Jason Smith, the “accidental CEO”

By Sarah Stowe | 21 Jun 2019 View comments

Jason Smith knows a thing or too about the challenges of running a franchise chain. Jason heads up Back in Motion physiotherapy, a business he co-founded 18 years ago with his wife Paulina. Today he’s the group director, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and author.

Inside Franchise Business spoke to him about leadership and change: in his book Outside-In Downside-Up Leadership, he reveals how, and why, he undertook a total overhaul of the business.

Jason, who calls himself an “accidental CEO” reveals in the interview some measurable outcomes from this journey, and what he has learned about himself and managing the business in the process.

The book is about organisational change and two attributes he mentions in the book’s dedication are personal integrity and decisive leadership. In this podcast he talks about these and how he has redefined leadership at Back in Motion.

The conversation shows how risk is central to growth and leading change.

Knowing when to invest

Unlike many other franchise models, franchisees in Back in Motion are already professionals in their industry. Jason explains how this aspect affects the support provided.

But like all other businesses, the need to keep up with technology is central to the physio franchise. The business needs to stay ahead of technical advances for corporate purposes and to be able to offer the latest services to clients.

How does he know when and what to embrace? It’s like being on a fast train, and knowing when to step off, he says. It’s all about timing. Find out what solutions Jason has come up with for keeping on track with tech.

Back in Motion is not just a franchised chain of physiotherapists; it is also a social enterprise, and this is absolutely fundamental to the heart of the business, Jason reveals.

He talks about why a philanthropic approach has always been important to him, and how it shapes up in reality across the network.

  • Jason Smith is ranked at no: 2  in the Top 30 Franchise Executives 2019 report.
  • Listen to other podcasts here.