In Success by Carrie Cahill

colorful tree showing al four seasons

Practice evolution is a series of seasons

Finally, fall is upon is in the south. It felt like forever for the nights to turn cooler and the days to hold on to just a hint of crisp air. Free of the humidity and damp, the cleansing breeze seems to rejuvenate me after the cloying heat of summer. I love the fall and all it represents, but mostly it reminds me that the fruits of our labors during winter’s planning, spring’s planting and summer’s tending are realized. Pondering this, it occurred to me how it’s parallel to growing one’s dental practice.

Entering into a practice new to us,

many times it resembles farm fields in winter

wheat field covered in snow

It’s hard to envision what it looks like at the peak of prosperity. The ground may have gone fallow. Perhaps it’s been left untended, with no crops planted the preceding season. In farming, that’s done, so the land will recover, and become more fertile. If we take a moment to reframe our situation in a positive light the same can be true of a mature practice. There is significant opportunity there. Perhaps it has been unrecognized or not actioned due to a set of limiting beliefs created out of familiarity or the absence of attention to an unserved market. So often when we see the same thing day after day the potential is lost on us. We see it the same as it’s always been rather than look at it from a new or fresh perspective, but there is life there. There is a wealth of untapped potential, waiting just below the surface. What’s required of us at this point is a vision and a strategy. Who do we want to be to our patients and each other and how do we want to get there. Now is the time to plan for spring.

Spring brings a season filled with planting, and nurturing

Dandilions on bright sunny dayFocusing those efforts on areas of our business such as internal and external marketing, hygiene reactivation and treatment acceptance sow the seeds for a visible change and ultimately a green return. It isn’t a passing flight of fancy, rather a focused commitment. It’s about making the tough choices, having active, growth focused, dialog with the team and yourself and committing to your path forward.

When the summer comes and the seeds we have germinated

start to grow, sometimes so do the weeds

Frustration or complacency can sneak its way into our practice just as weeds do to our garden in the summer. They may show up as gossip or team members not playing at 100%. Sometimes it’s falling back into old patterns or petitioning the team for support of limiting beliefs. It’s important to address those immediately before they take hold. Powerful coaching conversations that re-align us to our vision and remind us of our agreements to one another go a long way in correcting the issues and getting back on fertile ground. The greater the focus and commitment to continual growth and consistent nurturing care, the larger the return on our investment.

The bounty we receive in our fall season is directly

related to our commitment

pumpkins and squashThat is our commitment to never-ending improvement throughout all the seasons of our practice. Our harvest is a result of the level of conversation we have had with our team. Conversations that instill ownership and accountability in the success of the practice, return the highest results. If everyone is working towards and aligned vision and acting in a manner that insures every decision taken is good for the team, the patients and the practice, we are on the right path. If there is adequate support and knowledge in all five business engines to insure success, we are on the right, nurturing, path to significant practice growth year over year. The impact of a strong coaching, practice management, partner cannot be understated in materializing a larger yield in a shorter amount of time. Farmers no longer use the same equipment or techniques they did many years ago. They evolve and so must dentistry. There are new innovations, systems and practices that make our work more effective, more enjoyable and produce better, sustainable and more profitable results year over year. Leverage this principle and you are on your way to having an abundant practice and life.

Enjoy the seasons. Each one has a unique and important impact in your practice. Take the steps necessary for your practice to operate at the height of its potential and enjoy the fruits of your labor.