You can’t do it all alone. Having an enthusiastic team aligned with you is a huge part of unlocking success in just about everything in the practice.
Every successful implementation strategy is ultimately about achieving total team buy-in, and that usually comes down to three key steps:
- Get them excited. Help them get excited about the result for which you’re aiming, excited about the possibilities for the patients and the practice, and most importantly, excited about their role in making it happen. Remember, it can take an entire weekend of sustained off-site instruction at a workshop to really get you committed and energized about something new. It’s not fair for to expect the team to get that same feeling from a 30-minute debrief when you get back. You need to take the time to get them to understand the “why” before they can fully commit to the “what” and the “how.”
- Break it down to get started. Excitement is not enough – you also have to give people a reasonable path to success. They may be excited at first, but if changes are implemented too quickly or too broadly, or without the right understanding for the ultimate goal or their role in the process, they’ll start to put the brakes on because it’s “too hard,” or because they are afraid to fail or look foolish, or because they simply don’t know where to begin with a big task.
This is where you have to make change manageable. You have to break it down into distinct steps and you have to give everyone clarity for exactly what they need to do. They have to be energized by the ultimate goal, but just as importantly, they have to see how what they are doing right now fits into the plan. It’s about putting their actions in context so they can see the purpose behind each task.
- Provide structure for accountability and momentum. Once you have worked out the steps that need to be taken, you need to introduce accountability around those steps to make sure that the pull of the “old way” doesn’t defeat your progress. Often that means weekly or even daily monitoring and evaluating until a new idea takes hold and becomes automatic.
This is not as hard as it seems, and remember you have a world of resources available to help you. For instance, there are many practice leaders who use Spear’s online courses as the centerpiece of regular team meetings. It’s a way of keeping everyone engaged and growing on a week-to-week, month-to-month basis. Just having a series of graduated lessons to follow together, to discuss and to implement as a team, has a way of creating that special philosophical alignment.
Finally, here is the biggest secret about what it takes to get to the next levels of success: The ideas and strategies themselves are not that difficult to learn. The hard part is always putting them into practice. Solve the riddle of execution and you are well on your way.