Practice Philosophy – Your Practice’s Constitution

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

Practice Philosophy – Your Practice’s Constitution

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How do we get our practice to produce great results, year-in and year out?

As we are all aware, this can be a challenging goal, even when our Care Team is full of strong, smart, highly skilled, and well-intended people. And this is because it’s hard to keep everyone aligned and moving in the same direction over time when their environment is constantly changing…distractions constantly occurring, and limited resources require instantaneous reallocation to best meet the demands of the moment.

Most of our Care Team members spend the majority of their time executing their day-to-day responsibilities in an exacting fashion, so it’s easy for them to lose sight of the bigger picture…the preferred  trajectory of the practice over time.

Our daily practice demands present us with a challenging paradox – they are critical to our functioning while at the same time can maintain our attention on lower level goals too much of the time.

On the other end of the spectrum, it can also be challenging for us to keep our heads out of the clouds. Dreaming big is important, but unless our lofty aspirations are backed by a concrete plan to achieve them, they’ll remain dreams.

Consequently, a significant part of our leadership responsibility as a Relationship-based, Health-centered Dentist lies in keeping things in the proper perspective -even when the “weeds” of every day life predominate.

One way to do this is to graphically create a ‘Pyramid of Clarity’. The Pyramid visually shows how our longer-term aspirations are only possible when they are built on top of our shared values, which then infuse our short-term goals.

In other words, we must have a synchronization of our Practice Philosophy with our daily actions. And that is only possible when we have invested the time in co-creating a written practice philosophy with our team.

When we co-own a written Practice Philosophy with our Care Team  – a “practice constitution” if you will – we can regularly use it as a touchstone to stay focused, bolster our commitments, and facilitate spur-of-the-moment decisions which are always in line with the bigger picture.

When entire practices have clarity of purpose, plan, and responsibility, they’re able to do their best work even in the middle of the thickest of weeds.

Does your practice have a written Practice Philosophy Statement? You should, Bob Barkley felt it was the one single most important task you need to accomplish with your Team.

Paul A Henny, DDS

Thought Experiments LLC, ©2017

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