Motivational talk spurs VMG II tweaking


Worthington, Ohio-What's in a new name?

Worthington, Ohio-What's in a new name?

Leadership, according to members of the former Veterinary ManagementGroup II (VMG II).

The association, after hearing a presentation on positive thinking andits impact on practice, changed its name to Veterinary Leadership Group(VLG).

"Anything we do has to benefit ourselves as managers and as leaders,"says Dr. George Norris, who hosted the 10th Anniversary meeting of the formerVMG II in October.

The group of 20-plus DVMs, practice managers and consultants meets twicea year to discuss business management, personal development, leadershipand communication skills in their practices.

The name change was meant to expand the group beyond practice managementideals.


Members were encouraged to shift the group's focus after listening toa presentation by consultant Gerald Prince of Worthington, Ohio. He ledan interactive discussion based on "The Thin Book of Appreciative Inquiry,"by Sue Annis Hammond. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) refers to the art of applyingpositive thinking to induce change in practice and everyday life.

The theory is based on the notion that people should emphasize what worksin every organization and build on that to enhance their practice, as opposedto identifying problems and attempting to fix them.

"It helps everyone see the need for change, explore new possibilitiesand contribute to solutions," says Prince.

That book triggered a wellspring of ideas on how to apply positive thinkingto the profession as well as the group itself.

"I haven't been as excited at where this group is headed in sometime. We're back at a new beginning. We're ready to build," says EricClough, DVM.

Prince's discussion was complemented by a presentation by Cynthia Wutchiettand Associates on "Well Managed Practices" and by Roger Cummingsof Brakke Consulting, who provided a glimpse at the state of the industry.

Members split up into breakout groups during the discussions and addressedhow to build a Web site for VLG, how to market the group to new, young veterinariansand how to exemplify leadership to the profession.

Cummings says the ideas are motivating, while cautioning, "If wedon't do anything tomorrow, nothing will be any different six months fromnow."

Brian Harm, practice manager in Buffalo, N.Y., says the group has approacheda crossroads.

"I love change - to shake things up. I've learned volumes by beingopen-minded and taking home what I've seen, heard and read. Our group needsto be shaken up, torn down and rebuilt," he says.

Following the meeting, Dr. Lauren Quin, a prospective new member in attendance,was officially inducted into the group.

The next meeting will be in Richmond, Va., hosted by Dr. Charles Hickeyand his wife.

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