Is a lack of accountability holding back your practice?


The Lincoln Institute and Gribbles Veterinary welcome you to a new three-part series on interpersonal conflict, leading up to the Veterinary Business Symposium being held in October. Here is Part 1, with the other two parts coming in emails in the next week or two.

If the term ‘interpersonal conflict’ causes you angst, you’re not alone – many veterinary practice owners and managers find this topic confronting. However, over the few weeks, we’ll show you how you can ultimately turn interpersonal conflict from angst to asset. We’ll walk you through the latest data and empower you with knowledge and insights that you can take into your practice.

For those of you interested in diving deeper into this subject, scroll down to the bottom of the article for a special offer.


First, we’re turning our attention to accountability. We’ll explain how veterinary practices can turn accountability problems into solutions. We’ll show you how creating a culture of accountability improves service delivery and reduces interpersonal conflict, in turn lifting financial performance.

So, what does accountability mean to you?

Often, when we think of ‘accountability’, words like ‘responsibility’ come to mind. While responsibility is task-oriented, accountability is about taking ownership, including when responsibilities aren’t met. Unfortunately, as practice owners and managers, it can feel like an uphill battle keeping our teams accountable.

Consider this example:

At a team meeting, you agree to roll out a new protocol or system, only to find a short time later that it’s no longer being implemented, or it’s only being done some of the time, or some people are doing it, while others are not. I suspect you’re familiar with this scenario, and you’re not alone.

In fact, in our recent survey (Business Leadership Audit, 2022) 59% of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement:

“My team are reliable. They routinely do what they say they are going to.” 

Out of the 1,586 veterinary professionals in Australia and New Zealand we surveyed, more than half struggle with a lack of accountability in the workplace.

The Accountability Conundrum

At the surface, accountability appears simple, right? 

You’ve given your team the instruction, training, and tools to implement the new protocol or system, but over time their consistency drops. Not only does this create inconsistent service delivery, but it also creates rifts amongst the team, leading to interpersonal conflict. The challenge with accountability is that it’s not simple, it’s complex and it requires a combination of leadership and culture to ensure its sustained. Creating a culture of accountability in our own practices, starts with changing our definition of accountability.

Accountability isn’t just about being responsible in your role, it’s about becoming aware of a situation, owning the problem, finding the solution, and then taking ownership to make it happen.

As the word ‘accountable’ suggests, it means that each member of your team can be counted on. Accountability means that your team routinely, reliably, and repeatedly do what you expect of them.

If you enjoyed this content and want to learn even more from us, we hope you’ll consider joining us at The Veterinary Business Symposium:

What: Veterinary Business Symposium, Auckland

When: Wednesday 4 & Thursday 5 October, 2023

Where: Rydges Formosa Golf Resort, Beachlands, Auckland

This transformative face-to-face training will provide you with a blueprint for unlocking the full potential of your practice. Whether you are in companion animal, production, equine or mixed practice, we will provide the mindset, skills, and strategies to consistently outperform your competition. 

In 48 hours, you will gain the indispensable knowledge and skills to:

☑️  Prioritise the wellbeing of your team
☑️  Engage your team to treat the business as their own
☑️  Confidently manage the performance and behaviour of staff
☑️  Build a stable and sustainable work force without fear of losing staff
☑️  Create a highly profitable practice with the financial freedom to pay your people well and invest in education, facilities, and equipment.

Special offer

Gribbles Veterinary has partnered with The Lincoln Institute to give you two tickets for the price of one! Use coupon code VBS2for1 at checkout to save 50% when you buy two tickets.