Beef up clinic brainstorming


Motivate your veterinary team to generate new ideas.

Fifteen heads are better than one. So motivate your team to come up with creative solutions to such issues as improving patient care and customer service, and thinking up ideas for new services. Leslie Mamalis, MBA, a consultant with Summit Veterinary Advisors in Littleton, Colo., recommends that you:

Hold team brainstorming sessions. Write ideas on a whiteboard or flip chart so everyone can see them and build on them. Because it's easier to come up with the first few ideas, try calling first on a new team member or a quiet one to build their confidence.

Let ideas percolate. Don't say, "If you have any ideas, let me know." Try the more directed, "Think about this over the weekend, then come back on Monday and share your ideas."

Approach quiet employees one on one. Some people don't like being put on the spot in a group meeting, so try approaching them individually later. Make sure this employee knows you'll listen and consider her ideas, and you won't dismiss her input.

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