John O’Brien takes our quick snap Q&A

Shared responsibility. That’s what a good franchise relationship is all about, says John O’Brien CEO and founder of Poolwerx. Here he answers our 30 second Q&A.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?

I’ve learned that nothing happens by accident. You have to think through every situation, challenge and examine all the angles. Do your homework and preparation, then choose the best path to take.

What’s the key to a happy franchise relationship?

I believe the key is about creating a culture of shared responsibility between all parties in the business; from the franchisees, to franchisor and suppliers. Following this ethos provides a level of ownership, accountability and empowerment across all levels in the organisation. It taps into the energy of the multiplying effect of franchising.

What book would you recommend and why?

Jim Collins’ book ‘Good to Great’ has always been a favourite and one I have re-read several times. When I first read it the themes endorsed a lot of beliefs I had in business and gave me insights into how to put them into practice. It’s about values, systems and excellence converging.

A close second is ‘Onward: How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul’ by the CEO Howard Schultz. It’s an amazing read about the comeback of a brand and the real life story of a franchise entrepreneur who left the business, realised it was losing its way and come back to salvage it. Something I don’t intend on doing but a good pre-warning.

What’s your favourite app and why?

Pandora is my favourite app. It provides an escape, a place for me to go and have some personal time and to regenerate and reflect on things. With all the genres available on Pandora, I have been able to create playlists to suit my moods and different modes of thinking.

What’s your signature dish?

I have to admit that I don’t cook very often but my favourite meal is succulent roast pork with crackling and apple sauce. I always said I’d marry the girl that could crackle pork like my mum and I’m lucky to say I found her. After all, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!