BY DR. MARK MURPHY, DDS, FAGD
I recently sat in a presentation by the CEO of Smile Source, Trevor Mauer. He was talking about their 700+ member’s culture (which had already been on clear display at the meeting). He said “Culture eats strategy for breakfast, operational excellence for lunch and everything else for dinner.” I paused and though, maybe so. If our patients don’t know who we are, what we do or why we do it, how can we have the kind of impact that we want. If we want to help more patients have better dental health and experiences, what better way than to lure them to the table with attractions. Our intentional identity, team members investment and brand recognition are cornerstones to a successful practice. I struggled to think of a successful happy dentist or practice that did not have these attributes.
Forbes Magazine says there are three main advantages of having a well-defined and positive ‘dental practice’ culture.
Identity that is consistent with your values. How and why you do what you do will resonate with the ‘Right’ patients. That makes dentistry more fun and profitable.
Retention. When the culture is fun, meaningful, AND productive, people stay in the jobs longer. Turnover often occurs when teams do not feel connected to each other, a sense of purpose or the practice leader’s vision and values.
Image. It is nearly impossible to be all things to all people. So, what is your focus? How would you describe your practice and what makes it different/special/unique to others viewing it?
Strategic planning and execution are where we thrive as leader-dentists in business. We are used to treatment planning (think parallels to strategic planning) and delivery dental care (think operational excellence). Where are we and our practice when culture is discussed. Do we have one? How would we define it? How would out team describe it? And perhaps, most important, how do our patients experience it? Answering these questions will drive predictable fulfillment and success in an ever-changing dental world.
Mark T. Murphy, DDS, FAGD Mark is the Principal of funktionaltracker.com and Lead Faculty for Clinical Education at MicroDental Laboratories and ProSomnus Sleep Technologies. He also serves on the Adjunct Faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy and oversees the Practice and Financial Management Curriculum at the Pankey Institute. He lectures internationally on Leadership, Practice Management, Communication, Case Acceptance, Planning, Occlusion, TMD and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Mark has been involved in Sleep Dentistry for over 25 years, is an AADSM member, and has trained with several of the leading sleep dentists and training institutes. He is an informative and entertaining speaker, blending a stand-up style of humor and anecdotes with current evidence based research that you can take home and use in your practice right away.