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Today’s VUCA world: opportunity or threat?

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Abstract

: Today’s 21st century veterinary world is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA). In the past, new technologies and industry trends would take years to develop but, today, they arrive almost overnight. Practising today involves a managing a diverse team and client base, coping with every rising consumer expectations and treatment costs against the backdrop of a global sustainability emergency. This new world is putting extreme pressure on veterinary leaders to lead in ways not before seen. If we want to navigate our patients, teams, clients and, not forgetting ourselves, through this new ‘normal,’ we need a different approach. Success for our practices, and everyone involved, requires 21st century leadership and, guess what, it may not be as scary as you think. This session explores the opportunities and threats in today’s VUCA world, and how they may impact veterinary practice. We’ll also explore simple tools and techniques for analysing your own VUCA practice, and your personal role in navigating it.

: Even before COVID 19 hit us in 2020, veterinary practices were having to cope with a huge volume of wide-ranging changes across the whole profession. Corporatisation, the development of technology and data management, rising client expectations, a gender shift and retention crisis were all providing a challenging environment for veterinary business leaders. Add in a global pandemic and clients who continue to demand high quality care at competitive prices, that focuses on them as much as their pets, it is no surprise that our leaders and practice teams are under huge pressure. This session explores how the change management process has had to evolve within veterinary practices to keep up with the fast and rapid changes practice teams have experienced. These changes are happening across every practice and involve managers and leaders, team members and clients. As humans we all react and respond to change differently, some of us thrive on it and others struggle with it, so knowing your people and understanding how to navigate the challenges they are facing will be vital as we move forwards.

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