(888) 425-3235

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!

The 4 C’s of Team Building~

September 26, 2018

Key tips to keeping a productive, engaged dental team

The difference between success and failure is an engaged team.

No matter how smart, talented, driven, or passionate you are, your success as a dental entrepreneur depends on your ability to build and inspire a team. A successful leader is one who can inspire his or her team to work better together toward a common vision and goals.

All dental practices face the time crunch and as the practice owner, main producer, and emotional leader the practice of team building can get left out of the equation.  Adding team building back into the equation can increase a practice’s productivity, uplift morale and ultimately lower stress.

Here are a few key areas to concentrate on to bring team building back into focus.

#1 Clear Expectations

Every team member needs to understand what their role is, where they are going and how they will get there.  Take the time to educate your team on your vision for the practice and where you want to be in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years and even 5 years from now.  Lay down the plan of how you envision the practice reaching those goals.  Define each individuals role in that plan and what is expected.  And finally clearly define how progress will be monitored and who will be accountable for each piece of the success plan.

#2 Communicate

Constant communication is key in any relationship and your dental team is no different.  Remain vigilant of your over vision and hold regular meetings to stay focused on your goals.  Don’t let time or the lack of getting in your way of regular meetings as a team.

Hold daily morning huddles with a focus on making sure the day stays as stress-free and productive as possible.   Once a month set aside a few hours to hold a team building meeting that lets the group participate and engage in both fun and productive session.  Adding activities to these meeting can help bring out new ideas, excitement and a renewed sense of community.  Don’t be afraid to have a little fun once in a while.

#3 Continued Educational Growth

Invest in training on an annual basis and give your team opportunities to learn and grow.  Solid systems and good technology tools to run those systems make for a productive stress-free day.  Look for learning opportunities in your dental community that meet the objectives of your vision for the practice.  Online learning can be an effective way to give the team the opportunity to learn a new skill or increase their software knowledge.

Good systems in a dental practice can predict a steady outcome but do the team members that execute those systems have a backup?  Are the systems documented in a clear format? Take opportunities at meetings to have team members teach each other so that each system has a solid backup in place.

#4 Consistent Leadership

Every team needs a good leader/coach.  You set the tone for the practice and it will your consistent message and actions that guide the team to success.  If you believe that team building is important to the success of your practice then your team will too.  Keep them engaged, keep them focused and keep excited to be a part of the practice’s success.

Practice Dynamics understands the essential role that teams play in the overall success of dental practices.  We have built our coaching around achieving balance driven success through systems, teams, and technology.  We encourage you to infuse new excitement into your practices through a solid focus on teams.

 

“The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say ‘I.’ And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say ‘I.’ They don’t think ‘I.’ They think ‘we’; they think ‘team.’ They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but ‘we’ gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.” 

–Peter Drucker

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!

Get Your Ears On

June 15, 2016

art-of-listening

Get Your Ears On

Perhaps you have heard the expression that you have two ears and one mouth, so you should listen two times more than you talk. However, how many of us fall short of that 2:1 ratio? Sit back and watch different conversations around you and we bet you will find, each one of us falls short of that ratio. Why? It’s part of human nature to be a poor listener. Our brains can process information 3-5 times faster than we can speak. That gives us all sorts of extra time to think about other stuff while someone else is talking. Usually, we use the extra time to think about what we are going to say in response. How many times have you had your reply ready before the other person is finished with their sentence? Other times intrusive thoughts come in because we are rushed, worried about something, daydreaming, or simply not interested. In the dental office, problems might arise when you think that you’ve “heard it all before” so you cut off a patient or a coworker before they had a chance to finish their comments. A good trick to stay completely in the moment is to repeat back what the person is saying in your head. It’s a bit obnoxious at first, but it keeps you focused on the content and context of the message. Then, ask a follow-up question to check your understanding. Asking a question or two will show the speaker that you are interested in interpreting him or her accurately. Think of how many mistakes and misunderstandings could be avoided if people actively and completely listened to each other. The dental office would be much more efficient if we listened carefully the FIRST time, would you agree? In addition, listening has a positive, symbolic effect. When you FULLY listen to someone, you are saying, “I care about you.” So get your ears on, and give your patients and co-workers the gift of listening!

Jayne

PDLogo

See Whole People

May 18, 2016

See Whole Peoplethank_you_800_clr_4252

I recently spoke with a dentist who had a “shared” business team member with another dentist in the practice. In other words, they split her compensation and work assignments 50-50. The team member had recently quit the practice, and did not exactly leave on good terms. There were several factors at play in her decision to leave, but the dentist I spoke to pondered what he could have done differently to make the situation better.  He had read my previous blog post, “Four Ways to Praise,” and wondered if he had under-expressed his appreciation of this team member’s work. He said, “She was a ‘half’ employee and I’m afraid I maybe treated her like one.” I appreciated his willingness to take a hard look in the mirror when many people refuse to do so! This situation, although unfortunate, serves as a good reminder that any team member is a whole person, no matter their contribution to your team. There may be a tendency to treat a person as their position, when in fact they bring their whole selves to the job: their personality, values, life experiences, talents, and so on. Remember in the movie The Sixth Sense, where the boy utters the famous line, “I see dead people”? Well, maybe it’s a good idea from time to time to mutter to yourself, “I see whole people”! Doing so will remind you to express gratitude, support, and genuine interest in the people who are investing their entire selves in your practice. Your team will likely show appreciation in return. The goal should always be to create a culture that is both productive and rewarding. I know all of us at Practice Dynamics whole-heartedly wish you continued success!

Jayne

Balance (3)

Older Posts »