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Size matters in pharmacy: more people, more problems (Part 1 of 2)

On solving long-term problems well

Recently a mentor of mine said: “You don’t want to grow too much Jason; more people, more problems.” While I understand what they mean, I prefer to think about staff size as what fits tightly into your depth chart, a visual of your current staff and future pipeline.

In pro sports, championship teams have a common thread: depth. When the superstars are not scoring, the role players step up. In a grueling hard-fought playoff run, a carefully crafted deep team outlasts the thin one.

In a war, the second battalion steps up and continues the battle when the first battalion is down and out. While the second battalion is fighting, the third is getting ready and the forth is being developed.

Essentially, there is a plan to roll out a continuous body of organized, well-functioning workers for the long-term sustainability of the organization. A succession plan built from a depth chart. 

Does your current team design make you vulnerable?

Thinking about your team, you already have an idea of each person’s strengths and weaknesses. Who are your superstars and role players? Who is capable of taking on more responsibility but have not yet been given a change? What gaps do you have? What leaves and vacations are coming? How strong will you be during those times? Who is your future?

Without simply adding extra people in hopes that they turn out, how can you ensure your second battalion is as strong as your first?

All of this is your job. You are the thinker. You are one who is best suited to analyze, react and craft the answers to these questions. If you don’t, who will?

Don’t want everyone leaving their jobs too closely together in the same timeframe? Don’t what to be hiring and training over half your team at the same time? Don’t what to be the only person capable of dispensing someday? You need a succession plan. Next week, I’ll show you an easy process to design the succession plan for your specific pharmacy.

Hint: fill in your pharmacy depth chart. Here is a preview:

Jason chart

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