Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine

By Lisa Philp, RDH, President of Transitions Group North America

Lisa Philp, RDH, CMC
Lisa Philp, RDH, CMC

Dentistry is seeing huge paradigm shifts and being challenged to change. Many dental practices are seeing a significant impact to their revenue and case acceptance. According to a recent CRA report, 91% of dentists are feeling impacted by the economy. Out of those, only 50% are doing anything to change to meet the demands.

An inspiring mission and vision:

Because the prospect of change is so frightening, people need not only have an urgent need to leave the past, but the prospect of an unquestionably better future. The stronger the attraction of the future, the greater will be the energy people exert to work toward it.

Envision the vision: Imagine it’s five years from now. The practice has operated from a vision and we are known in our community as that vision. Ask the team and yourself. “What are people saying about us? What are our clients telling neighbors? What are we saying? What are we providing for our patients?”

Outline all possibilities via brainstorming for words and phrases that capture the group’s foresight. These examples “seed” the process. Remember, during brainstorming, everything is acceptable.
* Instruct people to listen for words or phrases that inspire them.
* Lead by example without dominating.
* If the conversation slows, call on strong team members. This step takes 10 to 30 minutes.
Your “vision wall” will be filled with such words and phrases as leadership, caring, high-quality dentistry, excellence, community involvement, compassion, patient education, great patient service, financial integrity and cutting-edge technology. Brainstorming provides raw material to shape your vision statements.

Capture the vision: After creating drafts, ask each group to share their team’s vision statement. Listen for things that excite them. One vision statement may stand out. More likely, the final version will come from a combination of two or more. Let the team nominate the statement that most reflects the values of the practice. By the end of this process, you will have created an amazing mission statement for the practice, and everyone will helped create the concept.

When your vision guides daily decisions, you’ll take control of your practice.

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