First Principles

Build your relationships first….then your dentistry. ~ Bob Barkley

First Principles

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First Prin·ci·ples, noun: the fundamental concepts or assumptions on which a theory, system, or method is based.

Elon Musk is perhaps the boldest entrepreneur on our planet. After founding PayPal and revolutionizing the way the world made on-line payments, he started Tesla, SpaceX, and Solar City, and is now revolutionizing automobiles, rocketry, and solar panels.

Musk attributes his creative successes to First Principle thinking. He said, “I think it is important to reason from First Principles rather than by analogy…First Principles is kind of a physics way of looking at the world. You boil things down to the most fundamental truths and say, ‘What are we sure is true?’ … and reason up from there.”

As health-centered, relationship-driven dentists, we can learn a lot from Elon Musk. And that is because reasoning from First Principles is the ONLY way to create an authentic practice experience for our patients.

What do I mean by “authentic”?

I mean the creation of a practice which represents a true reflection of who you are as a person and Care Team; a reflection of your quality and caring that is so obvious it can go unspoken – as just observed and felt is quite enough.

And authenticity must start with First Principles, which are like lighthouses, showing the way even in the fog and storms of daily living in a complex and ever-changing world.

Boiling things down to First Principles allows us to then build upon them flexible and congruent mental models which are unique, powerful, effective, and deeply satisfying.

And building resilient Principle-centered mental models also help us avoid defaulting to the way everyone else does things…often in lock step with ever-changing insurance industry demands … following the money AND AWAY FROM UNIQUENESS AND AUTHENTICITY.

If people are going to choose your practice over many other options, they need to have a rock solid reason. And if people are going to pay an appropriate fee for the receipt of your finest care, skill, and judgment, they need a rock solid reason.

And that reason needs to be the brand called the authentic, principle-centered YOU – as nothing less will do.

Paul A. Henny, DDS

Thought Experiments LLC, ©2017


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