Does Your Veterinary Team Take Risks Or Play it Safe?

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By Randy Hall

January 19, 2024

Are you leading a veterinary team that's more inclined to play it safe rather than take risks? In the dynamic field of veterinary medicine, embracing calculated risks can be the key to innovation and growth. Let's explore how veterinary professionals and managers can foster a culture of bold thinking and proactive decision-making in their practices.

Fostering a Culture of Innovation in Veterinary Practices

Let's about how veterinary teams approach risk. We adults often hold back from taking risks, which is quite the opposite of how children approach life. Take a moment and think back to when kids play sports, like baseball.

I recall watching them, including my son, fearlessly aiming for home runs, not just settling for triples. Even when the coach advised caution, they'd go for it. Those 8-year-olds, undeterred by risks, were a joy to watch.

This fearless approach is quite different from what we often see in our veterinary practices. Have you noticed how our teams sometimes focus more on avoiding errors than on innovating? They’re usually more concerned with keeping the practice owner or manager happy, rather than pushing the envelope. Unfortunately this mindset leads to mediocrity, and we can do better. 

Encouraging Calculated Risks for Greater Veterinary Team Success

Encouraging calculated risk on our veterinary team

I’m not encouraging reckless behavior, but I am emphasizing the need for us, as leaders in veterinary care, to foster a culture where taking calculated risks is welcomed. It's about motivating our teams to bring fresh ideas to the table, to change the game, and to learn from their experiences.

We might think that our guidance is the main source of learning in our clinics, but the truth is, hands-on experience and trial and error are invaluable. Innovation doesn't just come from meeting the boss's expectations.

Turning Practice Challenges into Opportunities for Growth

For our teams to truly develop and excel, they need the space to experiment and grow. This means that sometimes, the ideas and directions can't always come from us. We might need to step back and let them stretch their ambitions, just like stretching a triple into a home run.

What Will We Do Today
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Together, let's commit to this journey, fostering an environment in our veterinary practices where taking a leap is not just accepted, but celebrated.

How about your team? Do they take risks and innovate, or do they play it safe? Let others know in the comments below.

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