Kick-start your heart

Kick-start your heart

Heard it all before? No way. Success is openness to new ideas.
Jan 01, 2009

Dr. Jeff Rothstein
I went shopping recently with my son, looking for new shoes. After trying on several pairs, I picked the perfect ones that fit just right. Except my son said, "Dad, those are the same shoes you got last time."

"But they're the latest version and they're a lot nicer, right?" I said. He agreed.

We practice owners need to think about our business philosophy the same way. The topics, like shoes, may seem old, but they're always changing and getting better. I've created a new management mantra for myself based on the four R's: refresh, renew, reawaken, and remodel. Here are two of the many ways I think it applies.

First, our approach to business must change to meet the new challenges of our time. For instance, I've tried lots of staff bonus programs over the years, and they don't seem to have the impact they used to. But just the other day a friend told me about her reward system, which involves points that can be converted into cash rewards. I was excited all over again about bonuses. I just needed a different approach for today's team members.

We can think about our facilities the same way. We don't have to do major remodels all the time, but we can keep our buildings fresh-looking by at least changing posters and pictures. A little paint on the trim and seal coating for the driveway goes a long way, too.

Focusing on continued improvements and revisiting old ideas keeps us moving forward. Clients see it, too—they want us to show them we're learning new things and practicing the latest medicine.

Veterinary Economics Editorial Advisory Board member Dr. Jeff Rothstein, MBA, is president of Progressive Pet Animal Hospitals in Michigan.

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