Focus on Leadership and Management – Lecture Synopsis

CLICK HERE for the timetable for the day

8: 30:  Kick off the day with Sam Burkey’s  Virtual Wake Up Yoga

We are delighted to have Sam Burkey leading our early morning virtual yoga. Sam will lead a class that will be accessible to first time as well as experienced yogis.  She will help unwind you from your beds with an early morning stretch and twist class.

Sam has been practising yoga for over 20 years, travelling to many different parts of the world to study and explore many different styles of yoga.  Her very personal approach draws from several different yoga traditions and is underpinned by a deep appreciation for anatomy and physiology.   If you miss the 8:00 session, we will record and repeat it at the end of the day to unwind you from your chair!  The really enthusiastic can do it twice.

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Stream A

10:00:  Values-based leadership and veterinary business development in the digital age
Dr Elizabeth Jackson, School of Management, Curtin University, Western Australia

It is likely that most people working in veterinary practice will share similar deeply held values around ethics, honesty and integrity. Values-based leadership encourages you to identify these values, share them with your team, understand their values and use these shared values to motivate and drive performance.  In this session, Liz Jackson describes values-based leadership and introduces the concept of digital leadership, explaining how this can support both values-based leadership and evidence-based decision making.  Liz has worked in agribusinesses in Australia and the UK and lectured at the RVC in Business Management.  She will explain how these leadership models can inspire you to achieve superior patient, client and team outcomes.

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11:10:  Front of House: a post-Covid Evolution
Kayleigh Page and Danielle Bowers, Drove Vets and BVRA Members

Many practices furloughed at least some, if not all of their Front of House team during lockdown.  A recent survey by the British Veterinary Receptionist Association (BVRA) suggests that many of their members felt that communication during this time and during the return to work was poor and they were not always treated as part of the team.  While the clinical teams may be back to a semblance of normality, reception teams are still having to work differently and multi-task even more than usual as they juggle social distancing rules and different client needs.

Kayleigh Page and Danielle Bowers are both veterinary receptionists at Drove Vets, a multi-branch practice in Swindon, and were both nominated for the BVRA Receptionist of the Year Award 2020.  As BVRA members, they share key findings from the research, backed up by their own experience and anecdotes from colleagues.  They discuss with Liz Somerville, the learnings from COVID for front of house and how better communication, a more joined up approach and improved PR could help clinical and reception teams work together and provide a better client service.  They will also discuss the pros and cons of technology both during lockdown and going forward to help inter-team and client comms.

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12:15:  Disaster Preparation:  What a manager should have in place for the next big challenge!
Whilmari Swift, Vet Dynamics

Which practices withstood the pandemic best?  And why? Whilmari Swift from Vet Dynamics analyses those characteristics that made some practice teams more resilient.  Good leadership is key and a culture of trust and shared values that allowed teams to pull together.  Those same qualities meant that teams were able to move effectively from the crisis management of phase one to structured and often distanced teams in phase two, the deluge of work that followed the end of lock down and then finally the bringing together of furloughed and non-furloughed staff. Whilmari will look at how to ensure that you and your teams have the necessary culture, processes, business modelling capacity and communication channels in place so you are ready to face whatever the next big challenge happens to be.

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13:45:  21st Century Leadership: The role we all play to ensure an inclusive veterinary practice
Richard Casey, Blue Cross & VMG

In recent years a new perspective o leadership has begun taking shape. One where leadership is viewed as a shared responsibility amongst the whole team, not just those with manager in their job description. This is very relevant to the vet practice where MRCVs, RVNs, receptionists and practice managers are all working together to ensure positive outcomes for patients, people and practice.

In this session, Richard Casey, VMG President and Head of Clinical Development at Blue Cross introduces the concept of shared leadership and its relevance to our industry. He will explore the leadership knowledge, skills and behaviours required to ensure a workplace is not only productive, but inclusive for today AND tomorrow.  In a year when not only have we faced a global pandemic, but for the first-time half the workforce will be millennial, Richard’s talk will have relevance for everyone from new graduate to experienced leader.

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Stream B

10:00:  The Power of a Growth Mindset: why certain habits of mind matter in clinical improvement
Professor Bill  Lucas, University of Winchester

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Are you and your team receptive to new ideas and ready to adopt change to your working practices in the light of evidence? Quality Improvement within practice assumes that some cultures are more conducive to change and that there are certain habits of mind and action which are more likely to lead to improvements. At the core of these habits is the idea of a growth mindset. Professor Bill Lucas has researched this area extensively and published papers, reports and books on these topics. He lectures widely on growth mindset as a tool for educators and sports coaches. Evidence suggests that the same principles can be applied to clinical teams to ensure that they have a culture of continuous learning and improvement. In this session he will describe the habits of mind that can help to develop a culture of continuous clinical improvement and how you, as a manager or leader, can help cultivate those in yourself and your team.

11:10:  Leading a Culture of Feedback
Becky Dobell, VetPartners

Giving feedback to team members in a constructive and positive way can be one of the toughest challenges for leaders. The theory can make it sound simple; listen and observe, be consistent, don’t make it personal, balance the positive and the negative.  The problem is the person receiving the feedback may have a different script!  In this session, Becky Dobell brings many years’ experience of veterinary practice to help you understand the models and guidance that can support feedback and managing conflict, both internally and externally. She will use case study examples to help you appreciate the benefits that feedback can bring.

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12:15:  Coaching and Mentoring: back to basics
Sarah Dena, L&D Consultant

The concept of coaching and mentoring is gaining traction within the profession, but can still be misunderstood and/or poorly implemented.   Sarah Dena has many years’ experience in HR and talent development, including working at Blue Cross and various HR roles in the UK, the far East, Asia and Australia.  She believes everyone needs a mentor and/or coach in their life  and that a successful coaching and mentoring programme can promote productivity and wellbeing within your team. In this session Sarah will explain what she believes makes a good coach and a good mentor and will share the challenges and successes of introducing a coaching and mentoring programme within your practice.

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13:45:  Cultural Intelligence
Becky Armstrong, Sparkle Training and Development

There has been much talk about recognising and embracing diversity in vet practice in recent years, and the importance of recognising your own unconscious bias.  Whether we are talking about ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, class or disability, it is likely that our differences are far less important than the values we have in common.  And these differences make for a rich cultural diversity which, if recognised and embraced, can create positive, highly productive workplaces.   Rebecca Armstrong, who has lived experience of discrimination and disability, works with businesses and larger companies, including Blue Cross, to help devise and implement equality and diversity strategies.  She will explain how she helps teams to recognise and share their own privileges and biases and in so doing, accept and appreciate the cultural diversity offered by fellow team members and clients.

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14:50:  Courageous Conversations
Katherine Eitel Belt, LionSpeak

We are delighted to welcome back the amazing Katherine Eitel Belt, who first spoke to UK vets and managers at SPVS/VMG Congress in 2014. She will dial in from her home in California to share her thoughts on how to have difficult conversations with anyone in your life about performance or behaviour, be they colleagues, family, friends or clients. This is a crucial skill for leaders and managers and Katherine will take you through the steps and processes to successful outcomes.  But it is also important for anyone in your team who may need to placate a difficult or upset pet owner or manage a disagreement with a colleague. Katherine will introduce an interactive exercise that will demonstrate her theory and which you can use as a training tool to help your team learn to be better communicators too.

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15:55:  Panel Discussion – Post-Covid Leadership and Management: What I’ve learnt in 2020!
Including: Renay Rickard, Kernow Veterinary Group; Andrew Whitfield-Roberts, White Cross Vets: Kayleigh Page & Danielle Bowers, Drove Vets: Leigh-Anne Brown, Vets4Pets. Chair: Liz Somerville

If you learn most from times of crisis, then the learning curve has probably never been steeper for many managers in than in 2020.  Everyone will have a different experience of what it has been like on the coal face, but there will also be many similarities.  What have you learnt, how have you changed as a manager and leader?  How are you involving the team in decided what might change? In this session a Practice Manager, Receptionists, a Head Nurse and a practice owner (JVP) exchange experience about how it was for them and what impact it has had on how they will manage their practice and lead their team going forward.

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Draft programme, subject to change