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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!”

Dynamic Tuesday 07/2018

July 31, 2018

Internal & External Marketing

Marketing, like many other things in dentistry, has changed greatly in in the last five years. Where the words “Marketing and Sales” were once taboo, they are now expected and even in demand in our world. Many of us have jumped on the social media bus, but there are other factors to marketing we cannot forget.  First and foremost, make sure you have a marketing budget that is part of your yearly planning.  Once you have the budget then it’s important to target the right areas. There are two physical aspects that often get overlooked once in business.

Let’s start with the physical aspect of external marketing. When was the last time you drove to your office a different direction than your normal route? How is your signage? Can it be seen from multiple directions? Is it congruent with your brand? Make sure you also do an outside inspection of your building, the parking lot, as well as your entry way. Keeping those outside appearances is just as important as how the inside of your office looks.





Get Your Ears On

June 15, 2016


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!



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