You create your practice culture whether intentionally or not. Do you manage through fear and control, or do you guide through empowerment, trust, and team-wide problem solving? In working with dental offices around the country, we see a variety of practice cultures – some are effective, others are debilitating. For example:
Five Alarm Fire Practice
In this dental practice, the team is in a perpetual panic because it seems the leader is continually creating and/or finding problems – setting fires so s/he can extinguish them. The doctor is extremely controlling and has a powerful need to “solve” these problems her/himself; thus, s/he cannot delegate effectively. Most practice systems are struggling if not crippled. The leader says s/he desires organization and effectiveness, but s/he creates perpetual crisis.
The “Fiefdom” Practice
Here comes the Feudal Lord. This leader is also highly controlling and dominant; however it’s taken up a notch. S/he enjoys competition and pitting employees against each other in a game to win the leader’s favor. Fiefdom leaders despise the idea of delegation, but will often have someone on staff who is their “trusted advisor.”
Community leaders see their role as building quality dental practices rooted firmly in community, both internally and externally. They create an environment and a culture for success by establishing clear, challenging, yet realistic goals and specific expectations for members of their team. They set employees up to succeed by investing in training to maximize employee potential. They don’t just tell employees what to do; they clarify why their responsibilities are important to the overall success of the practice. They encourage open exchange of ideas, and listening is a key part of their management strategy.
Want to change your practice culture? Call me at 877-777-6151 or email firstname.lastname@example.org