Go on a Retreat AND COMPLETELY CHANGE THE OUTLOOK OF YOUR DENTAL PRACTICE
We all know running a business and owning your own practice as a clinical practitioner are two very different things, but for many of us, these are two roles we must jump in and out of every single day. It can be an incredible challenge, and it can split your focus. We all want our practices to succeed, but when you’re juggling two different roles, it can be hard to build the practice you really want to build. Robert M. Pick, DDS, MS, is someone who falls into the category of a dental business owner and clinical practitioner. He’s experienced in balancing these roles and in growing a very successful practice. Part of his success came from his approach to team-building and the overall development of his team and his practice. Dr. Pick created a way to further develop his team and achieve new levels of success. He calls it the Pick Business Team-Building Retreat (or PBR). The PBR is a biannual retreat that takes your team away from the office. Your goal is to take a day or two to minimize distractions so you and your team can buckle down and focus. Dr. Pick suggests renting a conference room at a nearby hotel. It’s just a place where everyone can easily gather (and a place where you can easily cater breakfast and lunch and keep things business casual). Dr. Pick keeps the PBR exceptionally well organized. If you have shirts with your practice’s logo on it, be sure to wear them, and if you don’t have shirts with a logo, now is a great time to get those! More importantly, however, is the binder you hand to each member of your team. This binder should be tailored to each team member with their name and photo, along with the practice name and logo and the date of the retreat. This binder holds all the information pertinent to the retreat: an outline for the day (or days), information on what to expect from the retreat, a list of events or discussions, and any articles you wish your team to read for the later discussion. In addition to this, and at the beginning of the day, Dr. Pick gives each member of the team a lightbulb. The bulbs represent ideas. If someone has a great idea they wish to share with the room, they raise their lightbulb. It could be related to the topic at hand or something completely different.
This allows the meeting to come to a brief pause as they share their idea and everyone can discuss it before continuing. What topics might you cover? If it’s your first retreat with your team, this is the time to talk about your practice’s mission, vision, and culture
statements. This discussion informs your team on where your practice is and where you want it to go. It sets the foundation for the future. As you lay this foundation, it’s also a good time to talk about your practice’s brand — what sets you and your team apart from everyone else? Too many practices fail to differentiate themselves from other practices. You get lost in the mix. Prospective patients need to know why you are better and why you are worth booking an appointment with versus anyone else. As Dr. Pick puts it, “Most dental practices know how and what they do, but very few know why they do what they do.” You must answer the question of why. There are a number of other topics you can and should cover in a retreat, from a year in review to goal setting. You can see a comprehensive look at PBRs at dentistrytoday. com/news/todays-dental-news/item/3865-use-retreats-to-become-a-fortune- 500-dental-business . As you plan for 2020, now is the time to also start planning how you are going to arrive at the next level of success — which starts with sitting down with your team to build them up.
–Y. Cathy Hung, DDS, Dip. ABOMS
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Founder, Morning Glory Women Dentists Network of New Jersey
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