For over a decade, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business has taken an evidence-based approach, driving innovative and industry-leading research
Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business harnesses the power of objective measurement in identifying opportunities for veterinary business owners and managers to improve leadership, culture, engagement, and talent retention.
The Veterinary Leadership Audit and Veterinary Satisfaction Survey are two examples of innovative tools we’ve developed that can rapidly and accurately ascertain strengths to build on, as well as opportunities for growth.
The overall and subcategory scores provide excellent baselines for clients engaging with Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business and allow both a tailored approach to support, and for their progress to be tracked over time. Results can also be benchmarked against our growing database of over 500 audits performed to date.
Veterinary commercial data collection and analysis forms the backbone of the third year in our flagship Lead to Succeed program and the Team Omega Platinum annual business development workshops.
Delegates in cohorts of non-competing and geographically distinct practices have the benefit of benchmarking against an industry-leading commercial database, with over 450 individual practice submissions (managed as strictly anonymous aggregated data) and more than 135,000 individual key business data-points.
Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business has leveraged the power of tracking this data over time to shape our business development curriculum and create tailored data-driven workshops, which empower veterinary business managers and owners to achieve outstanding commercial performance.
Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business performed ground-breaking research into veterinarian attrition with a multi-national study of 1,500 veterinary professionals completed in 2019, called the Veterinary Shortage Survey.
Gathering perspectives of veterinary business owners and managers, as well as veterinarians employed or formerly employed in general practice, this research project utilised widespread anecdotal reporting to identify workforce shortages across Australia and New Zealand at the time.
The Veterinary Shortage Survey was followed up by the Global Veterinary Sustainability Survey in 2021, which was designed as a longitudinal study into the workforce crisis and extended the research to 12 additional countries.
Both research projects provided an exceptional picture of the scale, impacts, and causes of premature departure of veterinarians from clinical practice around the world, in addition to highlighting the specific opportunities to prevent it. These insights motivated and helped to shape several of our bespoke non-technical competency training programs.
The Veterinary Sustainability Pilot was a joint initiative between Royal Canin and Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business designed to investigate whether targeted, non-technical competency development of veterinarians in general practice can positively impact professional satisfaction, wellbeing, and career longevity.
Headed up by Co-Director Dr Michael Powell and his counterpart at Royal Canin, this research project took place between April 2021 and September 2022, and involved an initial cohort of 127 veterinarians across 25 countries.
Subjects ranged from new graduates through to 10 years of experience who received 52 training modules from the Leading Edge for Veterinarians program, which were delivered weekly.
Program impact was measured by means of a survey at the start and upon completion, then results were analysed by international consulting and data analysis firm, Ipsos, for signs of statically significant change.
Despite the unprecedented industry circumstances during the period in which the study took place (the supply/demand imbalance due to the so-called “COVID pandemic boom”), statistically significant improvements were seen across the majority of measures (33 out of 44 statements).
Significant positive impacts were also measured across seven competency themes, including:
A longitudinal study with the first Veterinary Sustainability Pilot cohort was performed in 2023 and probed the subjects’ own perspectives on the impact the program had on them professionally and personally.
A pattern suggesting an ongoing positive impact across a range of areas was observed in submissions by subjects who responded. While the findings are preliminary, the data supports the following benefits of Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business training:
Despite the Pilot training having taken place over the “COVID pandemic boom” – being arguably one of the most difficult periods for satisfaction and wellbeing – findings also included:
This initial Veterinary Sustainability Pilot is also being built upon, with a second Pilot study now completed trialling a condensed delivery format, and a third is currently underway aimed at providing a more detailed understanding of non-technical competency training on productivity and enhancement of remuneration capacity. In addition, ongoing longitudinal studies with all Pilot subjects will continue.
An advocate for the sustainability of the veterinary industry, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business also contributes as thought leader and media commentator
Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business collaborates closely with leading veterinary organisations, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to advance animal health and welfare globally. By leveraging the expertise and resources of the AVMA and its alliances, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business develops innovative strategies and programs aims at improving veterinary practices and standards worldwide.
Through individual and joint ventures, we champion initiatives that prioritise education, ethical treatment, sustainable practices, and enhanced healthcare for animals on the world stage, ensuring a brighter future for animals and the communities where animals are found.
Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Operations for Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business, Dr Zach Mills joined veterinary advocates from across the nation at the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Legislative Fly-in. Dr Mills was part of a contingent of 145 veterinary professionals and students that convened with Senators and Representatives to discuss crucial legislation for the sustainability of the veterinary profession. These advocates from 37 states of the U.S. participated in over 170 meetings, receiving in-depth briefings about the top policy issues affecting veterinary medicine and raised important topics relating to industry sustainability, including the Rural Veterinary Workforce Act and the Health Dog Importation Act.
For several years we had received consistent feedback from our broader community of veterinary practice owners and other industry stakeholders who expressed concern regarding progressing difficulties filling positions for Associate Veterinarians in general practice. In response, in late 2018, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business determined to take affirmative and coordinated action.
Formed by our organisation and chaired by Co-Director Dr Michael Powell, the Vet Shortage Think Tank, which took place on 12 November in Sydney, Australia, included industry stakeholders at all levels across Australia and New Zealand, including Veterinary Schools, Associations, Regulatory Bodies, Veterinary Industry, Corporate, and Privately Owned Practice to discuss this reported problem.
At the initial Veterinary Shortage Think Tank, and subsequent Steering Committee meetings, the panel considered insights from a range of resources.
These included the Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business Veterinary Shortage Survey, other contemporary research and anecdotal evidence, and expert submissions. This helped determine a list of key contributing stressors driving premature departure of veterinarians from general practice.
From there, the Steering Committee created an eight-point Veterinary Shortage Committee Action List focused on the key areas showing the most promise for making a meaningful impact in combating the veterinary workforce crisis head-on.
This Veterinary Shortage Steering Committee Action List has been utilised as part of several efforts to lobby for change and shared as part of domestic and international collaborations in the area of veterinary industry sustainability.
Over the last decade, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business has been invited to present at numerous domestic and international conferences. Presentation topics are focused on the role non-technical competency development (with a strong emphasis on personal and interpersonal leadership) can play in professional satisfaction and wellbeing, enhanced team culture, talent retention, and commercial sustainability.
Presentations in recent years have included strategies to support individuals and businesses to thrive in the face of the veterinary shortage. These often involve exhibition of our compelling research data, which identifies key opportunities to combat professional dissatisfaction and attrition, as well as results of our world-first research project demonstrating the impact of a program that directly targets them.
Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business enjoys a supportive relationship with both veterinary and mainstream media. We routinely donate our time for media interviews on subjects relating to the veterinary profession in print publications, such as Vet Practice Magazine, Vetscript, Vet Answers, Dog Lover Magazine, The Courier Mail, and The Guardian, as well as numerous radio, television, and podcast platforms.
Subject matter ranges from the veterinary shortage and recruitment to veterinary financial mindset, veterinary commercial sustainability, non-technical competency mentoring, and the emotional impact of product shortages.
In 2022, Co-Director Dr Michael Powell was invited to attend the Australasian Veterinary Boards Council (AVBC) Sustainable Practice Forum in Melbourne, Australia, which focused on finding positive solutions to foster sustainability in the veterinary industry.
A wide variety of topics were discussed, including curbing attrition rates, transitioning new graduates into clinical practice, CPD and the role of veterinary specialists, and intra-professional career change pathways.
Dr Powell shared headline findings from the Veterinary Sustainability Pilot and advocated for the Boards to consider mandatory non-technical competency CPD, given its demonstrated impact on reducing complaints, improving patient outcomes, and enhancing veterinarians’ resilience to the rigours of veterinary practice.
Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business enabled Dr Powell and his colleague, Co-Director Dr Gary Turnbull, to contribute their time as volunteers to the AVA Workforce Challenges Working Group from 2019 to 2021.
Since our inception, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business has remained a company committed to giving back to the veterinary industry
Through a shared commitment to improving the mental wellbeing and fulfilment of veterinary professionals, Sophie’s Legacy and Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business are proud to announce their official partnership in a critical veterinary industry initiative.
The tragic loss of Dr Sophie Putland underscores the urgency of creating healthy and inclusive workplace environments, which support the resilience of those engaged in the provision of veterinary care. This initiative leverages Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business’ expertise in leadership and culture development, combining it with the heartfelt mission, inspiring advocacy, and community connection of Sophie’s Legacy.
The collaboration aims to support the implementation of veterinary business leadership strategies that create measurable enhancement of interpersonal relationships between team-mates and with their leaders in veterinary practice.
Through evidence-based education, advocacy, and a strong community focus, this initiative strives to not only honour Dr Sophie Putland’s memory, but also to contribute significantly to a psychologically safer and more sustainable veterinary profession, to the benefit of both animals and the extraordinary people who care for them.
As a passionate community of individuals with extensive front-line experience of working in clinical practice and as veterinary business owners, the team at Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business is passionate about giving back to the industry that has afforded us so much.
In addition to our work contributing time pro-bono to industry advocacy through media, committees, complimentary educational webinars, live training, and specialised coaching, we have also provided direct financial support to charities and donated complimentary scholarships in our training programs to veterinary professionals in need.
To date, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary business has provided training scholarships valued over $120,000 to numerous recipients, ranging from undergraduates to practicing veterinarians around the world. To mark the exciting results of the Veterinary Sustainability Pilot, we are pleased to announce an exciting initiative called the ‘$2Million Veterinary Sustainability Pledge’.
By 2025, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business will donate $2million in training scholarships in our targeted, non-technical competency training program, Leading Edge for Veterinarians, to support the professional satisfaction and wellbeing of veterinarians globally. Through this pledge, we aim to create a positive ripple effect that is felt across multiple countries and continents.
With much focus in recent years on the plight of veterinarians, it has been demonstrated that support team members are also suffering greatly under the strains of the profession and its impact on career satisfaction and mental wellbeing. At Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business, we recognise the critical role that Veterinary Nurses and Technicians play in the ongoing success and sustainability of the veterinary profession.
As part of a shared passion for facilitating a change for the better in the veterinary industry, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business has proudly partnered with Royal Canin to proactively support the fulfilment and wellbeing of Veterinary Nurses and Technicians across Australia. In support of both the VNCA and the NZVNA, 200 Veterinary Nurse and Technician members of these organisations across Australia and New Zealand will be jointly sponsored to undertake a 12-month pilot with education from the Emerging Leaders training program, starting in early 2024.
The program will provide tailored, non-clinical skills development for them, assisting in areas such as greater effectiveness in their roles, fostering healthier workplace relationships, and enhancing their leadership. The pilot will include a research project that aims to shine light on the value of up-skilling our Veterinary Nurses and Technicians in critical behavioural competencies when it comes to supporting longer, more fulfilling careers for them.
Since 2018, in conjunction with our valued partner, Boehringer Ingelheim, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business has hosted the annual Australasian Veterinary Leadership Awards gala evening.
This not-for-profit initiative is designed to recognise the extraordinary efforts of veterinary practices and professionals in their pursuit of personal and organisational leadership excellence. It is also aimed at showcasing what is possible in terms of leading in a contemporary and effective fashion and to inspire others to strive for the same.
Whilst much of the focus in recent years from stakeholders at all levels has been on lamenting the challenges faced in talent retention, the Australasia’s Best Led Practice Award and Australasia’s Best Team Leader Award represent a positive action step towards addressing attrition head-on in an area that can have a rapid and measurable impact.
In a similar way, in 2017, Lincoln Institute of Veterinary Business’ Employer of Choice Accreditation was introduced to recognise the achievements of graduates of our premier three-year Lead to Succeed program and their commitment as employers to the highest standards of leadership of their people. Reaccreditation is affirmed by an annual leadership audit process.