An unexpected journey

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Five things you must get right to lead your team on the change journey to a successful forward pharmacist service model

Google TED talks and you will find a nice, sharp, five minute presentation on the 5 keys to successfully negotiating any change management journey. 

But how do we apply models for change like this to pharmacies that have not successfully completed the change process that we keep hearing is critically urgent?

According to the clip, the 5 “generic” critical success factors are ….

  1. Identify the new vision – make it crystal clear
  2. Clarify the impact – positive vs negative; change vs stay the same 
  3. Communicate – address the fears and the “what’s in it for me”
  4. Team up – get the whole team involved
  5. Lead – own the change and celebrate milestone successes

Our observations in observing over 50 pharmacy teams attempt the change journey to a successful forward pharmacist service model provide for insights as a sector specific version of the 5 generic CSFs above.

  1. Identify the new vision

Having a clear overall Vision for where you want your business to be in 3 years is critical – but not enough. Often pharmacy owners/managers tell us we have a vision such as increase sales over the next 3 years by 20%.

That’s a great start but much more is needed. What is the strategy to achieve the vision? What are the tactics and what does it look like everyday in your pharmacy? For example what kind of conversation do you and your team want to (need to) have with your customers that will lead to an increase in sales?

Get an objective assessment of your current service model, down to granular specifics, eg how long do you engage the health customer; how much of that time do you provide counsel beyond customer request/expectation

Compare and contrast to the better exemplars in the sector, eg >90% of ALL scripts are handed back by a pharmacist

Define what the new service model needs to look like accordingly, from the customer’s perspective … again in granular specifics, not motherhood statements, eg. every health customer approaching the service counters will experience “meet and greet and professional triage” within 1 – 30 seconds every time  

  1. Clarify the impact

What is the impact of not changing? What are the possibilities if you do change?

We find the impact is often assumed and rarely discussed in detail.

Do the numbers and then tell the story that flows from the numbers.

Exactly what will happen if the business and the people don’t change (ask Kodak & Darrell Lea). What will the impact be for the team and each individual? Go through this first.

Then clarify what the impact will be if you make the changes. How will the business look. What will it mean for the team and the individuals? Don’t assume – clarify the impact.

Crunch the numbers – what will bad look like; what will good look like, ie hard dollar numbers that relate to the whole team, not just the owner/s.

Remember that unit volume changes over time in S3/S2 and selected unscheduled mediciness that relate to a more complete solution for both the script customer and the OTC customer is a reasonable proxy for the degree of change toward an effective, engaging and solution delivering forward pharmacy service model.

By Glenn Guilfoyle and Michael Erwin. Glenn is principal of The Next Level

Part 2 of this article will be in AJP Daily tomorrow


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