TRANSCRIPT – Dr Francesca Brown – part 1 of 2
DISCLAIMER: Transcripts are done by AI. Clever AI, but still AI bots. Therefore, they’re really not the easiest pieces of prose to read! Depending on someone’s accent a word or two gets misread, misheard, mistyped.
This transcript is included just in case someone wants to read what was said in this episode.
Welcome to episode 28 of Paws Claws and Wet Noses, the Kiwi veterinary podcast, celebrating all creatures great and small and the fantabulous professionals who look after them all.
I’m your show host Julie South, this week, episode 28 is part one of a two-part series with Dr. Francesca Brown of the Otago Polytechnic.
If you don’t know Dr. Francesca, she is a veterinarian who graduated from Massey university’s class of 98. After graduating and gaining experience and clinical practice, Francesca moved to education and then into leadership and allied veterinary professional education at both Otago polytech as head of the school of veterinary nursing. And then nationally as the chair of the educational standards committee for allied veterinary professionals.
Over her career. Dr. Francesca has seen firsthand and through her network of colleagues and the industry both vets and allied veterinary professionals, the significant changes that personnel face.
If you’re attending the combined vet nurse vet conference this year in Christchurch coming up in June 2021, be sure to register for Dr. Francesca’s presentation as part of the business track.
Today and next week, Dr. Francesca shares her research findings from her recent study into whether it’s actually possible to have healthy staff and healthy bottom lines in New Zealand veterinary clinics.
So we know that it’s possible to have it, but can it be done in New Zealand? Listen, as she shares how her research was different to the many papers and books already written on this subject.
As always, I’ll put all the links mentioned in today’s show on the show notes page at pawsclawswetnoses.fm. Episode 28.
And if you haven’t already click the follow button on your favorite podcast channel, so you don’t miss out on future episodes of paws, claws, and wet noses. It doesn’t cost you anything to follow a podcast when you click follow.
An old vet told my father when he was a student in Glasgow. He said, if you want to be a success in veterinary practice, just keep the bowels open and trust the rest to God. Nutrition is not an opinion. It’s a science. They called me that weird herbal hell vet, and I, I just remember thinking. Well, I’m still going to do it cause I know it works and I’ve got the research to back it up.
From reminiscences of the real James Herriot’s son to pet nutrition to acupuncture the Petpodcast discusses current animal health issues from around the world. I’m veterinarian, Bryan Gregor from New Zealand, just search for the vet podcast, wherever you get your podcasts from.
Paws claws and wet noses is sponsored by vetstaff. If you’ve never heard of VetStaff it’s New Zealand’s only full service recruitment agency. 100% dedicated to the veterinary sector VetStaff has been around since 2015 and works nationwide from Cape Reinga to the bluff and everywhere in between. As well as helping Kiwis VetStaff also helps overseas, qualified veterinarians find work in Aotearoa New Zealand .VetStaff.co.nz.
Francesca, can you tell me what started your research please? What made you look?
There was a couple of things. One is that, um, I’ve worked in veterinary nursing education for many years, and I’ve seen through our connection through multiple clinics with students coming back, sort of reports that things are not always happy.
And vet clinics in about 2012 to 2015, I did a graduate diploma in sustainable practice. And at that time I was all about saving the environment. And when I was. During that study. I realized that actually, until we had happy healthy staff in teams, we actually wouldn’t be able to focus on the environment.
So that really switched me around. And now my focus has been very much on the wellbeing of staff and veterinary practice so that we can prove the longevity of veterinarians and also the allied professionals and the preps as
well. When you talk about wellbeing, do you have a definition of wellbeing in veterinary clinics?What does it mean
what we’re talking about as a staff, being able to come to work and perform to the best of their abilities and do their job, which is to, you know, help animals and look after animal welfare and to be able to do it where they feel safe so that they, uh, you know, they’re in an environment where they feel safe and happy and supported as well in that environment.
And I think wellbeing also spreads down to the fact that they also are able to have the financial needs meet as well while they’re. While they’re working as well. So they shouldn’t be, you know, scraping the bottom of the barrel to do a job just because they care about animals.
Can you tell listeners, please the, the criteria for your research and you know, the questions you asked and the types of clinics that, or how did you, how did you get respondents and then how did you choose them?
Sure. So I, what I was, what I decided to do is we’re not done. My literature review. Most of the literature felt very , negative stuff. It was kind of like everything’s bad. You know, maybe you should end at the end would be, you should do this, this and this. And it felt as though it wasn’t really empowering to people.
So what I wanted to do is produce a piece of work that was a little bit more empowering. Um, and that was to find some connects with our New Zealand who measured really highly on staff wellbeing. Uh, but we’re also meeting their profit margins as well. So I put out a. Uh, cool and vet script. Um, and I also use social media as well, too.
So, and I went through a bit council as well. So it should have reached every veterinarian in the country and asked for criteria as if the practice was mating there. No, the business financial plan. And to me, it was totally irrelevant how much that was because every business has different goals, but if they were making the goals or exceeding them, and they felt that they had good staff wellbeing, that they should come forward.Um, and so that was initially looking for employers. And so it doesn’t just stop there because we all know that employers versions can be slightly different to actually what people think on the ground.
So I started by with those practices, interviewing each of those employers that came forward just to get a picture of what the practice was like and what they were doing and where they, where they felt.
They measured the practice, measured around, you know, wellbeing, their financial know, both financial, social, and environmental actually asked all of those questions. And then from those practices, I took the, uh, I took all of them that were still willing to participate and I sent all of their staff work environments so we could environment.
So you have, I was at the time, I actually hadn’t heard of the Gallup 12 and it wasn’t based off that when I went back in, reviewed it against the Gallup 12, I’d pretty much asked. Similar questions, but I think the questions I’d ask was it was a little bit longer and I got quite a lot more information than I would have ever got out of the Gallup 12. And it was based on one that’s been used repeatedly in education sectors as well.
So I did, you know, it was based off something and I got the staff to. Complete that. And then I looked for congruence between what the employer has said and what the employees said and chose three practices from bed that, that had met.And so were the employers were reporting good wellbeing and the clinic had as well.
How surprised were you with the results? Did you expect them to match or not?
Okay. I was hopefully, um, yeah, I, I guess I was hoping that they would, but I knew, and actually I’d been tapped on the shoulder by multiple people online saying, I hate you’re going to do this because otherwise you’re going to get biased. And I was like, yes, absolutely. I’m going to talk to the employees because we know that the interpretations can be quite different.
So I guess I wasn’t surprised you like to think I’m would have been wrong, but I guess I wasn’t surprised that the views of the employer versus actually what it’s like on the ground, didn’t always match up.So off the. Um, I think it was eight or nine clips. I ended up working through that, that we found three where there was matching others.
There were some, some that matched some that didn’t and everything in between the fourth practice. One of the reasons that never got selected to go through was only 50% of the staff and guests in the work environment survey.
So I didn’t feel it was enough. To give them a good idea of what was happening in their practice.
Whereas the three that came through, I pretty much hit a hundred percent response rates to the survey as well, which showed a lot of staff engagement. And they were really, I felt those practices. They were very proud of what their practices were doing.
And also they felt very, very engaged in what their practices were doing as well. So they wanted to share with me what was happening after I did that then were not selected those three practices.
Then I went out to the practices as focus groups and actually talked to them more clinics. Found out a bit more about the practices that the clinics that were there was in congruency.
Did you go back to the, the employer? Did they want to know why they weren’t going another step?
Yes. That dads weren’t one of the things that I did for the, each of the practices that got involved to basically. Beck for their time as I write them a report on their, of all of their survey data and provided that to them with feedback on where are some areas of strengths and weaknesses, so that, you know, areas that I thought maybe that they could work on.Um, and I did, I opened the door and said, if you want, so, you know, if the discussions or anything more than happy to do that one practice.
So I did work with a little bit more. We had some further discussions, um, but none of the others, um, Up to two to come back. You asked me what type of practice they were.What I’d really hoped was that we’d get a broad spectrum of companion next large general practices in different ownership models.
Unfortunately, we didn’t, the majority were privately owned. And when we got to the final three, they were all privately owned practices. Two of them single branches worked entirely on their own.
One of them, um, had a, like a bar itself as a buying. So there was a group of practices and had a buying group.
And, um, they were starting to share HR and things, but they were very family. We’re locally owned and operated within the areas. Yeah. Um, and I hadn’t in the initial one, I did get a club practice and yeah, I got one club practice.
The rest are all privately owned. So I wrote to all the groups in corporates and seed would any, have you got any branches that would like to be involved? I got a response from one and I put forward three branches. I contacted three of the branches and only one of them got on board and did engage, but there was not congruence between what.
The practice manager said and what. What the employee said, they pretty much said that the values and things weren’t being followed through on. So it was all looked very good on paper, but it doesn’t follow through on the ground.
And the other two of the corporate branches that had, um, been put forth, they told me they didn’t have enough time to be involved.
What I needed from them at that point with a roundabout an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half an hour from on person to give me the background of the practice and about 15 minutes from each staff member. And so it, wasn’t a huge amount of time. Um,
So it kind of, sort of suggested to me that maybe things weren’t quite as good as they could be if they couldn’t spare that sort of time to improve, hopefully improve it.And refracts as a whole.
Have you heard back from any of the employees that participated with it was in-congruent.
No, I haven’t, but I didn’t do anything to sort of chase it up. Um, I provided the report, which was to go to, you know, all of the staff, some of the masks for a copy of that one practice owner asked me not to circulate it.So, you know, I didn’t, you know, so, no, I haven’t heard from any in particular, um, of those practices.
I’ve had others since I’ve read the research, come forward and talk to me about how could they do some work and what, you know, what could they do?
But it’s really interesting because at some point, You know, I’ve, I’ve pretty much with those team practices.I was giving everything for nothing and retained for the information. Um, but at some point when you start involving other stuff, you know, I’ve got a day job as well.
So you have to start asking for some reimbursement for doing that. And it seems to be a problem as also people don’t want to invest. What does that?I think there’s a lot of money, but they want don’t want to invest money and, you know, getting some support because I do think support is a really important thing. I don’t think, I think a lot of these practices trying to do it on their own.
It’s very, very hard late. You almost need a, even just a leadership coach or a mentor or someone just to help bounce things off and to encourage them to keep going.Yeah. Yeah.
And, and, and also I think the, the Kiwi psyche is we like to DIY. And yeah, and we are standardized, you know, we’re staunch,
we don’t need help. Yeah. And I can, I can understand that. I think it’s probably taken me a long time in leadership roles that I do to actually say, you know, although I might provide mentor on someone else, that’s quite nice to have someone, myself to talk to, to keep growing and, um, you know, yeah.
Confidence in what you’re doing and you’re on the right track. Keep going, you know, that kind of thing. Yeah.
Show us the mirror too. When, when we don’t always say our own shortfallings
shortcut and that actually the Johari’s window Johari’s window model is quite interesting about the blind spot and things as well.You know, so getting feedback, um, which is, you know, one of the things.
Around what I did with the research was asking the staff, what do you actually think? Does it match with what the employer is thinking? That’s the employee’s blind spot as well.
So getting that from the intern is really, really important.
So let let’s talk about wellbeing and how it must be a priority and it will be good for business. So what did your, your research identify highlight, show up, improve that wellbeing. Is good for business.
I guess my research wasn’t to prove wellbeing was good for business because there’s literature out there.
There’s multiple amounts of straight out there. And I’ve, you know, it’s listed in my end, my research around all the articles that show that wellbeing is good. Um, but I also did do some work around, okay.
If we can’t convince people because the literature says that’s a good thing to do for business and your business will do better.
How do you hold people to account that deal on a compliance that will say. You know, meeting the legal compliance. And I know compliance is a challenge in our industry, and I know people get annoyed with compliance, but when you look at compliance and peel it back, compliance is like the minimum standard.
If we comply, we’re sitting at the minimum standard. And so w we’re like, okay, so what laws are there? And is there a minimum standard around wellbeing? And the answer is yes, there is. Yes. He said it might be hard to prove, but the health and safety at work Act states that you need to look after your staff wellbeing.
And if a medical professional was to say that the staff burnout or whatever was related to the workplace, and I know you could end up spending years in court arguing over it, but at the end of the day, we can avoid that sort of thing happening by looking after us.
Then they could actually get a significant fine is the PCBU so Pearson conducting business or undertaking.So. In reality, we need to move away from the conversation of, should we do this or shouldn’t wait, it’s the right thing to do, but it’s also, you’ve got to comply with the law.
So either whether you like to do the right thing or whether you just like to comply. You have to do it. The literature tells you, um, then in this bucket, loads of it out there tells you that.Um, if you look after the staff in the staff will look after the business for you. Um, if you’ve got happy staff, the staff are happy when you come into the clinic, the culture’s happy. Everyone’s there looking after the clients. And they’re all working as a team, not as individuals that are. You know, often when the culture’s a bit broken, maybe not backing each other up.So the client starts to think, Oh dear things, aren’t right here. The clients will come through the door because the clients want quality relationships with people that are happy and they want to see a business. That’s really looking after their staff because those staff will look after their animals in the clients, you know, so we know that that will happen.So what my research did was to say, okay, Do we actually have some examples of this in New Zealand, we’ve got well staff in the businesses and making the money they want to make. And so I identified three practices and. Could I have suits from where I beat this more out there. I bet three is not the only number there are.Um, but there were three brave enough to put themselves on the line and, you know, the data shows that they were. So what I’ve been able to present those three and say, well, you can’t say it’s not possible in New Zealand anymore because I’ve had people say to me, it’s not possible to do it in New Zealand.Well, now we can say it is. And then with those three practices, we went, I went and dug into them and go, well, what are the things about those three practices? Uh, helping them be successful. And the first thing about it is it’s not a recipe, so I can’t write a recipe and say, here, go, just do the step one, two, three, four, and you’ll be, um, you’ll be away, but there’s themes across all of them.And it starts right at the very, very top with a very clear vision and values, but their version of values that are not in a dusty drawer in the office. And the visions and values that are short and sweet and succinct. They’re not three pages long. They’ve got to be ones that the practice owners and the staff can actually remember every day and they can use them in their conversation.So one of the practices had one and it wasn’t often I call it single word ones and things. This was a little bit longer, but I thought it was a really good one for a vet clinic. And as we walk in, we walk in. So the animal. Sure. Can’t remember the exit, but we walk in other others shows I think is what it was.We walked another show, so it could apply to animals or it could apply to people. And they said, we use it all the time because when we’re out the back and maybe we are dealing with an animal that’s a little bit stressed out and the vet’s kind of tired and they just want to get on with it. Someone can say, hang on a minute.Are we, are we walking in the animal shows? And everyone goes, Oh actually, no, we’re not. So nobody got blamed at all. But we’d suddenly thinking now about the animal and now they can put the animal away and have a conversation as a team about how are we going to manage the stressful situation. So it’s right for the animal.And they said they use it all the time and many different contexts. And so that’s an example of a value being loved every day in their practice. And they said it was great. And I mean, nobody was being, you know, that you’re stressing the animal out. They didn’t have to say that because they could just say, we’re not following our values today.And so. So that was an example of value being absolutely enacted and that practice and, you know, uh, Caring’s another quite strong one that came through on those Praxis or that we are we, and our actions now, are we, are we curing? Are we doing the right thing and the right things? Not always. And one of the practices really brought this home to me as not always.Offering gold standard. Um, gold-plated care. Sometimes it’s not the right thing for the client animal common combination, and there might be a better, you know, a better option for them. And are we doing the right Julie Southwith the values? Were these clinics hiring on those values as well? Dr Francesca BrownYes. Yeah. So I think the values were very central to the interview process.And one of the things they all told me stories where that made mistakes and employment with unemployed, the wrong people in it head. Temporarily created an issue in their team. And it’s not about trying to employ the same people. It’s people that are all clones of each other. It’s about employing people that really want to live by the values that the practices and dispersing and actually to, uh, to be Pat of whatever the culture is that their clinics trying to try and to create.So what they had all done as. Modified and improved and strengthened their employment processes, but the version of values were very central around it and they wanted to make sure that the, that the end of vegetables values were congruent with the practices values. Yep. Yeah. Julie SouthHow did client wellbeing.Patient wellbeing come into it at all. Obviously pleasant wellbeing should, but Dr Francesca Brownyeah, yeah, yeah. So what I did was I, we went to, now that we looked for clients. Feedback on how they found the practice. Um, so we did a survey with clients. So again, I did that for the client. We designed it with the clinic in mind, but it was basically just a, what’s the best thing about the practice.What’s the one thing you’d improve and yeah, I think it was overall. How satisfied are you with the practice? And then what’s one thing. What’s the. But one best thing. And the single thing that you would improve in the practice and these head really, really high, strongly agree writings of 80 to 95%, depending on the practice.And I think you’re always going to get an unhappy client because the unhappy clients will always answer those surveys. So you’ll actually always get a little bit of a bias. So. They’ll always answer. And we also looked at Facebook feedback and we looked at, uh, Google reviews as well. And we looked at what sort of feedback on there and yeah.You know, without fail, they had heaps of them. They weren’t C-SAT ones, you know how sometimes people go and seek them up. They were ones where clients were busy telling stories often that interacted with them and, you know, Thank them for the feedback and really, really positive, really, really positive feedback about them.So there was very little negative feedback. I did go into a little siege about some of the ones that hadn’t made it through with a note of C and I, I didn’t put it on the research and it wasn’t sort of a formal thing I did, so I didn’t analyze it, but you could see that there was a shift in the type of feedback online from the practices that I was showcasing versus some of the others that didn’t quite not quite get Julie Souththrough.So, so with that, Do you think that with the, the knowledge that you’ve gained through and the experience that you’ve gained with this research that let’s say you were Ms. Ms. Public, and you were looking for a vet clinic that you could read a review, a Google review, or a Facebook review, and you would know whether it was a good clinic to take Dr Francesca Brownyour animal.I thought you’d have a good idea. I think. I like I would with anything when I look online to choose something, you know, I wouldn’t just look at one review because one review is never the answer it’s looking for. The it’s looking for the same and the feeling throughout, you know, throughout the whole thing.But I think, you know, you can. I think you can get a good feeling for a place over the online reviews for sure. And you know, if you’re yeah. A little bit objective to the fact that no one, yeah, there’s always one client that’s going to go off. It doesn’t matter how perfect the clinic is. And, and you can talk about how the clinics managed those people.Um, at some point, if you want to as well, I just thought it might be useful. Now, when we talked about the vision and values, the other really important thing at the top of the clinic before we get down into no, the whole culture of the clinic is. The latest sip style. So the latest ship star and I used to be inclusive and collaborative and transformative, I guess, involving all of the staff.And decision-making so even if you’re as a leader, you’re obsession where you’ve got the right answer. Um, this it’s been collaboratively, decided the team are very, very unlikely to buy into it. In fact, I talked to a practice that wasn’t involved in the research afterwards. They sort of wanted to do some stuff in a handshake to them.And the things they identified was actually, I’m trying to help everybody by just making the decisions and fixing everything, which see. But no, it doesn’t give it . And that was when you, the light bulb went on are because I’m not involving everybody in the decision-making process. And yeah. For some people, it can be really frustrating cause it’s slower if you involve everybody, but you get better.Buy-in um, and sometimes if you sit other team members up to, and this is what would happen, these guys would say you three are going to solve. Basically come up with us. We’ve got this. We’ve identified as a team. We’ve got this problem. You guys come up with and present us with a solution. And they got a lot, bit of buy-in and in that group of paperwork, late, the implementation of it as well, and they feel much more part of the practice.Um, one of the practices. So there were two, all of these practices, they involved the team and even strategic decision making. So it wasn’t just the board around the table or the two owners or the two owners in the practice manager. But in some way, shape or form, everybody got to feed in on this.Strategic plan for the year, um, for the practice and some of them, it was a whole day all around the table, others, it was different ways, but it was the fact that they were involved. One of the practices, the news, the city, we want to be paid more. And the practices we want to pay you more to here’s our budget.This is what we need to be making to do that because the news has seen identified because I said, well, what do you want to be paid? So I identified the GIF and the budget and they sat down together and they worked at how-to. Bridge the gap and the budget. I haven’t caught up with them since about how they were going, but I know they were progressing.And what I did here was, um, the nurses felt more valued because I’d been part of the process. And because now they had a value on them. So they went just everything for free. Um, they had a value on them. They felt that the clients valued them better because now they were with something. They weren’t just a free advice.So, um, the clients, yeah, and I felt really empowered towards. They could see the goal he’d have them and they knew what they had to do to get there. And it was working really well for that team. So I need to touch base with them, see how they’ve gone with getting those wages up. So I Julie Southuse saying that, and that clinic, the nurses were supported in being more sort of nurse practitioner or contracts.Yes. Yeah, yeah, Dr Francesca Brownyeah. How long? Well, thanks. It was nursing consults they were doing, but also they were looking at how they were invoicing them. For Outback work, you know, so rather than they’ve been no mention of an anesthetic technician, which is effectively what they are, um, during surgery that became an item that you would see.Julie SouthYeah. I talk probably, I don’t know, a couple of times every week about how sadly the profession, the veterinary profession. Dull is its own worst enemy in some cases, because it does discount. It does devalue the expertise and the experience. There’s no way I could do just, you know, could just put in a quick line or I can just do quick bloods, but the language language is really important to me.The language that people use, everything is just an only. And it’s like, please stop those Dr Francesca Brownwords. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s an, I, I totally agree with you the language shapes that he needs to change, where we were at, we are our own worst enemies in terms of value, what we do. And, you know, we, we also say just a nurse as well.They’re not just a nurse. They are a qualified veterinary nurse, you know, and you know, and it’s just a, it’s a bad language thing that we’ve got going just a Julie Southreceptionist or it’s just a cattery assistant is like, there’s no, Dr Francesca Brownjust. Yeah. Yeah. They’re, they’re all professionals in their own. Right. And you know, the concept of discounting and I’m about to start some more research on that is actually having a charity and I’m going to call it charity model within a business.It’s not an actually bad thing. It’s a good social thing to have. Um, But it needs to be budgeted. It needs to not be ad hoc. It needs to be, have a criteria around it. And actually I was in Deneden recently, I visited a business down deer and they, my daughter had just donated to here for a work down at freedom.He works in Dunedin. And so we got to look around and they talked about the values and they have the section where. It’s formally done where money goes into the section and like come from the business, or it might be, um, somebody who donates here since they don’t want the money, but they don’t want it to go to a charity.So it goes into that charity or there’s lots of different things that they do. And then they make sure that they can service people that can’t afford the very expensive works, but have our patients as well through it, through this fund. And I just believe that there must be a model like that, that we can do in veterinary practice to where it’s.I’m fine. And it’s transparent. And we can do that. Hearing staff, we really want without sort of surreptitiously cutting the bell here and there and nobody really knowing about it. So I think there’s an opportunity there to harness. Um, and like I said, I’ve got some research that’s about to get underway on looking at what are the models that we could use in practice around it.Yeah. Because I think, I think people like to just, so one of the practices there, one of these practices that don’t quite well, they were very clear on it was an important part of the business was to be able to. Kia and do the right thing and make choices about those sorts of things. Um, but it was in a much more planned, you know, the, the staff all understood that if they did that, that was going to impact it budget.And I guess that gets back to the open and transparency of businesses, staff, sorry, I should have access to the operational budget and though not individual salaries, but just the lumps that this much money, X percentage that goes in salaries. And then there’s all of these other buckets. And so if it, if we kept from there.Where are we going to get the money from? And, you know, so they can actually say yes, and it’s scary people don’t like doing it. And Julie Southwas that one of the criteria for your Dr Francesca Brownresearch? It wasn’t one of the criteria, but these businesses were quite open and transparent about their budgets in the strategic planning.Yeah. Did Julie Souththey talk about how, how scary that was to do to start with. They Dr Francesca Browntalk about that. I didn’t really delve into it to be fair. I think now, you know, in retrospect going back, I probably would have liked to delve into that a little bit more. I think culturally, it’s quite a sensitive thing to do because now we don’t share that, you know, it’s sort of hidden away.Yeah. And in fact, you know, what was really interesting, it gets back to I’m fin and transparency as an. The practice account, actually say for sure on the practices that came out on top, but in some of the ones where there was an congruency was real secretiveness around, um, job descriptions and, uh, salaries in who had this little thing and who had that little thing, do you know?Like, and so there was people that had benefits that others didn’t have, and they went to there to talk about it with each other, rather than having a clear structure. You go on here and you. Step your way up. And these are the criteria to get to the next step. The, the certainly didn’t and that seem to be up ceasing for people.And I could understand why, because there’s no clarity on what do they get it. And I don’t, you know, yeah. I Julie Southsadly have seen. Employment contracts, individual employment contracts, where it is considered gross misconduct, pretty much instant dismissal. If an employee discusses anything in their individual employment agreement with anyone else.Dr Francesca BrownAnd that’s, to me that sits up there. A cultural really of secretiveness and we can’t be open and transparent about things and I’ve seen it. Whoops, secrecy, absolute trust. Absolutely. And, and it goes with Leah there’s sort of individual negotiations around professional development and links to, so we can’t have a clear professional development fund and we know who’s getting what and where are they going in?How they are, you know, there’s no open and transparent plans. And so it’s just the status of. Lots of little things that add together to make them, like you said, the culture of distrust. Yeah. Julie SouthAnd also there’s, you know, that, I guess from the employee and the owner side is if I share all of this, they’re really going to see what it’s like.From the employee side. A lot of people assume that because they own, you know, somebody else owns this business and the fees are X much that they’re therefore earning Y millions of dollars a year and they’re going to be super wealthy and yeah, that’s not the case. Cool. Let’s talk about, you know, you’ve just, we’ve just done it a little bit on leadership, but.The leaders. Do you know whether the three that you that are leading by example, they obviously weren’t born leaders. And do you know whether they, they took steps to improve their own leader, their own leadership ability? Cause I’m thinking if there’s a clinician now a principal who owns their own clinic thinking, Oh, I’m not a leader.I don’t even know where to start with this. How were these leaders that you spoke with? Dr Francesca BrownSydney, one of them she’s done a lot of work and head mentoring and head support and that sort of thing. The other ones, um, I think it’s been more of an osmotic type thing, but I think in the case of all of those people, they were born to be.Caring and kind leaders, you know, they were already like that. Um, they hadn’t been brought up in a culture of kind of that autocratic leadership where, you know, I’m the boss and I tell you what to do they, and so they wanted to create, two of them, started the business from ground up to create that business.The other one, the other practice. It was kind of, it’s a practice that’s been around for a long, long time and just sort of became the two owners after lots of different patterns, slips and things. And I think just two very kind and caring people put a, they put a practice manager and again, who they took on with the same values and just said, we want to look after wellbeing.So I don’t know that they’re actually having specific mentoring or coaching or anything like that, but I certainly know one of the practices and I think. My personal opinion and from my own experience with latest step in helping other people’s leadership, is that having a mentor or a coach, you know, you can do a course and courses are great, but that’s not enough because you do a course in you go, that’s got an.You walk up, you haven’t got anyone to help keep you keep the momentum going with the stuff you learnt off the course. So I think, you know, for a leader, um, an investment in some sort of coaching or mentorship, often someone who’s not on the same businesses. Yeah. Julie SouthYeah. Dr Francesca BrownCause otherwise you get stuck in the same hole.Um, so you need to see things from another, another perspective. And I think, you know, for me working in education, I’ve been really lucky through the, uh, I take a Polytechnic and the latest set that I’ve been exposed to quite different to the veterinary leadership I’ve been exposed to and yes, bugger busyness and all of those sort of things, but still significantly challenged insignificantly.It’s not rich, we’re not rich businesses where. Doing things on a line and, um, been very enlightening. And I think if I’d gone straight from what I’d originally thought I’d do, which was go straight from being a clinical Victor owning a practice and things. I don’t think I would have been as good a leader as I think I could be.Now if I did it because of the exposure I’ve had outside of veterinary practice. Yeah. Yeah. And how Julie Southwould you recommend somebody start there? They’re listening to this and they’re thinking, okay. I need a need to get myself a mentor, a leadership mentor. Where would they start? Where would you start? Dr Francesca BrownThis is, I guess this is where the challenge comes with.Um, with veterinary practices is you don’t have an HR department to go and have a check to, to, uh, to see who would be the best, you know, who might be some options. But, you know, I, I would think, um, in a veterinary, in the veterinary industry, you’re, you know, you’ve probably got a good accountant. Who’s got.Um, exposure to lots of different businesses and they might know a business, that’s got some good values and some good leadership, and that could be a good place to start, um, networking online. So through LinkedIn or other, you know, other leadership forums and things like that, I’m attending a course. And then there might be someone at a course who you see has got a business in a different place that seems to have your values or.The things you aspire to, or some of the scores you go, I haven’t got those skills. Um, and connecting with people that way, there could be some ways to do it Julie Southbefore. Or I started with VIT staff. I was in small business coaching and for seven years I ran this, this monthly mastermind group that was called the kickass kickass mastermind.And they were all different types of businesses that had similar values. Within their businesses each month, we would look at different issues and then they would bounce around ideas from different angles because the professions were from creative to, to legal, to accounting, financial health, and beauty.It was a whole gamut and just the totally different inputs that each person, because we all see things differently. And what came out of that, the change that came out of that each, each year Dr Francesca Brownwas just amazing. And the support would have been really good as well. There are business breakfast groups and a lot of bigger areas as well, where they go and discuss things too, which can be useful as well.I think, I think it’s useful to have some support from someone who’s really got some knowledge as well, or can help, you know, drive them. But yes. Yeah, definitely getting some support, talking to people. Julie SouthIf you entrusted in knowing more about being part of a veterinary kickass mastermind group, like I mentioned, and when I was talking with Dr.Francesca, then please get in touch Julie dot South at extra dot Coda in Zed. And I’ll tell you more about it. Thank you for listening. Remember to click. Follow wherever you listen to your podcasts so that you don’t miss out on the next show with Dr. Francesco next week, she’ll talk more on leadership as well as what KPIs you can start measuring in your clinic.If you want to have lower staff turnover and a healthy bottom line. Also coming up on pause, call as witnesses as Dr. Brian Gregor of the Vietnam. Dr. Brian, as a former clinic owner now retired living the good life and getting in as much fishing and cheesemaking as he can while still podcasting. As I mentioned last week, I feel really privileged and there’s a bit of a, a fan girl moment happening with Dr.Bryan, having Dr. Bryan on the show. Because his podcast, the VIT podcast, as what paws, claws, wheat noses dreams of being when it grows up. But wait, there’s more also coming up as Dr. Meagan Alderson of the strand veterinarian and pano and Oakland. Dr. Meagan is one of new Zealand’s great advocates of, and has lots of fun with the serious topic of mental health.In clinic and it’s wellness. Khaki Tiano monarchy tea, paws, claws, and wet noses is sponsored by vet staff. If you’ve never heard of it, staff it’s new, Zealand’s only full service recruitment agency. 100% dedicated to the veterinary sector fit staff has been around since 2015 and works nationwide from Kate rehang to the bluff and everywhere in between.As well as helping Kiwis fit staff also hubs overseas, qualified veterinarians find work and art hero and New Zealand fit. staff.co dot. Indeed. .