Making Changes To Assure Success

 

Quick fixes Rarely Bring Long-term Results

Making adjustments to the way we run our lives and our businesses is never easy. So much of who we are is ingrained in the day-to-day manner in which we conduct ourselves and manage our lives. Fear can easily take over when we attempt to change our comfort zone. Making alterations to the way we operate and handle things can be a shock to our systems.

All of us know to some degree that if things aren’t working satisfactorily then the only way to turn things around is to make changes. Recognizing the importance of making necessary change is not so much the act of enacting it, but sticking with it! We begin with all good intentions and a desire to move forward quickly for immediate results on what is needed. Then why is it that more often than not this determination begins to fade out and eventually disappear, and before we know it our old ways have resurfaced.

We know we need to lose weight, so leap straight ahead with a burst of determination. We don’t just join a health club, but start off BIG by joining a spin class and perhaps a very aggressive Zumba group. We don’t just cut back on some of our poor food choices, but we instead go on a fast routine working to stick with 1,000 calories or less a day. We don’t stop smoking with the aid of a counselor or support meds, but we choose to throw the cigarettes out the window (including the carton we just purchased) and go it cold turkey.

So what’s wrong with these approaches? Shouldn’t we be commended for the strong desire shown and a demonstration that says “we really mean business”?

Yes, a statement is being made and to the outsiders looking in they are quite impressed with your expression of sincerity. Truthfully though, these examples of making changes in one’s life will most likely be short lived. Taking an aggressive approach may sound encouraging yet when it comes to change, change that will stick, it takes planning and at a pace that doesn’t overwhelm.

This same principle applies to changes we make to our businesses. Bringing in new systems, crafting new protocols and getting those “cultural” issues set up and spelled out in the brand new Office Handbook that you are excited to implement can be exciting. Many employers apply these new ways of managing their business and teams in the very same way. Now that they are ready and focused to make the changes they are recognizing as needing to be fixed, making the shift can’t come soon enough. They are ready to roll and can’t wait to implement all that is suggested as soon as possible.

Again, enthusiasm and the desire to get things going is a wonderful thing, but being anxious to get as many changes made as possible as quickly as possible is a prescription for a quick failure. Just as weight loss programs bring long-term success through a slow and steady process, so does the process of making changes in policies and programs that have been a part of a business model for years.

Take one new format at a time and don’t necessarily put a timeframe on what needs to be revised, that is unless you are changing methods that are causing immediate harm to the business/team in some way. When an advisor that you respect and admire offers you advice that you know you need to pay attention to and strongly consider for the betterment of your practice, don’t let any of it throw you.

Between the two of you, evaluate the priority order for the changes you need to make and then slowly integrate step by step. Slowly incorporating new ways of handling things is definitely not easy for most of us, but slowing things down as much as possible will help us to become more and more secure with the change.

Slow and steady DOES win the race.

Taking the First Step

True progress may require some risk

What is it that allows or compels us to take a risk? To be the very first to attempt something that has never been tried or attempted before? What was it that inspired the first person to fly outside earth’s atmosphere? What gave them the courage to try this with no guarantee that they could ever safely return?

Risks are taken every day and we should all be grateful that this does happen, since if not for the brave souls out there testing the waters for us from everything from food to outer space, just think how stagnant our world would be.

To all the risk-takers in our dental profession I say, “thank you”, and salute you for moving from x-rays taken with big clunky machines that then needed developing in big tanks of solution and fixer to the amazing world of digital technology.

Then there was the giant step from paper appointment books and the peg-board financial managing systems to total computerization of the dental practice.  I can remember so well how long it took for some business office professionals to relinquish their massive scheduling books, fearing that once they transferred all of the vital information into a computer that the day’s, week’s and month’s activities could be forever lost.  Then there is all the insurance, accounts payable, contact information, etc.

We owe so much to pioneers in all walks of life.

I’m personally experiencing this now.  As we roll out Our Perio Team Software, the first of it’s kind specialty cloud-based program for the periodontal profession, we initially saw some skepticism. We fully expected this and were prepared to respond to questions.  But as more and more periodontists and their teams view what we are and what we do, we are seeing eyes open wide and many nods of approval.

Periodontists and team members, if you want to know more and take a personal tour, please let me know at  deb@ourdentalteam.com, and I will gladly arrange for a private walkthrough. You will NOT be disappointed, for as one periodontist said “Wow!! This is truly a game-changer”!!!