Inside Dentistry
April 2015
Volume 11, Issue 4

Achieving Your Vision

Building your practice with a team that’s on board with your goals

Jay Geier

Creating and articulating a vision for your practice is an essential first step to growing a successful and profitable business. Now you have to do what it takes to actually achieve that vision. As we all know, you can’t do it alone! You need key people in your organization to help you execute your vision. This means identifying their strengths, giving them opportunities, and investing in your team.

There are five types of people needed to make a business successful:

The Visionary. As the owner of your practice, you should be the one to conceive its future. You also put all the elements in place so you and your staff are constantly working towards that vision.

The Leaders. These are the trusted few charged with translating your vision into reality—leading others to execute your vision.

The Builders. These are the people who can create processes and project plans as well as run projects. You tell them what needs to be done, and they figure out the how; they facilitate the process of getting it done.

The Managers. These people are good at managing processes—not necessarily people—by ensuring they are executed efficiently and at a consistently high level, day in and day out.

The Doers. These are the front-line people who actually “do the work.” They are hands-on, detail-oriented, and have high standards about their work; they “do” their piece of the process perfectly every time.

Commit to an Organizational Structure

When you have one office manager who attempts to oversee everything, it can lead to things being done poorly or not getting done at all. Managing human capital, marketing, space and equipment, the clinical area, and practice finances is too much for any one person. You need to discover which members of your team have leadership potential and then begin to divvy up functional responsibilities—and accountabilities—to these leaders. Initially, delegate just a few tasks, increasing responsibility as the person grows into the job. Eventually, you want your leaders to be capable of truly owning all responsibilities in their department.

Establish a Culture

Every organization has a culture. You can either create the one you want or tolerate one you don’t want. Start by honestly assessing the culture of your office. What is it now compared to what you want it to be? Make sure the team is clear about performance expectations, and then engineer team-building activities to boost performance and camaraderie. Use these activities to instill your vision for your practice. Make your office an enjoyable place for everyone to spend their time—where people treat each other respectfully and enjoy working together.

Drip the Future

When presenting your vision to your team, “drip the future” in smaller doses over the course of several staff meetings to avoid overwhelming them with all the changes at once. This gives them time to get on board and get excited about your vision. You’ll need to drip considerably more information to your leaders on a more regular basis to ensure that they are on board and know how to help move things along in the office.

Train Your People

You already have talented people working for you, or perhaps you employ people whose talent just needs to be trained and developed. But they need to know your vision and what’s expected of them. Once you’ve set your vision, identify the training your team will need to get you there. Plan your training schedule for the entire year and actually put those activities on your calendar. Schedule On-Site Training Days, and bring in outside experts to make sure it’s done right so you maximize your training investment.

Set Targets and Monitor Progress

You have to assess where you are now to figure out how to get where you plan to go. Determine major statistics, such as number of new patients, conversion rate, monthly production in each area, and more, and then set new and improved targets. Post them so they are always visible to both you and your team. Run short-term campaigns (eg, for 2-month periods) to keep people engaged and motivated to achieve your goals, awarding such things as gift certificates, trips, and, of course, cash bonuses!

Your team won’t consider these targets important if your actions make it seem like they’re not important to you. Create accountability by putting processes in place so that everyone in the practice is gathering and reporting daily performance statistics. Then consistently monitor and discuss them at leadership and staff meetings, highlighting accomplishments as well as areas in need of improvement. Tie results into progress to keep people excited about the vision and how they’re contributing.

Identify Growth Opportunities

Identify five to seven major areas of your business that could generate growth for you this year if given more attention. You do not need to have the solution when you put something on the list; just identify the opportunity so you commit yourself to addressing it and growing your business. Then prioritize and stage these projects throughout the year so they’re manageable, such as by the quarter. And don’t forget to delegate some of the responsibility.

Schedule Your Time

You won’t make progress on these growth opportunities if you try to do it in between seeing patients. Schedule time on your calendar to work on them and to regularly meet with the leaders you’ve designated. Map out your calendar at the very beginning of the year and again each quarter. Schedule family and/or personal vacations first, then schedule time to work on major projects.

As the owner of your practice, you must set the vision. You must then be disciplined about fulfilling your own role as a leader to achieve that vision. Let us help you find clarity on your vision while getting your staff the training they need to exceed your goals!

About the Author

Jay Geier is a speaker, consultant, and president and founder of the Scheduling Institute. Scheduling Institute offers trainings in the office as well as trainings, workshops, and events at their training centers in Atlanta and Phoenix. To learn about what’s being called “the biggest competitive advantage in dentistry” or to find out more about enrolling in our programs—including Platinum Coaching and/or Team Training Programs—call 855-315-6886, email MoreInfo@SchedulingInstitute.com, or go to www.schedulinginstitute.com.

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