How would MacGyver handle 2017? How would you?

MacGyver.

The name is synonymous with many things. Resourcefulness is one.

Look up resourceful in the dictionary. There’s his picture. Okay – we’ll do it for you.

resourceful

[ri-sawrs-fuh l, –sohrs-, –zawrs-, –zohrs-]
adjective
1.
able to deal skillfully and promptly with new situations, difficulties, etc.
2.

The original MacGyver was a 1980s American action-adventure television series character. This guy could get out of any life or death situation with his trusty Swiss Army knife and a roll of duct tape.

He was the master of improvisation. In minutes he’d craft a bomb out of a paper clip and his own earwax if necessary.

MacGyver was resourceful to the max.

With all due respect there’s an unmentioned and perhaps non-apparent Achilles heel in his story.

MacGyver was constantly getting out of bad situations with the grace and skill of a ninja. Yet you have to wonder why he didn’t avoid some circumstances altogether.

MacGyver is the model for resourcefulness, no doubt. And that is a skill that will help every doctor and team member. But an even better skill is…

Don’t get into difficult situations to begin with!!

Be honest with your patients. Keep them comfortable. Anticipate their questions. Speak in plain English. Make sure patients understand their insurance and financial arrangements ahead of time. In short – solve problems before they happen!

But how about some different types of problems? Dentistry is evolving, and the evolution of dentistry demands that you be on your toes. Insurance changes, the increasing rise of corporate dental structures and systems, the abundance of dental providers in your region, and an often apathetic patient base are a few of the things we can look forward to.

So what can you do? One thing is for sure – doing nothing is sure to get you nowhere fast.

Marketing challenges? Insurance margins encroaching?  Competition on every corner squeezing you?

What would MacGyver do? He would probably wait until his practice was sinking and then magically solve everything with a 204S scaler, a bib clip, and a couple of old amalgam capsules. But (fortunately) you’re not MacGyver…or MacDentist…or MacTeamMember.

Now is the time to identify potential problems and plan for them.

Failure isn’t the issue. Not trying is.

The best teacher you and your team have on occasion is failure. Perhaps even better is to anticipate where it can and potentially will occur and have a ready Plan B.

Plan B thinking gives you hope, help, and heroic opportunities.

Here’s a thought…

While you’re closing the books on 2016 in a few weeks do something different.

List some bold initiatives for 2017. Then go a step beyond.

Picture where failure could occur. Stare it down and…

Plan B the crap out it!

That’s enough to make Mr. MacGyver (and those competing voices of fear) stand up and take notice.

Tips

Everyone loves some good and simple tips to help their practice and their life, right? That’s why we asked some of our TBSE 2016 speakers to share some of their favorite ones with you! We will be presenting them from time to time throughout the year.

For the first stop in this series, we will visit Dr. Ric Zambito. “Dr. Z” was a surprise guest speaker at TBSE 2016, and even though he wasn’t on the stage for a long time, his incredible message really resonated with everyone there! Ric is a general dentist who has one of the most successful, productive and happy practices we have ever seen. His figures easily put him in the top one percent nationally, and he does it all in the small and depressed town of Wheeling, West Virginia!

One of the best things about Ric is his leadership abilities and the way he deals with his team. These four tips from Dr. Z will give you some insight into how he accomplishes this – and how you can too!!
                                                                                           

1. Leadership is the process of getting everyone to the place they are supposed to be.  It is the opposite of controlling people.  No one can be a leader unless they are trusted and possess the number one characteristic that staff and patients want – integrity.

2.  The only way a team member will know what you expect is consistency.  You must constantly be teaching your staff, and be sure to compliment them when they achieve the success you expect.  Complimenting may be important, but so is helping your staff grow.  Making them aware and accountable when they have fallen short is equally important.  This will lead to improvement of your team.

3.  Why would anyone want to settle for being an average dental office? That is the best of the worst and the worst of the best.  Dreamers and achievers will never stop at this level.  It is always the doctor’s opportunity to help team members become the best they can be.

4.  Have you noticed that your dental office takes on your personality?  By speaking to just one employee, you should be able to decipher the tone of the entire office.  If you have a positive doctor, it will permeate throughout the office to the rest of the staff.

Want to hear more from Dr. Z and get his tips delivered to your inbox on a regular basis, including some fantastic ways to handle 14 scary situations that are probably happening in your dental practice right now?

Just visit www.integritydentalpracticemanagement.com.

Do your patients really want freedom of choice?

Is freedom of choice hurting your practice’s bottom line?

In 1980, the great Devo song Freedom Of Choice declared:

“Freedom of choice is what you got
Freedom from choice is what you want!”

Let’s move to this morning.

5:30 AM – on the elliptical machine, frozen. Why? The all-important decision – what music to listen to. If you have Spotify or another streaming app on your phone, you have pretty much every piece of modern music ever made available right at your fingertips, rendering the decision “What should I listen to this morning?” pretty much impossible.

If you’re a baby boomer, you certainly remember the day when your TV choices were pretty much limited to three channels – and that was great! Even in 1992 Bruce Springsteen realized there were “57 channels and nothin’ on!”
Many millennials who use dating sites such as match.com report that it makes finding a boyfriend or girlfriend extremely difficult, because with hundreds of choices available, you’re always looking over your shoulder for the next date. “Sure – I like this person, but will lovesdogs347 be better?”
We have so much freedom of choice these days – but is it always a good thing? Maybe not when it comes to your patients!

The fact is, people love to be led. When they have a relationship with a trusted professional, they like to be told what to do. So while it’s tempting to thoroughly discuss a bevy of options, in most cases the best thing to say to a patient is…

“I see what the problem is, and this is how we fix it.”
Boom. That’s it.

“Freedom of choice is what you got
Freedom from choice is what you want!”