World beating advantage

Independent pharmacists have a world beating advantage.

If they recognise it.

If they can access it.

If they can maintain it.

I visited our local independent pharmacy.

It’s in a health centre.

Set up by the GPs.

They tried to poach me to run it.

Back in the day.

I was busy with other things.

There is a long standing pharmacist.

The pharmacy has been successful.

But was underdeveloped.

Not enough space.

It is too busy for the people.

Too busy to meet demand.

It is sinking under prescriptions.

The pharmacist seems great.

But stressed.

And chronically frantic.

A wild, darting look in his eyes.

No time to speak to patients.

It isn’t him who does that anyway.

A conveyor belt of too busy.

Overworked staff look dazzled.

Who couldn’t remember me.

When I visited twice in a couple of days.



Not a flicker of recognition.

From their side.

I knew them.

They didn’t remember me.

Poor things.

Too much activity.

Too little connection.

Which is a shame.

For so many reasons.

With so many barriers.

Getting in the way.

Of real human relationships.

Between carers and customers.

Between pharmacists and patients.

Getting in the way.

Of life long care.

As two people grow and age together.

Knowing each other as they go.

Imagine that.

A pharmacist who is there for the long term.

Who you can rely on.

Who knows you and your health.

Who isn’t shunted about to different stores.

Or looking for the next role.

Who is as invested in your relationship.

As you are.

Because it does you both good.

In different ways.

And intimacy and longevity are what matters.

Not pace and progress.

Imagine that.


That would be an advantage.

That corporations cannot copy.

Independent pharmacists have a world beating advantage.

If they recognise it.

If they can access it.

If they can maintain it.

That’s the kind of work we are doing at the moment. Helping pharmacists recognise their real value and how to harness it. Helping pharmacists understand how to exchange that value with patients and commissioners. Helping pharmacists develop approaches that can last without personal burnout.

Sometimes that is one to one work. Sometimes business creation. Sometimes business transformation.

It isn’t easy. Nor is it quick. But easy and quick is what everyone does because they are easy, and quick. This kind of approach is rich and meaningful. And we could all do with more richness and meaning in our lives. Going where you are going without arriving so broken that you wish you’d never left is some part of real success. Enjoy the journey and appreciate the deep work of playing to your strengths and using your advantages.