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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?

 

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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!

Putting The Care Back Into Your Recare

May 11, 2016

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Putting The Care Back Into Your Recare

It’s been called many names, Continuing Care, Recare, or Recall and it’s been known to frustrate team members everywhere. No matter what you decide to call it the fact remains; it is an essential part of our success.  To ensure success set aside time to review, evaluate and adjust your current system ultimately breathing new life and energy into current processes.

Let’s start with 3 simple areas to evaluate and put the care back in Recare.

Just the Facts:  “How reliable is your data?”

Clean up your existing data on a regular basis and make sure new data is going in consistently as it relates to the patient’s recall needs. Today’s practice management systems have powerful tools to help you manage several different recall options. Be sure your team is assigning the proper recall types and frequency to each individual patient.  In addition you have the ability to set up different recall types to match your practice’s philosophy and make a great system even more powerful.

Bottom line is a good system relies on good sound data.  Take the time to set up and maintain your patient’s recall data.

Utilizing the tools:   “What time periods are you reviewing?”

With a good solid base of reliable data you then have easy access to the list you need to generate reminders, send messages to due and overdue patients and fill openings easily.  A patient care coordinator is the most likely choice to head up this project in your office but can rely on other team members during open time to assist with the task.

 

We like to use a 3 step system. First, run your report for all patients that were due in the last 6 months and did not have an appointment. Next, run your report for all patients due now, within 30 days, that do not have an appointment. Lastly, run your report for patients that are due in the next 6 months and do not have an appointment. That will give you 12 months of patients that need to schedule.

Evaluating the Experience:  “What is the recall appointment experience in your office?”

You’ve got your data cleaned up, you’ve utilize the tools in your software to get the patient on the schedule and the appointment day is here.  When was the last time you followed a patient through their entire appointment?  As a team, take the time to evaluate this experience from beginning to end.  Decide some key areas to observe and then discuss it at your next team meeting.

  • Where were the opportunities to elevate the customer experience?
  • How did the handoffs go between team members?
  • How was the office technology used to enhance the experience?
  • Was treatment discussed and scheduled?
  • What skills did we use to build the relationship with the patient?

 

Everyone knows recare is important to a dental practice.  Don’t get stuck in the rut of the same old processes and systems.  Take a fresh look at least once a year and breathe new energy into long standing system.

Laci

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