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Strategic Thinking; It’s Time to Start Your Strategic Planning Meeting

October 24, 2018

When was the last time you lead a strategic planning session about the growth and goals of your dental office?  If you find yourself resisting being strategic because it sounds like the fast track to irrelevance you are probably not alone.   We survive in the day to day activities of our dental office and our tendency is to deal with what is right in front of us because it always seems more urgent and concrete.  Unfortunately, if we get stuck in that habit we can put our office’s success at risk.  While we concentrate on the navigation of our daily business we can miss excellent opportunities that will propel us to the future.

 

We are entering the fall months and summer is behind us.  Now is the time to start thinking and planning for our strategic sessions that will set the tone for the future of the office.  The first step to your planning for the future session is to look at the past. Key data you will want to gather is your expenses and overhead from the previous year. You will also need to know where you are now, have you been tracking your KPI’s to get as much data on your business as possible? And the next step is to investigate your future. After reviewing your expenses from the previous year, project your expenses for the next year. Will you be adding new team members, new technology? Having statistics from your past, present and future will help you map out where you have been, where you are going and how you will get there.

 

Next, start planning your meeting. Who will attend? We recommend your entire team is present and involved. When you involve your team in setting goals, they have buy in and are more prone to ensure your success. Where will you have your meeting? We recommend having it off-site, no distractions will make the meeting run smoother and keep everyone interested. And next, when will you have your meeting, all day, at the end of the day? We have found a 4-hour strategic planning session is a great length and you can still see patients in the am, (meet your production for the day) and have a successful meeting in the afternoon. And be sure to have brain food, plenty of hydration, tools for learning and fun!

 

If you are still unsure how to plan your agenda and keep the team moving in the right direction, do some research on strategy and planning. There is no shortage of books on this subject out there.  One of our favorites is “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renne Mauborgne.  The book discusses the competitive marketplace and the difference between a red ocean and a blue ocean.  In a red ocean environment, you compete for the same patients and you’re a battling with other offices for the same set of patients.  Too many sharks in the water if you will.  If you find and develop a blue ocean strategy you’re competing in an untapped space with unique offerings that set, you apart.  Finding these opportunities in your community for your practice is what will set you apart and open your pool of patients.

 

Now is the perfect time of year to start your strategic thinking. Gather your data and have your research ready. Set a date, find a location and it is Strategic Planning Session Time!

As always, if we can help we are just a phone call or email away. Strategic team meetings are one of our specialties. We would love to share our ideas with you and your team!

Team Huddle: How To Strengthen Your Office Game Plan

October 9, 2018

ANY GOOD EXPERIENCE is indebted to the dedication of a good team. We think this is especially true of creating a positive experience for your valued patients!

Each team has a unique method of planning how to provide their patients with the most enjoyable experience possible during their visit. Today, we’d like to share a few ideas to incorporate into your team huddles to create a fun experience for you in your office and grow closer as a team.

Try These Ideas In Your Team Huddle!

First, have an agenda. You do not have to be strict and follow it to the tee every day. However, we all know we need a plan in place to finish out the game with a win. And isn’t the Huddle supposed to start our day with a plan? Your huddle should be all about communication and the entire team starting their day on the same page. Your agenda can be as simple as

  1. How was yesterday? How does today look? Any problems?
  2. Where do we put emergencies?
  3. New Patients
  4. Any outstanding balances due? Insurance benefits maxed out?
  5. Same day opportunities with hygiene or Dr
  6. Special patients (great referrals, birthdays, long time patient)
  7. Finish up with something fun (leadership quotes, music, fun video)

As you can see, this agenda is short yet there are multiple items that must be addressed with the entire team for efficiency.

Second in your game plan, consistency. Make sure all team members can attend and the meeting happens each day. If there are time restraints in the morning, have your huddle at the end of the day for the following schedule. Each team member should play an important role in the meeting; the business team with schedule changes and finances, the clinical team with Dr appointment key elements, the hygiene team for their schedules and patients and of course the Doctor with spearheading and finalizing the huddle.

Next up, timing. Remember this meeting is a brief communication about what to expect during our day. We should be meeting for no more than 10 minutes. This is not a complaint session or a meeting to address issues in the office.

And finally, the big finale. Each huddle should end on a high note with inspiration for your team to have a great and productive day. You can finish with a leadership quote, a fun song to get your blood pumping or even perhaps a funny video.

Remember, your team huddle is designed to start your day with communication. Have a simple yet effective agenda on hand. The entire team should be present and prepared for their portion of the meeting. The meeting should be brief and effective and don’t’ forget to send the team out onto the playing field on a high note. Ensuring your day goes well must start with a productive team huddle.

We’re Lucky To Have Such Great Clients

We love seeing your bright smiles each time we visit your office, and we want to ensure you can help your patients keep smiling throughout their day! It all starts with a good team huddle and we have great strategies for your team to get the most out of your meetings. If you would like a Practice Dynamics Huddle Agenda, just reach out, we would be happy to share!

Thank you for being our valued clients and friends!

Anything I Can Do, WE Can Do Better

September 11, 2018

If you have children or if you were a child, you have heard and probably used the phrase “I can do it myself!” As young children, we are taught to get things for ourselves and to do things for ourselves with the idea we will be responsible for ourselves someday. Then youth activities and youth groups begin, and we must learn to be part of a team. We must learn to work together and share responsibilities. By being a part of that team, we help others grow, learn, and maximize on individual talents to accomplish one main set of goals.

When we are young our keywords are I and me. Have you ever noticed how many times a day you say I? For the next few days, keep a tally on your words. What is your ratio of I to We? Now, make a concentrated effort to change your words, because once you join a team the I becomes We. The simplest change, the effect we are looking for, can come by using words based around Us. By taking the I out of your sentences, you start to take the I out of your mindset. This is where the magic begins to happen. Suddenly you are not thinking of you, you automatically start to consider yourself as the We. It starts as a conscientious decision to change, and before you know it, you have become a part of the We.

Let’s look at two powerful words, team and work. Individually these words have great definitions. One of Wikipedia’s descriptions for a team; “A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.” The dictionary defines work as “something on which exertion or labor is expended; a task or undertaking.” Now put these two together. All coaches will have almost the same definition of teamwork. What is different is the vision for how the goal is reached and what success looks like. Everyone must work as an individual within the team, the common factor is the end game, and how We accomplish it. Who is your team and what is your end goal? Do you have a common goal, or are you more of an individual working within a team?

Every team has individual components; but the whole, the effect you can make happen, comes from the team effort, the We. We is such a nicer word. People feel better when you use we, they feel included and like they are a part of something, part of a team. And isn’t that what most of us want, to feel like we belong to something bigger than ourselves? Schedule a team meeting today and review your end goal, what you as a team consider a success. During your meeting, make sure you have the tools you need to compete and to succeed. And remember to watch your words.

Now, you are no longer the I taking on the world alone. You are a part of the We making true changes every day. It starts with one simple word, but you will soon discover, “Anything I can do, We can do better!”

Strategic Thinking: Blue or Red?

September 22, 2016

Strategic Thinking: Blue or Red?

 

red_or_Blue_2

I spent a large part of my dental career in the corporate environment, 23 of my 28 years. Strategy and strategic thinking were constant companions. Strategy sessions were always exhilarating and scary at the same time. Planning, creative thinking and organizing are all things I love but predicting the future can be challenging.

When is the last time you lead a strategic discussion about your dental office? If you find yourself resisting being strategic because it sounds like the fast track to irrelevance you are probably not alone. We survive in the day to day activities of our dental office and our tendency is to deal with what is right in front of us because it always seems more urgent and concrete. Unfortunately, if we get stuck in that habit we can put our office’s success at risk. While we concentrate on the navigation of our daily business we can miss excellent opportunities that will propel us to the future.

I love a quote by Jack Welch, well respected past CEO of GE and business executive, which speaks to this very subject. It’s a bit long but it captures what I’m speaking about.

You’ve got to eat while you dream. You’ve got to deliver on short-range commitments while you develop a long-range strategy and vision and implement it. The success of doing both. Walking and chewing gum if you will. Getting it done in the short-range and delivering a long-range plan, and executing on that.

* Jack Welch –

We are entering into the fall months and summer is behind us. Now is the time to start thinking and planning for our strategic sessions that will set the tone for the future of the office. Get all your data ready and make sure you have the historical successes. Then start preparing your research and thinking about changes and additions to dentistry on the horizon.

In addition, do some research on strategy and planning. There is no shortage of books on this subject out there. I recently finished reading “Blue Ocean Strategy” by W. Chan Kim and Renne Mauborgne. The book discusses the competitive marketplace and the difference between a red ocean and a blue ocean. In a red ocean environment you compete for the same patients and you’re a battling with other offices for the same set of patients. Too many sharks in the water if you will. If you find and develop a blue ocean strategy you’re competing in an

untapped space with unique offerings that set you apart. Finding these opportunities in your community for your practice is what will set you apart and open up your pool of patients.

Start researching, start thinking and set goals to lay out your blue ocean strategy for your dental office.

Happy planning,

Bonnie

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Great Leaders Compliment Their Team

July 6, 2016

MARK TWAIN ONCE SAID, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” While this statement may be impractical, we can understand the profound truth that the renowned author was emphasizing: there is power in a compliment.

As the leader of your practice, you are in a position to either positively or negatively affect your team. One of the most efficient ways to bring out the best in your team is by giving frequent, heartfelt praise. Whether your practice is big or small, you’ll find that sincere compliments have the power to increase productivity, performance and morale.

Tips On How To Compliment (And Why It Makes All The Difference)

A simple compliment is great, but well-thought-out praise is even better. So, how can you make your compliments more meaningful?

Recognize your team’s efforts. The first step to complimenting is taking an active role in trying to see how well your team is doing. Watch for things your employees do to help you, another teammate, a patient, or the practice as a whole. If you start noticing someone going above and beyond on a repetitive basis, don’t let it go unnoticed, reward them for it! While it doesn’t have to be after every procedure or patient, verbal appreciation should happen on a daily basis.

Know your audience. The key to complimenting is knowing who you’re complimenting and how they’re going to receive it. Some personalities enjoy being complimented in public, like in a morning huddle, while other personalities may appreciate more privacy, without any attention brought to themselves.

Make your compliments specific. Saying, “Thank you!” to your team as you walk out the door at the end of the day is great, but it isn’t enough to reap the positive benefits of giving genuine, personalized praise. For example, something like, “I noticed that you really took care of Mrs. Brown today. I appreciate you doing that, it really helped me out,” or, “My schedule looked amazing today. We were on time and it made all the difference in my day. Thank you!”

Go out of your comfort zone. We understand that some people may not be comfortable giving compliments or recognize the need for them, but giving praise is an important responsibility for any effective leader. If offering compliments is difficult for you, lean into the uncomfortable and look outside yourself to your team and their needs.

The Benefits: Heartfelt Praise Cultivates Ownership Mentality

The number one thing we’ve had dentists say to us is that they want a team with “ownership mentality.” Ownership mentality means that while employees may have no ownership stake in the practice, they are still invested in the company’s success and their work reflects that attitude.

If you start appreciating your team and the job that they do both publicly and privately, they are going to have your back. They’re going to want the practice to succeed, the patients to be healthy, and they’ll support and respect you as their leader. By recognizing your team’s hard work and making an effort to compliment them, you will empower them with ownership mentality and reap the benefits that come from having satisfied, engaged employees.

Helping You Build Your Business, One Step At A Time

There is no denying that a lot goes into building a successful practice. Recognizing and praising your team along the way is an important aspect to that success. If you’re wondering how to better incorporate the art of complimenting into your practice or have any additional questions, contact us today or leave a comment below! We’re here to to help you build your business, one step at a time.

We’re grateful for our awesome clients!

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