What we can learn from the Girl Guides

As Girl Guides across the globe gathered in person and in spirit on February 22 to reflect on World Thinking Day, we in the world of franchising consider the immense changes the girl guides have brought to the world, the barriers they've broken down, and the challenges they have overcome. We applaud and appreciate their successes and take the time to consider what we can learn from them.


What sets the Girl Guides apart?

Girl Guides is a group that is and always has been culturally and ethnically diverse. Founded in a time when women were not allowed to vote, it broke cultural barriers from the start by empowering women to pursue their dreams, work together, pursue opportunities and be resilient to the challenges they would face.

The Girl Guides heavily promote entrepreneurship across all ages and levels of the organization, providing its members with the tools, training and support they need to thrive in a demanding and gender-imbalanced environment. A key facet of the Girl Guides is developing and embedding leadership skills that will allow its members to thrive in whatever challenges they choose to take on, whether they are personal, sporting or entrepreneurial.


Where franchising and Girl Guides meet

In business, much like in the Girl Guides, leadership, cultural diversity and resilience to challenge are essential qualities. In franchising, we follow a defined system that includes training, provision of tools and equipment, mentoring and networking opportunities, and the ability to share ideas for improvement and successes with others in the franchise organization.

The baseline therefore exists to communicate, collaborate and coordinate efforts to improve the ability of all franchisees to be the best entrepreneurs they can be. Much like in the Girl Guides, it simply requires recognition of the benefits that are achievable when a concentrated effort is put in place and targets are clearly defined.


Achievable improvements

For those who are reading this and nodding along in agreement, let this be the impetus for change in your organization. Consider the size and scale of your franchise business, the stakeholders involved, and the relative experience and abilities of your franchisees. Working with your franchisees, select a baseline minimum performance level, define it clearly, and communicate it to all franchisees.

Ensure that all parties understand and accept this level and have success criteria in the form of achievable milestones along their pathway to success. Regularly achieving success will empower and encourage them to even greater success, and by buying into their journey and supporting and helping them along the way, you will see your entire business endeavor accelerate its growth and profitability.

There is a lot that we can learn from the Girl Guides. The most important things are to communicate clearly, trust and empower each other, and work together toward a common goal. When we do this, great things can happen.