My career in the dental industry began with a visit to my dentist, Dr. Ken Neuman. He was very enthusiastic about what he did and he ended up introducing me to the world of dentistry. He became an invaluable coach and mentor through my early career, as well as a great friend. Ken, who has since retired, was a gifted practitioner with keen clinical skills and a warm, genuine chairside manner. He loved performing great dentistry and his patients loved him.
But as I looked around his practice, the businessman in me couldn’t help but notice all the missed opportunities. He was doing all right in his business – it’s pretty hard not to when you have a specialized in-demand skill – but I could tell that there was so much he was missing: so many ways to communicate his extraordinary value to his patients, so many things he could do to get his team better aligned, so many things he could do with his facility and his systems to support that value.
And then I realized: If this skilled dentist, who was a smart man with very sharp eyes when it came to his clinical margins, didn’t see these opportunities, how many other dentists out there were also getting only half-measure returns for their efforts? That’s how my long career in the dental world was born.
Eventually, with Ken’s encouragement, I built my own successful dental practice management consulting business, where we focused on having clients achieve economic freedom through dental practice growth and transitions strategies. The company grew to employ about 300 people, including 100 practice consultants, and I am proud to say we helped countless dentists see – and capitalize on – their real possibilities.
Things have changed since those days, and I am happy to say they have changed in a way that benefits dentists greatly. Dentists today still want the same things: they want a team that is engaged and committed to growth; they want a team that understands the value of great dentistry and knows how to communicate that value to patients; and they want the latest in clinical techniques. The difference is, in this world, they want to be able to get that information on their own terms, easily and conveniently, when and where they need it.
That’s why at Spear we have spent the better part of the last five years brainstorming and masterminding how to bring great education to as many people as possible in a fully-supported, yet self-guided on-demand way.
We still have our destination campus in Scottsdale, of course. But we have also invested a lot of energy in our network of Study Clubs, to bring specialists and GPs together in local environments. And we continue to build our digital platform with an ever-growing library of online courses, articles and lively discussion forum. Now dentists can get clinical refreshers on the spot, when they need it. They can get education for their team members and even create a curriculum for each specific role. They can get courses around which to build team meetings. They can gather advice from far-flung colleagues in real time.
Occlusion or insurance issues. Treatment planning or case acceptance strategies. Insights into patient education or efficient scheduling. Whatever you want help with, it’s all readily available, 24/7. None of this was possible – or at least not so easily accessible – back when my friend Dr. Neuman was building his practice. Today’s practice owner has options for information, resources and guidance he could only dream about.
Of course, practice consultants still have their place and their value when it comes to providing an objective perspective and specialized advice. But nowadays you don’t have to wait for a consultant’s visit to get a lot of the help you need. You can tap into this enormous reserve of instant information and start facilitating progress yourself. In a very real sense, you can now be your own practice consultant. So much of what you need is right in front of you, all the time. You just have to choose to engage with it.
(Click this link for free ebooks by Imtiaz Manji.)