Posted on April 19, 2014 by Bhavna Doshi

Are your eggs all in one basket?

A Happy Easter to you all.

Having been overwhelmed with many chocolate Easter Eggs this year (not complaining), it made me think about how we compromise ourselves in business. Are we compromising ourselves by putting all our eggs in one basket? Are we over burdening our managers or ourselves?

You see Managers and business owners can often be swamped with too much to do and too little time to do it in. Even if they were to prioritize and use all the basic time management tools things can still end up being left on the backburner. This can cause undue stress to the manager and practice principal. However, it also has a greater detrimental affect directly to the business growth which becomes stagnated. When this happens the business slowly begins to decline.

There is also another problem that arises within the team itself – no one team member takes any responsibility for any given situation. It always becomes somebody else’s fault. This gives rise to a blame culture and excuse making. No one team member takes the responsibility of his or her actions and the situation becomes messy and unclear. This can lead to frustrations and productivity becomes halted.

This causes some of the following problems:

  1. The manager is the sole person with all the responsibility.
  2. A business often has far too much “to do” to pile onto one individual i.e. the manager to make things happen.
  3. Team work is not really occurring – its more a ‘tell and do’ situation leading to a blame culture and excuse-making.
  4. Creativity and innovation is stumped and at a standstill.
  5. Overheads increase when you outsource as oppose to multi-task.
  6. Productivity becomes sluggish affecting business profits.
  7. Ultimately patient satisfaction and experience is affected.

Overcoming Excuse Making

Team motivation is often blamed for these problems when in actual fact it has more to do with efficient delegation of responsibilities within a team.

Here are some solutions you might like to consider:

  • Improve the system. When the results are not as you require, then it often helps to re-evaluate the system to check for flaws or inconsistencies. You may need to eliminate, recreate or modify the system steps.
  • Regular practice meetings can help to re-align priorities and iron out any problems.  I recommend 10-15 minute end of day meetings or/and weekly team meetings. These meetings are specific to improving current systems as oppose to training.
  • Constant review of your “To Do” priorities can help to discard those aspects no longer needed and rejuvenate those that are essential. Therefore it is essential that the business owner continuously looks at their vision, mission and goals to check that you are still on track or whether you need to change direction. This spring clean of the managers responsibilities can help to keep the “To Do” list current and relevant.
  • Create Directly Responsible Individuals or DRI’s in your practice. This is where you delegate a certain area of your practice to keen individuals who are competent enough to take on the responsibility. You can also provide training in that area if necessary. The most important aspect is the willingness of that team member to manage that project. Having DRI’s is like having multiple micro-managers for every project in your practice.

Advantages of introducing the DRI System:

  • Efficient Delegation. All the core focus areas of a practice business is effectively distributed so that the most interested and talented individual takes up a particular responsibility. This is delegation at its best, where the most appropriate person is responsible for any given project.
  • True Teamwork. Team members feel that they are an important part of the organization and hence feel more appreciated. They feel that they are contributing to the practice journey of success. It creates a culture of true teamwork. This in turn motivates and inspires your team to be more creative and innovative bringing home ideas and solutions that will help to achieve the success that you require.
  • Project Micro-Managers. You do not have all your eggs in one basket. This means that you are not overly reliant on one team member such as a single manager. Hence, should the manager or DRI employment situation change you will easily be able to compensate for a halt in one area of your practice compared to an overall stoppage.

Creating better practice systems, effective meeting strategies and a DRI System enables proper functioning of the business and can lead to better team coordination and success. Thus avoiding stagnation of practice growth.

Enjoy your chocolate eggs!

Bhavna

DWB working in close association with The Perfect Smile Advanced Training Institute