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  • Dr. Eric Rooker

September 2021 Countdown to Success: On broken windows and the matthew effect

Updated: Oct 12, 2021

“Helping you achieve high performance medicine.”

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Happy September,

Your journey of professional development is important to me. Please hit that reply button or join our Facebook Group to share your journey and inspiration with our community.

You never know when your ideas, thoughts, actions, or reflection will inspire another vet out there!

Alright, let’s get to it!

Here are 5 Inputs to Inspire, 4 Quotes to Contemplate, 3 Thoughts to Ponder, 2 Challenges to Conquer and 1 Reflection Question to help you grow this month.

5 Inputs to Inspire

I. For years scientists have known that the distribution of scientific funding was uneven, but they were never able to prove why. The Matthew Effect in Science Funding begins to explain how this discrepancy was found and how it could be affecting your professional success today!

II. Taking the Matthew Effect one step further, let's investigate it's role in human health. This observational measure of how investment in health improved overall health gives us a model we could translate to veterinary medicine. This study adds credence to the argument that if we can convince our clients to invest more in a singular animal health area than other areas of their life or operation we should be able to trigger positive effects throughout multiple areas of animal care; not just the targeted one, all through a concept known as preferential attachment. Preferential attachment is a simple way of saying like attracts like so if we get that initial investment it is more likely the client will value financially and socially investing in continued growth of that area.

III. While we speak about the importance of connections, it would be remiss of me to not mention The Half-Life of Facts by Samuel Arbesman. Within this text Arbesman does a great job discussing why we need to be continuously learning, BUT on Page 76 he also argues that there are three types of connections that let us share information, and therefor influence others in a positive way (The Matthew Effect). These connections are weak, medium and strong strength connections. He argues that weak and strong connections are not good for information communication because they are respectively too informal or too homogeneous to really create an impact. Instead, Arbesman argues that the medium strength connections, those connections that can be fostered in small but connected groups, like a Mastermind, can convey life and medicine altering information. To go deeper into this concept as well as more interesting knowledge management dynamics checkout the book!

IV. Not only are we defined by our company we keep but also by the situation around us. Our environment and those found around our clients affect our actions as well as theirs! Learn more about the Broken Windows theory and how it can explain this effect from Professor Thomas Grund in his Part 1 and Part 2 explanatory videos.

V. Researchers in 2020 described a“Smoking Gun” study in human medicine showing how social and physical disorder in a medical workplace can lead to burnout and risks poor patient care. This study is perhaps the most compelling research to date I've seen on Broken Windows theory in medicine. It also offers some interesting perspectives on the effects of social cohesion within a hospital and overall effectiveness of that hospital. A great read for anyone interested in management.

4 Quotes to Contemplate

I. Ghostwriter and social influencer coach Nicolas Cole discusses the importance of those you surround yourself with:

And the greatest lessons come from simple being in the presence of someone who possesses the qualities you hope to one day embody yourself.

II. World renown personal development coach John Maxwell on the importance of being the person that encourages those around them

People will go farther than they thought they could when someone they respect tells them they can.

III. Professor Declan Fitzsimons, an authority in leadership and organizational development, discusses how becoming comfortable with those in your network knowing more than you will help you as a leader:

You do need to be the best learner in the room. Vulnerability should be connected to an ethos of learning. How that links to leadership is, I'm the lead learner in the room. I don't know [more] than everyone in the room, I'm surrounded by experts who know what they're doing in their areas. I can't possibly know what they do. If we think that leadership is knowing everything and knowing more than other people do, we're really in trouble.

IV. Cindy Gallop, a self-proclaimed “Michael Bay” of business consulting (hint: she likes to blow sh*t up!) paraphrases what I believe is the biggest single problem in our veterinary medical management world:

There is a formula for success in business, and it goes like this: You set out to find the very best talent in the marketplace, and then give them a compelling and inspirational vision of what you want them to achieve for you and the company. Then you empower them to achieve those goals using their own skills and talents in any way they choose. If, at the same time, you demonstrate how enormously you value them, not just through compensation, but also verbally, every single day, and if you enable that talent to share in the profit that they help create for you, you’ll be successful. It’s so simple, and virtually nobody does it, because it requires a high-trust working environment, and most business environments are low-trust. In order to own the future of your business, you have to design it around trust.

3 Thoughts to Ponder

I. I want to surround myself with competitors. Their proximity will push me to be a better doctor, better business man and improves my ideation.

II. Cluttered workspace, cluttered mind. This is ok mid-workstream but not ok in a resting state.It confuses focus and adds distraction the next time you startup a new project. Don’t like a dirty desk by your broken window; clean your truck, desk or office today to reduce this mental drain.

III. The smallest letup opens up to larger ones. Don’t let your actions today be a gateway to a more questionable future. Act as you want to be, even if this action is hard, and you will attract people who can help you become that person.

2 Challenges to Conquer

I. ID ONE person that could have a positive “Matthew Effect” on you TODAY and reach out to them via email, phone or text to setup a meeting where you can do something as simple as discuss current ideas, skills and opportunities within your shared unique interests.

II. Identify a negative social behavior within your clinic and intervene against it. This may be a derogatory comment about a client, the practice of less than modern medicine or poor social interactions within your team. Step up today and begin to fix the broken windows within your practice.

1 Reflection Question

What if a cluttered truck or dirty office room is enough to cause a client to question your skills and decrease their compliance with your protocol?

Until next month,

Dr. Eric Rooker

Founder of Operators to Owners

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