Dentists hear the advice—create a "vision" for your dental practice. While it may sound like one more thing to do, creating a vision and sharing it with you team really does help a practice move forward successfully.
________________________________________________________________________________________________I’m a sucker for great business books, especially the ones that make it sound so Utopian to lead a business, cast your vision, and soar to great heights. But here’s the deal—it’s not always that easy. In fact, sometimes it’s hard to even land on a clear version of your vision. When you do, sometimes that vision can make things harder before you begin to feel like you’re making progress.
If you’re creating a vision of the future for your business and including your team in that process, there is always the risk that not everyone will be on board with that vision. You can tell through a variety of ways:
• Progress is railroaded by resistant team members who won’t allow productive change to occur.
• Internal gossip and drama are accompanied by rumors and negativity
• Moving toward the implementation of goals goes painfully slow, if it moves at all.
• There’s no change whatsoever.
Leaders often become frustrated and discouraged when progress is so slow that they give up completely, or stop pursuing their vision with no real intent to get back to it anytime soon. This can become a morale killer, create resentment, and cause leaders and practice owners to experience burnout.
If resistance occurs, don’t lose heart. Tough decisions may be coming up for you, but this doesn’t mean that your vision isn’t a good one, and it certainly doesn’t mean you should give up and think about a new vision.
There are two important tools to help get you out of the rut you’re in: goal setting and strategic planning. Your goals are the steps along the way as you pursue your vision. Without goals and a strategic direction on how you will get where you want to go, your vision is merely a stated wish. Setting goals and acting on them can help you get moving.
Have you ever set goals with your team? Here are some tips to get you started:
1) Set the goal and make sure it’s as specific as you can possibly make it.
2) Identify the people responsible for accomplishing the goal. Accountability counts.
3) Time activate it. You need deadlines. Deadlines bring your work to life and prevent procrastination.
4) Evaluate regularly. Make sure you’re tracking your goals and adjusting them as needed.
Effective and consistent team meetings matter when you’re trying to move toward your vision. You can keep the vision alive by keeping your goals in the forefront of your team meetings, monitoring your progress, setting new goals when the old ones are met, adjusting any goals that you’re struggling with, and celebrating progress along the way.
As a leader with a vision for your business, stay consistent, persistent, and on course. Don’t back down. Listen to any questions and concerns from your team, be prepared to answer them, and provide your team with a safe place to contribute to the cause.
You will gain momentum more quickly when you take the time to communicate regularly with your team: 1) where are we now? 2) where are we going? and 3) how will we get there?
You have everything you need to run a great practice. Put intention and focus into your work and remember—the difference between where you are now and where you want to be is your potential. The way you're going to get there is by your level of execution. I look forward to celebrating your vision becoming a reality in the near future.