Philosophy and Mission
Guiding core values
Daniel Alter, MSc, MDT, CDT
As we continue to embark upon 2021, whilst keeping a keen eye for our recovery from 2020, it would behoove all laboratory owners and managers to look within and assess the emotional health and motivations of the employees that drive our laboratories further and ensure viability for a positive future. We've certainly come a long way since our collective worlds have quivered, and although we still have a ways to go, making sure your employees are progressing forward in the best interest of your laboratory is paramount. There is no better time than the "now"—especially with the new year—to set up a collective philosophy, mantra, and mission statement for your laboratory, so that all those on your team are aligned and see themselves as critical functions to the success of the whole: your laboratory and your business.
An Inc. article by Josh Spiro provides insights on a company's philosophy, saying, "any company can sell Product X or provide Service Y, but what differentiates you from everyone else in your field is your company's philosophy. A company's philosophy is a distillation of its culture or ambience into a group of core values that inform all aspects of its business practices."1 Furthermore, it is a motivation and belief that all parties in the company can achieve a greater good as a whole than their individual parts; however, each individual part needs to believe, wholeheartedly, and feel appreciated for their contributions to the success of the whole. The philosophy should flesh out the mission statement, which is pitchy and almost slogan-like, into core ideas or values that the company and its members hold dear and adhere to in their business dealings. The philosophy should reflect a positive, self-motivating statement of betterment for day-to-day decisions that help in achieving the company's goals and objectives, and provide for a solid basis of practice. Spiro defines a mission statement as one that "should succinctly summarize what you do or what your aims are. As an example, Google's stated mission is ‘to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful'." Both mission and philosophy should aim to speak to the greater good the company as a whole can provide society, culture, or specialized communities of interest.
Dental laboratories provide a unique and personal opportunity to aid in the overall health of the patients they serve with treatment modalities, workflows, technology, and restorative materials. Similarly, they can produce a success trajectory to the dentist clients they serve and provide a unique ability to engage in a meaningful and larger pathway that elevates and aligns those who share similar core values. What are your laboratory's core values and how are you participating in the larger view point? That is your laboratory's philosophy and mission statement. And how are you communicating, motivating, and recognizing those employees who are aligned with your company's philosophy? Perhaps, "now" is the best time to contemplate and develop or reevaluate your laboratory's philosophy and mission statement, one that everyone can prevail and feel valued by.
It is my great honor and pleasure to elevate and inspire with knowledge!
1. Spiro J. How to Create a Company Philosophy. Inc. https://www.inc.com/guides/create-a-company-philosophy.html#:~:text=Any%20company%20can%20sell%20Product,aspects%20of%20its%20business%20practices. Published March 18, 2010. Accessed January 11, 2021.