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Do you have enough eggs for the job?

Jason Chenard

Crave egg-cracking. Yearn for a specific pharmacy culture.

Two facts: eggs go rotten & leading people takes bravery. 

Leading people means developing systems that safely allow everyone to honestly evaluate whether things need to be changed.  It means not necessarily having all the answers, but being confident that when the right people ask the right questions, the answers are uncovered.  

Leading people means we are not afraid to charge others with questioning why. When others avoid judging the deficiencies of the current system or the people who developed it, real change can occur. For this to happen successfully, egos need to be put aside.

The operators of a system need to be given permission to think outside the box and imagine what things would look like if they were allowed to restart or reinvent.  Those operators have all the knowledge, skill and experience to understand what would make something better and they understand where the deficiencies and inefficiencies are. 

This philosophy becomes imbedded in the fabric of a team’s culture and involves:

•        Resisting the urge to play it safe by keeping the egg nestled in its stable shell.

•        Risking the mess involved by cracking it for a potential new product: a nutritious omelet.

•        Asking why and releasing emotional connection to the past. 

The queue for reassessment is the response: “Because we’ve always done it this way.”

When we hear this response, excitement should arise because we now have the opportunity to shape something into a new invention, our invention, a more modern and relevant way of doing something.

Across human history, we were right when we were wrong.  Good ideas turned out to be terrible ones with time. It does not mean our ancestors were wrong, it simply means their systems are not right for today.  We once thought the Earth was flat, we thought seatbelts were just an annoyance and we did not think smoking could be unhealthy.  However, when we cracked those eggs, we changed the world.

Many pharmacists initially signed up because they did not like blood. Now they administer injections and first aid. For decades, pharmacy assistants deferred all legal responsibilities to pharmacists. Now they are technicians, signing-off independently. Many pharmacists said they would never own. Now independent pharmacy openings make up half of Ontario’s new pharmacy openings.

Be brave, ask why, crack eggs, eat omelets, adapt, and survive. Make cracking eggs part of your culture. “At this pharmacy, we crack eggs.”

When others avoid judging the deficiencies of the current system                                    or the people who developed it, real change can occur.

What is culture?

Being able to describe the ideas, behaviours and attitudes of the way things are done gives clarity to future decision making. It is the pulse of daily activity of an organization and instils confidence that unknown challenges will be met using building blocks from precedent events. It is the core of an organization, bigger than any one individual regardless of job title. We crave it, actively seek it out and publish its understanding internally.

In the next article I underscore the true importance of saying no.





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