Many years ago while attending the University of Calgary, I took a course on conflict resolution. Many strategies were discussed but the one that was thought to be the most effective was “co-opting” ideas and opposition leadership onto your team. This past week I watched this strategy beautifully implemented as I attended four informational meetings designed to help us “transition” to a new medication provider at Linden View.
It was very interesting to watch how the meetings progressed. The first meeting’s presentation seemed to be designed to overwhelm and awe us with how much better the new provider would be. Unfortunately for the presentation, his presentation did not have the desired effect. Our community clearly voiced strong opposition to the coming move, for reasons including losing the personal care and close relationship we have with our local pharmacist, economic loss to the entire community, the lack of communication and consultation regarding the issue, the manner in which the decision was being forced on us, unilaterally giving the contact to PharmaCare without giving other providers the opportunity to submit proposals, increased costs due to loss of rebates, as well as others.
The next meeting was very similar. Strong opposition was voiced by our doctors, nurses, area pharmacists, resident and their families and other community members. Some participants even went as far as to suggest the deal might have involved graft.
That evening the “team” must have put their heads together to determine a plan of action that would help resolve or at least minimize the conflict. Thursday morning the meeting took a “new” approach. It started on a much humbler note. Apologies to the community for the way in which the issue had been handled were made. They implied that the change would not be forced on us. During the PharmaCare presentation, the presenter surprised us all by offering Carin Jensen (our beloved local pharmacist) a position with Pharmacare, that would allow her to continue to work with the Linden View facility. The fourth meeting was not well attended and it seemed the opposition was less intense.
Residents of Taber, I hope we are not being fooled but the minor concessions being offered by these organizations. The benefits we will gain by allowing this change to happen do not justify the losses we will suffer individually and as a community. I believe the management of The Good Samaritan Society and PharmaCare will say and do just about any thing to get us on board with their plan. Once we are supportive of their proposals, there will be no turning back and we will be at their mercy. Let’s do the right thing and keep our business local.
Thanks for the consideration,