Creative Disruption

The future is PetGen

Creative Disruption

Make way, boomers and Gen Xers. Millennials and Generation Z are remaking how Americans view pets and veterinary care.

Every generation has its own approach to work and life. How these different groups interact with family, pets and lives are profoundly reshaping our world and professional landscape. This is particularly true of the generation I call PetGen. I define PetGen as the combination of millennials and Generation Z, or anyone under about age 38. […]

choices

Unintended consequences

Creative Disruption

You might be tracking the wrong key performance indicators. Try a few that focus on the pet, the owner and your employees.

Did you hear about Wells Fargo? For years, the company served as a role model in the banking world for exemplary customer service. Wells Fargo set a goal, or key performance indicator (KPI), to sell eight products to every customer. To accomplish this, they created the “Eight is great” motto, which incentivized employees to cross-sell […]

ocean

Come aboard!

Creative Disruption

The veterinary industry has a lot going for it, starting with the historic role pets play in everyday life. Staffing issues and the cost of care deserve attention, however.

Sailors are familiar with the phrase “fair winds and following seas.” The saying refers to ideal conditions for steering a ship. Our profession is enjoying both fair winds and a few rough seas. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking about our profession’s tailwinds and headwinds. Ever the optimist, I’ll start with tailwinds, which in […]

mentoring

It was meant to be

Creative Disruption

“Mentern” relationships between baby boomers and millennials allow for the exchange of knowledge and the smooth handoff of the veterinary profession from one generation to the next.

As I and millions of fellow baby boomers begin to see more of life in the rearview mirror than out the windshield, I often find myself reflecting: Have I served my family well, did I give back to the profession I dearly love, and where the hell are my glasses? It’s become abundantly clear that […]

technology

Bricks and clicks

Creative Disruption

Veterinary medicine will be in a world of hurt if it doesn’t embrace new and better ways of serving pets and clients.

Pet owners call your practice, make an appointment, drive to your hospital and wait in the lobby. We see them once a year if we’re lucky. By some estimates, half the pets in the U.S. won’t see a veterinarian this year. We then have maybe 20 minutes to address the presenting complaint and hopefully squeeze […]

One step at a time

Creative Disruption

The veterinary profession must and can do better with well-being. An incremental approach would get us turned around.

I am a big believer in innovation. Breakthrough ideas are inspiring, exciting and energizing. I look for opportunities to challenge the status quo; there’s always a better way to do things. That said, I try not to underestimate the power of incrementalism — one step at a time, bit by bit. While it’s not as […]

Choose optimism

Creative Disruption

The veterinary profession is awash in change and opportunity. You should be excited to be part of this era.

I tell students every chance I get that there has never been a better time to be a veterinarian. I believe it. Dr. Google, rising competition, Amazon, consolidation, increasing complexity of running a vet biz, struggle to get cats in the door, staff turnover, accounts receivable, compliance and grumpy clients — I get it. Painting […]

Let’s get personal

Creative Disruption

Understanding when the white coat is off or on is a key to successful personal and professional growth.

Most of life — family, activities, community involvement, growth — happens when our white coats or scrubs are off. In my experience as a mentor, mentee, coach, educator, friend and sponsor, I see most organizations focusing on the white-coat-on (i.e., professional development) side of the ledger while short-changing the far more important white-coat-off side. I’ve […]

Opportunity knocks

Creative Disruption

Millennials spend more on veterinary care and pet services than any other generation, so what are you doing to embrace them?

For decades, baby boomers have been a dominant force in our profession both as consumers and colleagues. No longer. Millennials — hereafter referred to as PetGen (you’ll see why) — are now the primary pet-owning demographic. Thirty-five percent of U.S. pet owners are members of PetGen, which grew up with the internet and smartphones and […]

The Goldilocks concept

Creative Disruption

How can we combine what independent veterinarians yearn for with the best of the corporate world?

Independent practices — mom and pops — have been the backbone of our profession for generations. They’re our industry’s baseball and apple pie. While we all know independent owners to be passionate, engaged in the community and superb health care providers, they also are notorious for being less-than-optimal business managers. Corporate practices have sought to […]

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