Jr)とハーディーズ(Hardee's )を持つCKEレストランのアンディー・プヅダー(Andy Puzder )CEOは、積極的に関与している独立フランチャイジー協会を起用したのはこれらの商標看板の立て直しの為にこの会社に就任した時の第一歩だったとブルー・マウマウ(Blue MauMau)に語った。“達経営陣や私にとってはアイデアがどこから来るのかはどうでも良い。 それで成功する事だけが重要である”と プヅダー氏は言明した。独立ハーディーズ協会が諮問機関を運営している。

公文フランチャイズ・オーナー達は何を望んでいるのか?

オーナー達は北米の公文ブランドと彼らの将来の方向についての発言の機会を求めている。  

一つには、レベロCOOの退去はその機会と見ている。彼らは誰を次期最高執行責任者にするかの選択する事を希望している。 “非常に良好であろうと思われる人を私達は注目しています”とフランチャイジーのスミス女史は語る。彼女はフランチャイジーや独立協会指導者達に密に取り組むCOOはフランチャイズ・オーナーの数がより迅速に増加すると考えている。  

又フランチャイジー達は彼らの広告資金で日本の宣伝・広報の大手電通を米国とカナダの市場に起用する公文の決定に異議を唱えている。もし彼らに任せて貰えるのならば、独立心のあるフランチャイジー達は北米で一流のマーケティング会社を雇い運営するするだろう。  

最後に独立協会は運営指導書や学習センターをどの様に改善するかの決定を構想する会議の一席に着きたい。“もう21世紀になってから13年にもなりますし、独立協会を利用するのは良策であろうと私は考えます”とIAKFスミス会長は述べる。

その様な米国ビジネス・オーナーからの個別の懇願を聞くのは分裂ではなく調和を求めるフランチャイズ本部の指導者にとり落胆する事かも知れない。現在組織のフランチャイジーは組織の方向に特に満足していない。浜中氏の課題は遠方から上意下達の指令を出す社員を持つ事ではなく、学習し革新する活気ある組織から総意引き出す事である。ニュージャージー本社の社長が独立心のあるフランチャイジー達と四苦八苦するにあたり、日本の“七転び八起き”の諺を留意されている事は間違いない。

Cryptic remark

What are you talking about? What misdeeds? This is a parting of strategic visions. Companies have disagreements all the time among leaders on the direction the company should go. One might advocate recognizing a group outside the structures of the company, while another wants to avoid it. The COO wanted to avoid external franchisee groups. Those are reasonable disagreements and debates among reasonable leaders. Nothing maniacal here.

CFO and other should be fired, too.

The COO was a maniac, too be sure, but Joe Nativo (CFO) and the HR leaders who allowed Rebelo's and Nativo's misdeeds are also guilty.

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