Players can’t start functioning as a team until the game has been identified, the locker room huddle finished, and the players dispersed to their field positions. The same is true for employees in a business. Cohesive cooperation between employees begins with long-term vision and goals, otherwise known as a strategic plan.
Strategic Planning for Me? Really?
It’s easy to dismiss planning as incongruent with our business model. Each day we arrive at our practice, we open the door, turn on the lights, and prepare to handle 10-12 hours of organized chaos. Plan, you say? How can I plan for what, by nature, is almost always random?
But asking your team members to work within the confines of an every-man-for-himself business model is setting everyone up for failure and disappointment. In order to be effective at the business of veterinary medicine, each team member must be able to think and act on his or her feet like an owner. That means that everyone must share a mental picture of what the practice is trying to accomplish. That means planning.
Teams Want a Plan!
Teams typically celebrate the planning process. Here is a chance for everyone to sit down and think through their
actions and how they are supposed to dovetail their efforts. Here’s a chance to eliminate redundant or wasted effort. Here’s a chance to stop break downs in communication. Here’s a chance to bring a ‘common sense’ to the group that’s rooted in common goals.
Contrary to what many think, plans are perfect for practices that regularly get detoured. When you find that the dust has settled from the latest practice calamity, look up on the wall next to your desk, spot your plan, and immediately find your way back to the road forward. A couple of heartbreaking staff shortages may throw your workflow into disarray for a few months or more. Don’t begin the next staff meeting from scratch. Work together as team to start where you left off, a position clearly identified in your Strategic Plan.
Veterinary Strategic Planning is For You
Since we started working together, Brenda and I have been building plans with our clients and for our own company. Strategic plans are superb tools to leverage the strengths and efforts of everyone in your employ. Practice owners find them liberating, some say cathartic, because they capture the cloudy details of mental to-do lists and commit those items to paper.
Workplace satisfaction hinges on employees sensing that their efforts are unique, valued and purposeful. Directing employees within the context of a strategic plan helps everyone understand that there is no such thing as a receptionist or a kennel worker or a veterinary assistant; that there are only team players, that the game is veterinary medicine, and that successful efforts mean that the entire company advances forward.
Treat yourself to a guided strategic planning session with experienced facilitors. Let’s get started.