Gawler Animal Hospital – Dr Steve Crouch & Dr Dave McPhail

The Runner-Up for Australia’s Best Led Practice has doubled its turnover in the last 4 years and significantly improved its profitability by executing a strategic change in pricing and approach to client throughput that has all the hallmarks of extraordinary leadership.

The leadership team maintained a disciplined approach to every aspect of their leadership training in order to see through a significant initial revenue drop. Un-wavered by the temptation to revert back to a practice operating landscape that was familiar to them, they leveraged their team by focussing on transferring ownership to the lowest levels with self-directed team meetings and a development review process that stood out for its clarity around past performance and future development needs, emphasising the need for every team member to ‘own’ this.

They are to be applauded for being awarded Runners Up for Australia’s Best Led Practice Award.

Interview with Steve Crouch: Australia’s Best Led Practice Award 2019 Runner-up

  1. Tell me about your business.

We are a well-established Small Animal ASAVA Accredited Hospital located between the northern suburbs of Adelaide and the Barossa Valley in South Australia. We employ thirty staff including six full-time vets and three part time vets, all Cert IV qualified Veterinary Nurses, four dedicated receptionists, an office manager and a kennel hand. Three years ago we relocated to a purpose built hospital on the main road that gave us five consult rooms, two surgeries, two dedicated dental tables, an imaging room, isolation, separate dog and cat wards, lockable pharmacy, staff areas and offices and a large open reception area with dedicated areas for cats separate to dogs.

Dr Steve Crouch
  • Why do you think you were selected for this award?

Because we bribed the selectors?! Kidding.

Dr Steve Crouch

Since taking over the business nine years ago we have been fully committed to creating a great work-place culture full of people who are highly engaged, passionate about their careers, and performing as a team to the highest level they can. I guess the award recognises the cumulative effect of working toward this goal and the results we have obtained by providing good, healthy leadership in the workplace and business that is a veterinary hospital.

Dr Steve Crouch
  • How has the training that you have engaged in with Lincoln Institute benefited your business?

The training that we have done with Lincoln Institute has provided a clearer framework and direction for achieving our goals as well as a greater confidence in planning, understanding in business and support amidst the challenges of running a business. In particular we found it created a common language around leadership and people management that has been very helpful and given us a lot more clarity in setting and measuring our goals.

Dr Steve Crouch
  • Why is it important to the veterinary industry that these annual leadership awards are being given?

Because so much happens behind the scenes and we don’t have our own Oscars yet…..(again, kidding!)

Dr Steve Crouch

The veterinary industry has, by default, suffered somewhat from having been run by hard- working scientists (practicing vets) with little or no business or management training, doing their best on the fly. The annual leadership awards recognise a genuinely needed change in our beloved industry towards intentional improvement in the management and leadership of vet practices and the work-place culture that we are bringing the next generation of animal health providers into.

Dr Steve Crouch