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I've failed at transforming cultures

It would be easy, when trying to encourage veterinary leaders to join our Collective of culture champions, to overlook this fact. To show only case studies where I’ve been successful in transforming toxic, negative environments into thriving, resilient places where people like to work.

But the truth is that I’ve failed too. Drastically. I’ve even been fired for pushing too quickly, expecting too much, demanding more than they were willing to invest, not even managing to convince my boss to read the business case for return on investment, let alone enact it. And you definitely can’t change a culture when you’re not around long enough to do it. And so I’ve left one organisation, perhaps an ounce better than I found, but still with negativity, frustration, distrust and pessimism as the prevailing hallmarks of their culture. It makes me sad whenever I think too hard on it.

So I know what it’s like to be in your shoes. To be trying every single day, working late on initiatives, thinking up new ways to engage the team, finding new ways to encourage people to think / behave / perceive / help the way that would be more conducive to the sort of team you know you need.

I know what it’s like to be in the trenches, being blamed for all the bad things despite you working your butt off to improve them, or working long hours to implement something that will make things better for your team, only for them to throw it in your face as not what they wanted or just ignore it completely. To be giving your all and it not be enough.

But the beauty of having failed, is the lessons you learn in what doesn’t work. And when you’re in the privileged position of being able to compare and contrast that with the things you know for certain do work, you actually end up better able to create the change you’re looking for. Perhaps not for that one organisation, but for the rest.

If you’d like to be part of learning from both experts and veterinary leader colleagues who might not win every battle, but are still fighting the good fight, then join our Collective.

Get on the waitlist to nab one of only 10 seats in 2024’s only Clinic Culture Collective.

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