The necessity of change

Lisa A. Fortier
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Dear readers,

I recently had the pleasure of attending the 2024 Veterinary Leadership Conference, the theme of which was “Leading through Innovation.” Addressing a record audience, keynote speaker Richard Boyatzis, PhD, Distinguished University Professor at Case Western Reserve University and one of the world’s foremost experts in leadership development and emotional intelligence, gave a fascinating and highly motivating talk on “The science of inspiring learning and change.”

Acknowledging that change can be difficult for both individuals and organizations, Dr. Boyatzis provided a framework for thinking about change:

  • We need change to survive.

  • We feel ambivalent about change.

  • Useful, or sustained, desired change is a form of adaptation and innovation.

  • Adaptation and innovation require diversity of thought and perspective.

  • Adaptation and innovation require being open to new ideas and others (humans, animals, and beyond).

In mid-2021, when I began as Editor-in-Chief of JAVMA and AJVR and Division Director of Publications, the AVMA leadership was seeking change in the journals, both editorially and in how they are published. Journal publishing, much like veterinary medicine, has seen amazing advances in technology and best practices in the last decade, such as developments in digital publishing, open access, social media and audience engagement measurements, and, perhaps most importantly, how quickly we can bring to the public new findings that can have major impacts on practice.

Your expectations have changed too: a 2020 in-depth survey provided remarkable guidance on what you, the members of the AVMA, want—from the frequency with which JAVMA is printed, to which content you value most, to publication time (for authors), and more. In response, the AVMA embraced that the time for deep change in JAVMA and AJVR had arrived, and your Publications Division set to work to deliver.

Looking back over the 3 years since I joined the AVMA staff, the constant theme has been change. With the remarkable encouragement of AVMA CEO Dr. Janet Donlin and the AVMA leadership, we have revamped our processes, workflow, and expectations. Proudly, the Publications staff readily responded to the need for adaptation, innovation, and openness to new ideas. Collectively, we have accomplished so much. As importantly, we have fostered the idea that change must be constant if the best results are to be achieved, and so we continue our quest to make AJVR and JAVMA the very best journals they can be. You can be sure that your responses to the recent member survey will be used to define and refine our next set of goals for the journals. Stay tuned!


Lisa A. Fortier DVM, PhD, DACVS

Editor-in-Chief, JAVMA and AJVR

Chief Publications Officer, AVMA