Focus on Leadership and Management – Lecture Synopsis

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.

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.

Sponsored by:

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.

Coaching and Mentoring: back to basics
Ian Byrne, Head of Learning and Development, Parkdean Resorts

The concept of coaching and mentoring is gaining traction within the profession, but can still be misunderstood and/or poorly implemented. Ian Byrne is Head of Talent and Development at Parkdean Resorts, the largest UK provider of caravan, lodge, glamping and camping holiday resorts.  He joined the company in March, just two days after lockdown, but in spite of the obvious challenges, he has implemented a ‘back to basics’ coaching and mentoring programme for his team of resort managers as well as for senior leadership.  He believes everyone needs a mentor and/or coach in their life.  He will explain what he believes makes a good coach and a good mentor and share the challenges and successes of introducing a coaching and mentoring programme within Parkdean.  He will show how a successful coaching and mentoring programme can promote productivity and wellbeing within your team.

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 and the possible outcomes and positioning of conflict management.

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.

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.

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.

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: Whilmari Swift, Vet Dynamics: Leigh-Ann 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, Head Receptionist, 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.

Draft programme, subject to change
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