If the phrase "culture of heroes" (not to mention "apple pancakes" and "Mr. Delicious") mean nothing to you, chances are you missed keynote speaker, Kevin Brown, at AAHA Nashville 2017.

Fortunately, we believe in second chances: Based on overwhelming positive feedback from this popular session, we are thrilled to have Kevin back to deliver the keynote on the final day of Connexity 2018.

In a recent Trends interview, we asked Kevin to tell us a little bit about the messages he’ll be bringing to Connexity, his take on overcoming barriers to greatness, and what veterinary teams can do right now to implement immediate change in their practices.

Trends: Your keynote on The HERO Effect was a hit at AAHA Nashville 2017. What should our members expect this time around?

Kevin Brown: There are many different facets to The HERO Effect message, which is one of the reasons I’m so passionate about bringing it back to Connexity. We’ll start out by revisiting the foundational truths and principles of The HERO Effect for those who missed me in Nashville, and then we’ll dive into how we can take those ideas and use them to create a culture of heroes—a culture that drives organizational excellence and client loyalty—in our practices.

Trends: What are the most common pain points when it comes to organizational culture?

KB: The recurring theme is creating consistency when it comes to practice culture—bridging the gap, so to speak, between the never-ending list of things to do and the overwhelming challenge of becoming who we want to be as an organization.

In Nashville, I also heard things like high stress, increased workload, employee engagement, turnover, and client experience. All these things flow back to this idea of creating and sustaining a culture of heroes delivering excellence at every level.

Trends: What will Connexity guests take away from this session?

KB: Perspective. Curiosity. Action.

Perspective: Transforming a culture requires looking through the lens of optimism to see what is possible in the organization. Perspective comes when we step back and focus on why we do what we do. To have open and honest communication with each other about why we show up every day. To objectively look at what is working and what doesn’t feel very good. The right perspective is paramount to reimagining where it is we want to go.

Curiosity: When I was a little boy, I could spend the entire day playing with a cardboard box. The whole day. With a box.

As kids, we lived for the day when a neighbor would buy a washer or dryer. We would scramble to the curb and grab the box and race back home. Why? Because to us it wasn’t a box. It was anything but a box and everything we could imagine it to be. A race car. A spaceship. An Army fort. If we were lucky, someone would buy a refrigerator. Jackpot. Now we have a time machine.

Then we grow up and become confined by the business box. The one that is so terrible that we tell ourselves and others to think outside of it. What I have learned is that great leaders are never confined by the box. They still know how to decorate it like when they were kids.

Curiosity is the key to making positive change. Asking great questions is the gateway to decorating the box instead of being confined by it. Asking why? Why not? How can we? Why should we? Will we? When?

Great questions lead to better answers. Always.

Action: Nothing of consequence will change for the better until an accountable human being decides to make it so. There is no substitute for a committed group of people aligned for the right reasons and moving in the same direction.

Want more? See the full interview in the March issue of Trends magazine.

Ready to see Kevin and other great speakers in action? Save $50 per person when you register by June 1 at

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