Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Office Culture? What’s That?

Your business culture is so important to your success that it will break you if not controlled and directed from the top. As most of my clients know I am a big fan of the Disney culture. I read their blog and have attended a program on Team Management that was offered by the “Disney Institute”. When I joined Henry Schein eleven years ago I was impressed at the way they had developed a similar culture and emphasized the team approach. The Disney Institute is a real place in the Magic Kingdom, but it is not for kids. You have a vision of what you want and now you have to learn how to energize your team and get them to believe.

Believe in the Dream … Leadership is getting your team to understand your vision and adopt it as theirs. Leadership is getting people to do what they don’t want to do (work) and enjoy doing it. All of my clients have a vision and they all follow their dreams in different ways, but how you speak to your team on a daily basis will define the organizations culture. Where most leaders fail is when they forget how to encourage and your patients sense it.

Encourage don’t Discourage … People are different and their personalities will effect their job performance. Understanding personalities and focusing on the positives is essential for a quality business culture. Encourage the positives, train the negatives and keep an open door to suggestions and ideas, manage by walking around.

Management by Walking Around (MWA) … The phrase was created by IBM back in the 1980’s. The concept was based on the idea that a department manager would get up from their desk and walk around the department so they could interact with their team and develop a winning culture. Disney changed the phrase to “Management by Wandering Around” because when you wander you are relaxed and approachable. At the time I attended the institute’s program I owned a small company that employed around 45 people. The first day back I tried the Disney version of MWA and was amazed at the instant results. My team entire team responded in a very positive way and an enhanced team work culture began to develop. Throughout my career I have seen all types of business owners. Some are respected and some are feared. The real culture killer that will hurt your business and breeds discontent is a strict regiment and fear.

The Regiment … I believe that people get up in the morning for one of three reasons, fortune, glory, or the betterment of humanity. For most of us, fortune comes first. Your team members show up every morning because they need to support their lives. Your office is not where they want to be, it is where they have to be so management has to develop a culture of growth, advancement and achievement. Your team needs direction and continuity or you will have team turnover and that puts the breaks on any organization. In a recent email I saw, a manager use the word “punish”, wrong, wrong, wrong. By “cracking a whip” you are not fostering the vision. You need a blend of empathy and accountability.

The Vision … It is hard to develop, implement, and travel the path through your career. The first question to ask yourself (being realistic) is what exactly do you want. I asked that question to a young dentist after a practice acquisition. The answer was “I want it all, the houses, cars and boats, how do I get there?” I like to think that my job is to help my clients chart their path so their dreams come true. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

July 24, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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