So often, dentists are focused on the changing circumstances in a dental practice that they tend to allow this to derail them from attaining their success. Sometimes shifts in businesses are seismic, and sometimes they are subtle. Regardless, many practice owners are often reactive to these situations leading to varying degrees of consequence. These compensative behaviours can be detrimental in the long term as they are not founded on Strategy.
One way out of such unproductivity is to base your business on certain important fundamentals that do not change.
Thereafter, even with reactivity to changing circumstances, the basic foundational structure of your business will still remain strong, cushioning you from any adverse side effects of the ups and downs of a business. Hence, it would help if you always worked to strengthen these aspects so that you are in the best position ever to take on whatever life throws at you.
1. Your Vision.
Regardless of a change in circumstances, your Vision should not change. A Vision is your aspiration for a distant future. As long as your Vision serves a higher purpose for the existence of your business and it inspires you and your team to do more, even when you don’t feel like it, then it should remain a constant. Changes in circumstances only mean that the path you are now directing is slightly different. The destination, however, should stay the same. Otherwise, you will find that you never reach the required goals in your dental business.
2. Your Values.
These are the unspoken rules of engagement with each other. They form the fundamental core of your team culture and working team dynamics. And it should be how you intend to develop and create the ethos of leadership and team management in your business. This goes back to the philosophy that like-minded individuals are attracted to each other’s ideas. Hence, if the entire team is based upon a set of values, then it stands to reason that despite fluctuations in the day-to-day practice functioning, everyone will do what is right in the end. This then becomes WHO you are as a practice and HOW you are choosing to do things.
Your values are your foundational core beliefs and do not tend to change much, even when exposed to negative external forces.
The values you adopt as a business will become the type of culture you end up nurturing. It is the team culture that will ultimately drive your Vision. You simply have to decide which Value Tools are you going to use to accomplish the Vision.
3. Your ability to work hard.
Rely on you, and you will never be let down. You know what you are capable of, and your hard work can still continue no matter what the external environmental forces will things to be. Continue to put the work in, and you will most definitely reap the rewards; as long as you are focused on the things that matter.
Sometimes it’s just about showing up! This is a simplistic concept and yet an extremely powerful one. Too many people hit obstacles, and they spiral into negative, depressive thinking. We forget that all the power we need to overcome our challenges and grow stronger is within us. We simply have to present ourselves and the world with our challenges and ask the right questions. Then just show up to do the work!
4. Your ability to adapt to the change.
Benjamin Franklin put it so appropriately: “Change is the only constant in life. One’s ability to adapt to those changes will determine your success in life.” You can always have faith in your gumption to change when change is necessary. Your ability to adapt to changing circumstances can become your biggest asset to transcending into the future. This will also keep you at the forefront of the industry.
However, HOW you manage change and the way you lead your team to adapt to the change is key. This is often the difference between success and failure. It would be best if you encouraged flexibility in adapting to changing circumstances. But more importantly, the team should sense in you, the leader, ease, and confidence, when it comes to altering the way you do things. This will help them to adapt too. However, if they see you are being reactive and operating from a place of fear, then they too will mirror your behaviours. This ultimately leads to an unproductive team. To GROW is to CHANGE, and your role as a leader is to inspire that growth. Thus, remaining at the forefront of innovation which is change itself!
5. The need for your Leadership.
A team will always need a leader to help navigate the business and steer it out of or away from troubled waters. In a dental practice, the leader can be the Practice Principal, the Practice Manager or any team member that naturally can influence the team.
Leadership is a skill that is required no matter what the circumstances may be. In my experience, those practices that understand the importance of Leadership tend to be the most successful. It’s the clarity and focuses provided to the team that becomes paramount. Only the leader can give the hope of better times and keep the team motivated and inspired on the intended path.
Good Leadership can help you achieve much success, to survive your current challenges and come out the other end stronger than ever before. Within each change in circumstance, there are invaluable lessons to be learnt. By understanding each lesson and overcoming the obstacles, the entire team will grow and connect, provided good Leadership has correctly directed and managed the change.
6. Your clinical skills and knowledge.
You can continue to care for your patients and provide good quality dentistry no matter what forces of change happen to you. The only thing that becomes different is HOW you deliver your care. But the actual treatment diagnosis, planning and treatment techniques are not much changed. Your knowledge does not get affected. Your clinical ability does not get affected. In fact, when there are Changes imposed upon you, you have the opportunity to improve your service of care. The classic example of this is during the Covid Pandemic. This was an opportunity to enhance the level of care provided to your patients in your practice. You could have been an early adaptor to any changes. I know the specific group of practice owners under my responsibility were able to take advantage of many opportunities. Each one jumped ahead in revenues and possibilities by focusing on specific growth systems, whilst many dentists feared their future!
Increasing your focus, work intentions and follow-through strategies on certain core areas of business can enable you to achieve much success. This is true regardless of what the circumstances are that are negatively impacting your practice. In my 30 years of experience, I have come to realise, that the more effort you put into these areas, the more returns you get on the investment of your time, energy and money. These are the core growth systems we focus on at Dental Wealth Builder: Sales, Marketing, Leadership, Systems, Vision, Financial and Clinical Strategies.
I appreciate that there are many dentists that are working in some of these areas. However, if you want to achieve sustainable and consistent growth, then ALL 7 Business Fundamentals need to be functioning together in a cohesive and cognisant manner. It is the multifaceted approach that will enable you to meet your objectives.
When we encounter changes in business, our default thinking tends to be, “how do we manage the change?” This leads us down a reactive and unfocused path. It is important at that very time when you experience mayhem around you that you remain calm and focused on what resources you do have and what has not changed.
Use these points as a checklist to help energise you and re-motivate you to start becoming proactive again.