Getting Everybody on the Same Page
Imagine this…a room full of the world’s greatest singers. The best of the best all present to share their favorite song. Now, imagine each one of them singing…at the same time!!! Would that be music or cacophony; harmony or chaos?
Now, think about this. You have a team of experts that you employ. Client service experts, technical experts, professional experts, management experts, animal care experts, among others make up your team. All of these experts have skills better than anybody else because you chose them because of these skills. What a great team!! Except they are all doing what they do best without interacting with the team members around them. Complete and utter insanity.
Back to scenario number one, a room full of the world’s greatest singers. Now, instead of singing their most recognized or famous song, they are all given specific parts of a contiguous piece. Think of “We Are the World” (1985). Music to the ears. Perfect harmonies, perfect pitch, a world class musical arrangement. A best seller.
Back to scenario number two, the same players on the team. However, the team meets together every two weeks for 60 minutes to work on creating a consistent client experience; or, the upcoming marketing program; or, managing surgical cases from start to finish; or, …any of a number of the daily routines that make up a veterinary practice.
Bedlam or beauty?
Pandemonium or perfection?
The key to ultimate success is getting everybody on the team to be singing from the same page of the program. And the only way to do that is to schedule regular training staff meetings.
The term staff meeting has been synonymous with gripe sessions, bitch sessions, pick on the team sessions, anything but what they need to be sessions.
An effective staff meeting has an agenda, a focus, a direction, and a desired outcome. It works to improve delivery of some service or learn about a new product. It teaches about the importance of dental care before dental month or why obesity is a problem before weight watchers month. It brings a team together with a common purpose it doesn’t tear a team apart because they made an error. In fact, good staff meetings focus on ways to avoid making mistakes.
So, IMHO, twice per month, ninety minutes of time (30 for food and organization; 60 for teaching and sharing), should be dedicated to the improvement of the product you offer, the service you deliver, and the song that you sing.
And don’t tell me you can’t afford 90 minutes twice per month not seeing clients. I’ll tell you that you can’t afford NOT to dedicate 90 minutes twice per month without risking discord and noise…and clients don’t want noise.
About Dr. Peter Weinstein: Dr. Weinstein attended Cornell University undergraduate and the University of Illinois to receive his DVM. After graduation, he worked as an associate for three years before opening his practice.
While running his practice he identified the need for business acumen to make his practice successful. While managing and practicing full time, he attended University of Redlands to receive his MBA.
Politically, he served as President of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association and the California Veterinary Medical Association and is a Past-President for VetPartners, the national consultants association. Additionally, he acted as Medical Director overseeing the Claims Department for Veterinary Pet Insurance.
Dr. Weinstein provides small business and corporate consulting via his company, PAW Consulting.
In 2007, with Dr. Steven Kornfeld, Dr. Weinstein created Veterinary Success Services to provide coaching and consulting services that are accessible from the comfort of your home or officee. www.veterinarysuccessservices.com
Presently, Dr. Weinstein is the Executive Director for the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association.
Dr. Weinstein has spoken and written extensively on practice management, team building, leadership, collegiality, marketing, and other topics focused on making the veterinary profession better for all those affiliated with it.