If you’ve been following along so far with my New Year’s  list of 7 principles to kick off a great 2016, you are now familiar with the idea of  the “moving in” mindset, and the importance of focusing on what matters. Now it’s time to take a practical look at how to make things happen.

Principle 3: Establish a Framework for Success

Framework for success in dental practicesLife inside a dental practice is a life dominated by systems and habits. It has to be, in order to keep up with the flow of daily responsibilities in an organized and efficient way. It may seem that following a pattern like that goes against the very idea of innovation and progress. But that’s not true. The trick is just to make those systems and habits work in your favor. Once you know what the focus of your “change agenda” is, you want to adapt your systems and create new habits to support that new approach. The secret is to have a framework that you can maneuver within to achieve your new goals.

For instance, we created the Spear campus from the ground up, and I remember being there during the framing process as it was taking shape, walking through the dirt, wearing a hardhat, and envisioning how it would all come together when it was done. In the years since, we have gone through many revisions and updates to our space since that initial construction. Vast sections of our workspaces and workshop rooms have been stripped down and repurposed – in some cases many times. In fact, we are right now undergoing yet another significant renovation to accommodate our needs as we move forward with new and exciting plans.

The point is, our infrastructure hasn’t changed over the years; what has changed is how we use it to our best purposes. A great dental practice will take the same approach – not only to how they use their facility, but to how they use the systems they already have in place. That is your infrastructure, and you should adapt it as needed to serve your interests as they evolve.

Thinking about introducing a new patient education system? Want to focus more on identifying comprehensive care possibilities? Ready to commit to a “new patient experience” protocol? If these ideas are to have any chance of taking hold in the practice, they have to get absorbed into your systems, where they then become part of the team’s habits. That means implementing new ideas by integrating them into your daily systems where they eventually become part of everyone's line of sight, every day. This is how to make success a habit.

But of course, you can’t just keep adding layer upon layer of systems. That is a trap that is easy to fall into when trying to instigate change: the tendency to try to do too much too soon and to end up overwhelming yourself and your team with new systems. So how do you decide what should earn a place within your framework, and how do you track results? I’m going to talk more about that next time.