2017 is when you finally kick your 'poor people' habit.
Christmas is over and I hope you’ve broken bread with your loved ones, Santa was kind and you’ve been able to recharge your batteries with a few days away from the coalface.
No doubt there will be a few days of bedlam now as we enter the Intestinal Disease Zone (IDZ), that peculiar spot between Christmas and New Year when all of the gastro-intestinal disease cases start to come out in the wash.
I recall one particularly spectacular/hellish year, I was working the weekend between the two holidays and inside a 24 hour period I performed surgery on three foreign body cases. I pulled out turkey bones, a kinder surprise egg, a gardening glove and resected about 12 inches of rotten intestines! (You just have to love labradors right?). This was on top of the standard schmozzle of chocolate ingestions and general liquid-poo cases that, literally, deluge vet hospitals at this time of year.
The thought of this particularly traumatic weekend brings a cold sweat to my brow, it was intense to handle that caseload and I gamely worked myself to a stand still. But it also brings up some questions worth pondering as well.
One I have wrestled with a lot is what separates the type of vets who seem to always be in the thick of it, from those who do not. I ,and many others that have gone on to own practices, always seemed to have the knack of finding work.
Was it blind luck that I seemed to be the GDV king of my practices? Was it some dark art at work that the same 10% of vets always seemed to catch the "good cases”? Or was there something else going on there?
If you thought that might be a loaded set of questions then, of course, you’d be barking up the right tree. We’re on a journey here...and you are no fool.
But it’s the wrong question to ask why some people have cases flowing forth, while others drink a lot of coffee and read books.
A better question is to ask 'what it is they do to generate that level of business?'
The playing field may be entirely level in terms of disease incidence, but how come one vet will generate 30 cases for every 100 pets they see. While others will generate five?
Once we can start to understand the reasons for this, wouldn't it be kinda cool if we could then devise some way of identifying the “30"s from the “5"s before we hire them?
This question and the multitude of other 'ingredients' that combine to create the perfect vet, nurse/technician or client care team member is the type of thing I obsess about and riff down on incessantly, even, and especially when, I’ve got some downtime during holidays.
I’ve been chewing on, and playing with, practice team performance for the past decade and have learned some very interesting things that have worked well for me. And a ton that definitely did not).
So in the spirit of the New Year, and because I want you to get some great insights into this stuff so you can start to get better results in your practice, I've convinced one of my favourite business gurus (and one of my early mentors) Nancy Slessenger, to get on a webinar in January so we can begin to pick apart the randomness of "recruitment as normal”.
We’ll start to peel the onion back on why those responsible for hiring are blindly stumbling from mistake to mistake and what sort of impact it’s having on animal, team and financial health.
There is no doubt that your people present the best chance for you to spring board to success. But they are also the most likely reason for you winding up hating your practice too. It all comes down to who they are, and how you pick them. Which side of that equation are you on right now? For many in veterinary medicine it's not the good side.
So if you’d like to kick the year off and go a little deeper into the world of applied scientific recruitment and how you can start to work some magic in your practice, then join me for a free training webinar, “The Top 5 Hiring Mistakes Most Vets Make (& how to avoid them).”