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Yum Brands' Novak Exclaims Over Recognition in New Book


David Novak's new book shows he's a fan of the exclamation point.

David Novak is on a mission to combat the “global recognition deficit,” as he calls it, and to turn the world on to “the awesome power of recognition.” His words carry more clout than many: He is the co-founder and former CEO of Yum Brands, and just launched OGO, also known as O Great One.

“There is so much we can do to recognize the greatness of others in our personal and professional lives, and I plan to do all I can to start the recognition movement,” Novak said in a press release. Novak coined the term "O Great One" to “define the influential people in your life, such as family, friends or co-workers, who are always there for you, to inspire or give you sage advice or simply lend a helping hand.”

Research conducted by OGO found the recognition deficit is having a significant impact on Americans. The survey said:

-Seven in 10 Americans wished they were recognized more; 8 in 10 say they could do more to recognize others.

-Three-quarters of Americans have kept a handwritten note or other recognition memento they’ve received.

-Nearly 9 in 10 middle management employees feel unrecognized by their supervisors, while the same numbers also feel unrecognized by their coworkers.

-Workers say an average of 50 days, or nearly two months, pass between moments of recognition.

Novak will retire as Yum Brands executive chairman on May 20, following the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Yum is one of the world’s largest restaurant companies with nearly 43,000 KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell restaurants in more than 130 countries. He was named one of the “100 Best-Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review.

Novak wasn’t available this week for an interview, so we couldn’t ask him about a searingly important topic: What’s up with the exclamation points? Yum! Brands official logo includes the exclamation point as shown in this sentence, although Franchise Times doesn’t use such punctuation in its pages. Turns out the official brand for O Great One! uses it, too. It seems Novak is a super fan! of the excitable punctuation, but we’ll try to follow up to learn why.


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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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