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January 2018

How to Build Your Ideal Practice

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By Dick Vessels (An excerpt from our Fortune Management book: How to Build Your Ideal Practice)

“Culture is magical. It cannot be bought, set by policy, directed, or memoed. It cannot be rushed, hurried, or pushed. It starts with a dream, an idea, a feeling. Close your eyes and picture the perfect office, the perfect experience, the perfect day. Once you see it, then set it. Your dream is now your goal, your focus.

“Two years ago we met the Fortune Management team, and we were asked to picture our dream practice. Closing our eyes, we saw patients who accepted prescribed treatments, a team of experts who pushed each other toward greatness, double-digit growth, the ability to care for those who can’t afford it, and a practice that is not wholly dependent on the owner-doctors being in the office. Our coaches reviewed our dream with us, took it from a dream to a plan, and committed to helping us work the plan to achieve our dream. They not only committed to working with us as doctor-owners, but they committed to our team to work with them, too. As I write this, I can positively say that we are on our way to achieving our dreams.”

—DR. AARON WERNER, El Cajon, California

TThe significant difference between mega-successful teams and those who are at or below average is rarely clinical talent. It’s simply the discipline to live and honor co-defined culture agreements. Top-notch, A-plus dental teams — those who are the highest paid for the emotional and professional value they bring to each other, their patients, and the marketplace — are formed in an environment of mutual respect, safe communication, and accountability. These top-notch teams also consistently reach goals that support integrity, value, and lasting relationships. Egos are secondary where continuous practice growth, sustained practice profitability, and high compensation reside. This level of success begins and ends with a defined winning team culture.

Of course, every dental team aspires to be a winning team and have the rewards that come with being at the top of their game. And, obviously, winning does not just miraculously happen. Instead it takes dedication, devotion, and commitment. I believe these five fundamental elements define what is required to perform at a mega-successful, A-plus level:

1. The “Be” Mission: How will we serve? What values are absolute? Why are we here? How will we make a difference? This is the absolute guidepost of existence and needs to be addressed daily with emotion and energy.

2. Culture Agreements: How will we behave in the workplace toward our team members and patients, while being individually accountable? Define clearly the character, attributes, and people skills necessary to be involved in an A-plus culture.  Acquire them diligently.                                      

3. Vision: Where specifically are we going? Where will we be? Who will be with us? What will we look like in one year, five years, and ten years? How will we be accountable? This includes daily, monthly, and yearly goals, as well as specific provider commitments.

4. Communications: What specific process or processes are we committed to? These must be rehearsed and utilized with impeccability by all stakeholders regardless of status.

5. Celebrations: As goals are attained, share them generously and evenly. Play as an A-plus team, learn as an A-plus team, and win as an A-plus team!

These simple five fundamentals are at the core of every peak performing practice or business I have had the privilege to encounter. A commitment to them is richly rewarding. Master these, and expect success beyond expectations!