In your veterinary practice, if you’re going to get out of the middle of things and gain a truckload of personal control, you must be sure you’re headed in a single direction, not helter-skelter, all over the place. It really does boil down to picking the correct road and then traveling down that road efficiently, and a great way to assist that effort is to use the ‘task filter’ of Automate-Delegate-Delete.
Following is a slightly paraphrased excerpt from my book Work the system: The Simple Mechanics of Making More and Working Less.
“To reinforce the concept’s validity, think about the opposite tactic: doing every task manually or doing them all yourself, or accepting every burden that shows up on your doorstep.
“And yes, it’s especially about work, but it’s also about relationships and health.“
“Your clinic is a massive collection of independent systems, each one executing independently (Yes, of course they intermingle and work together, but you can’t get a grip on things if you see them as a tangled mass.) What is missing in so many small businesses – and veterinary clinics are no exception – is pointed, intensive management of each of those individual processes.”
Let’s look at my personal favorite business mantra, AUTOMATE – DELEGATE – DELETE, as it relates to your veterinary practice (which, despite its esoteric nature, is similar in function to most other businesses). How is that? Because an organization must have a single leader who calls the shots, it must have a defined organizational structure, and it must conform to the simple laws of physics.
And so, here’s the nutshell explanation of the elements of the mantra and how each pertains to organizational leadership…from the largest strategic positioning to the smallest nuances of every-day efforts.
The payoff? You and your people will have significantly more face-to-face time with your animals and their humans.
- Automate: Can a machine – usually a computer – perform the recurring tasks and the remembering? Altogether remove a human from these mundane chores and you’ll get close to zero-defect. And always remember, multitasking is for machines, not humans. You want yourself, and your people, to be able to focus on one thing at a time.
- Delegate: What daily chores, or even complex tasks, can be handled by someone else? Yes, at the root of things, you will always have a “human” business in which people make instant decisions based on a myriad of evidence.
- Delete: What tasks within your clinic are you or your people doing that result in useless “un-actionable data.” Invariably, as an organization leader thinks objectively of this principle, certain processes that are obvious candidates for elimination come to mind. It’s a great feeling, to discard the useless.
I own Centratel, a veterinary specialized national answering service in which we process calls for scores of clinics across the U.S.. My sales pitch to you? Having your after-hours and busy-time incoming calls handled by us addresses all three elements of the mantra….
There’s much more about all of this in my book, Work the System, now in its fourth edition. Send me your mailing address, and I’ll send you a hard copy, gratis.
Centratel is an elite national telephone answering service located in Bend, Oregon. Centratel’s Veterinary Answering Service assists hundreds of veterinary businesses during and after-hours, throughout the United States and is, by a variety of statistics, the highest quality answering service available among the approximately 800 services nationwide.