The Pharmacist Challenge

I am tempted to be rude. I am tempted to be angry. But I am going to be controlled and supportive. Invite me to your LPN / LPC. Invite me to your team meeting. And let’s play some games.

Well two games in fact – ‘Let’s protest’ and the ‘elevator challenge’.

Why? Well is it because we are just too nice? Or just not pushy enough? Do we want to be loved and respected? Yes, all of these, plus leaders ‘empowering’, ‘opening doors’ or ‘building relationships’ and the ‘it’s every bodies business’ mentality. I am a little tired of it all so we will play the two games.

Let’s protest. So in pairs, I am giving you a placard and a pen – well, to be honest, it is just a big bit of card stuck on a long pole, because we are going out to protest later. You have to decide on just one slogan – and it has to be positive. Then stand up and we will all shout out for you:

“What do we want”, “when do we want it”. Oh – you fill in the first answer and we all fill in the second with “now”!

So have you got this idea behind this one – you would look pretty silly in Trafalgar Square asking ‘to be recognised as a valued partner’. Ha – can you just see us?

Elevator challenge. Back in your pairs. Just as you step in the lift to go up you see the chief executive or the minister for health or someone very influential and important – Roy Lilley perhaps. And you have approximately 20 seconds until you reach your floor to say something important – something that will have impact. It can’t be fluffy, it can’t be twee – it has to hit him/her right between the eyes, it must be memorable. More importantly, it has to be something that is important and achieveable and something that they can do or influence. Active, not passive or the obvious.

If somebody says – ‘we have to empower patients to get the most out of their medicines’ – shoot them! It is a statement – not a request for action. And if someone says – ‘government should respect and value pharmacists for the work that they do’ – then they haven’t understood the game. If someone says – ‘I just want to be loved’ – then I am leaving!

Click – the stopwatch has just started………

Both games are about focus and deriving an action driven agenda. It is about stepping out into the light and being clear about what is needed and what we want to happen.

Go on try it.


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