What does it mean to be progressive?

by LACI PHILLIPS & BONNIE PUGH

Coastal Pediatric Dentistry
James A Forester, DDS
San Luis Obispo, CA

The dictionary defines progressive as:

“making use of or interested in new ideas, findings or opportunities”.

This magazine focuses on that very definition with a history of bringing new ideas to the forefront. We have been a fan of the magazine from it’s inception and wanted to find a way to incorporate it in our coaching experience outside of making sure all clients subscribe to it.

So, what makes a dentist and their team progressive? Is the progressive dentist a progressive individual who naturally brought their ambition into their practice? Is a progressive dentist one who can see growth and opportunity when the rest of the community is experiencing a decrease in business? Is a progressive dentist a leader who cultivates leadership within the team? We believe a progressive dentist exhibits all these traits, and more. When you work with the best dentists in the country it is our job to continuously challenge and bring out the best in them.

At the beginning of last year, we developed a new team meeting to encourage creativity, break down walls, and bring out the ownership mentality with the entire team. We introduced this activity to all our teams throughout the year and watched the creativity and growth soar.

Creating the vision for the future in a team workshop.

The activity was called The Progressive Dentist Cover and Featured Article. During our team meeting, we introduced the team to the Progressive Dentist Magazine (if they had not been already). We explained that the editorial team at the Progressive Dentist would be visiting their office in 3 years to take pictures and conduct interviews because they were to be featured on the cover and would have an editorial piece written about them. We asked the team to work individually and create their own cover of the magazine with a creative cover story title. On the back of the cover they had to identify and describe 3 obstacles the business or team were facing and had to overcome to ultimately become the cover story. We provided all the art supplies and gave the teams plenty of time to complete their art work. Once completed each team member presented their cover work and editorial to the team, with the obstacles and solutions. We debriefed each piece as we moved forward, capturing key points.

The activity was called The Progressive Dentist Cover and Featured Article. During our team meeting, we introduced the team to the Progressive Dentist Magazine (if they had not been already). We explained that the editorial team at the Progressive Dentist would be visiting their office in 3 years to take pictures and conduct interviews because they were to be featured on the cover and would have an editorial piece written about them. We asked the team to work individually and create their own cover of the magazine with a creative cover story title. On the back of the cover they had to identify and describe 3 obstacles the business or team were facing and had to overcome to ultimately become the cover story. We provided all the art supplies and gave the teams plenty of time to complete their art work. Once completed each team member presented their cover work and editorial to the team, with the obstacles and solutions. We debriefed each piece as we moved forward, capturing key points.

By asking the team to create the stories and present to us, it clearly highlighted where they were struggling and what was getting in the way of their progress. It was amazing how many different perspectives came out and how everyone embraced the feedback and offered solutions.

Every one of our clients participated in this workshop, and today we are excited to present 3 of our clients and their stories to the Progressive community.

By asking the team to create the stories and present to us, it clearly highlighted where they were struggling and what was getting in the way of their progress. It was amazing how many different perspectives came out and how everyone embraced the feedback and offered solutions.

Every one of our clients participated in this workshop, and today we are excited to present 3 of our clients and their stories to the Progressive community.

Client A:
Dr. Jane Birriel

Dr. Birriel is in a town in southern Louisiana that faces many small-town business obstacles. It is a town that is dependent on the oil and gas industry and their economy flows with this industry. Many people in the town move and travel for their work creating a challenging patient flow. We have also faced challenges of finding qualified team members. Finally, we have had to overcome a challenge to think outside of this small town to create an exciting marketing campaign to incorporate cutting edge technology. Dr. Birriel puts continuing education at the top of her priority list and encourages her team to do the same.

It was soon discovered this team was missing key essential systems that would enable them to educate and train new team members as well as new patients. The foundation of this practice is very solid with Dr. Jane Birriel being a productive part of this community, but she needed to implement systems that would allow her team to mirror her vision with their skills and customer service dedication.

Goals that were set for the year during this team meeting were implementing new technology, writing and implementing a full systems manual and new marketing efforts which would include outside zip codes.

Client B:
Dr. Michelle Lumsdon

Dr. Lumsdon is a beautiful soul with a caring heart. She has structured her business and team to be forward thinking and compassionate about patient care. She has a strong team who have been working with her for a good amount of time. They have created a unique system for hygiene patients. Her 4-woman hygiene team is dedicated to staying on time and team work but they rely on efficiency and teamwork to make this happen. What the team needed most to complete this process is a unique team member known as the Magic Unicorn who could float between hygiene and doctor, understand patient care in this office and be able to see the schedule as a big picture. This position would become our air traffic control.

The goals this team set during our meeting were production increase while working less hours, education of the patients and team, an additional team member known as the “Magic Unicorn”, social media campaigns, & customer service excellence. Pretty high goals but through teamwork and dedication they succeeded.

Client C:
Dr. James Forester

Dr. Jimmy Forester is a fun client for us for several reasons. First, he is a pediatric dentist with a crazy busy practice and second, he is very forward thinking. He started his practice in California 5 years ago and has grown to the point of already expanding the office space once and is considering another expansion. His team has grown, his patient base has grown and he continues to look to the future with no sight of slowing down.

During our team meeting with Dr. Forester, we discovered the busyness of the office was in fact one of their issues. The goals we set for this practice were scheduling efficiency, structured systems and exceptional communication for both the team and the patients.

Dr. Forester is the only dentist in the practice, however due to the nature of pediatric dentistry, he has 8 chairs which include hygiene appointments and restorative. Scheduling was one of their main challenges.

We find many offices do not have clear and descriptive systems, this office was desperately in need of a living breathing systems manual to clearly define how each department should function on a day to day basis.

With so many moving parts to this office, it was imperative the team had great communication systems as well as their communication to parents and the kids.

Overall Success

2017 was a great year for our clients. We are excited to report every one of our clients experienced growth last year. We chose these 3 clients stories to tell for their individuality, their passion and their growth.

Dr. Jane Birriel saw a 5.61% growth in her practice in a year where families moved out of town and businesses closed their doors because of the main industry in town saw a decrease. Dr. Birriel and her team never considered closing their doors. Rather, they asked for and accepted help, continued to strive to be different and never gave into another industry dictating their success.

Dr. Michelle Lumsdon and her team found their Magic Unicorn, continued with training and education and increased their presence on social media. On top of all that they enjoyed a 18% growth while working less days.

Dr. Jimmy Forester continues to be an amazing dentist to the little ones, while expanding his physical office, searching for the perfect associate and being a key community leader. His business has increased by 44% just last year.

What makes a dentist progressive? The mentality, the action, the passion. There are many attributes and characteristics that define a Progressive Dentist. The one main theme we see in our doctors is the desire to continue. Continue to be great, continue to learn and continue to grow. We believe a Progressive Dentist is one that sees the big picture, believes in the bright future and reaches out for guidance when needed. As you read each month and discover new progressive dentists, continue to ask yourself…

These and other “Featured Progressive Practice” segments will be live in the ProPractice in August! Join us to see how these and other practices are growing, often against the odds, and making an impact in their communities!

laci phillips
founding partner of practice dynamics

Laci discovered at an early age her true passion for speaking and entertaining audiences. As a founding partner at Practice Dynamics she combines her knowledge of dentistry and with passion for teams to deliver customized coaching, workshops and speaking events throughout the country.

Laci began her road to coaching as a chairside assistant while going to college to pursue a dream of one day having her own talk show. While working her way to the business side of dentistry, she was fortunate to learn from top industry professionals. The experience gained on this journey gives her unique insight into the technology and business side of dentistry. The experience of working in high tech offices, as well as, high-end cosmetic practices has instilled in her the passion and the knowledge to coach dental teams on their journey to excellence.

Balancing coaching dental teams with her speaking career is dream come true. Each time she takes the stage her passion for dentistry and the dental team comes to life in her words and the lessons she teaches.

Practice Dynamics specializes in coaching teams to reach their goals through balance driven success using systems, teams and technology.

Laci L. Phillips
623-810-1352 cell
888-425-3235 x701
Practice Dynamics
[email protected]
www.practicedynamics.net

bonnie pugh
founding partner of practice dynamics

Bonnie, founding partner at Practice Dynamics, blends her love for the dental industry and business to help dental teams across the country reach new heights in their success. She specializes in coaching teams to goal by blending their unique philosophy with proven systems and business practices.

Bonnie has a long record of success in the business of dentistry. Prior to founding Practice Dynamics she was the Product Line Manager for the Dental Division of Carestream Dental. In this role she was responsible for the strategic planning of the dental practice management line of products. This experience gives her a unique understanding of the blend of the business of dentistry, the technology that supports it and the teams that make it happen.

A professed lifetime learner and educator Bonnie recently took on the role of Executive Director of the Academy of Dental Management Consultants. In this role she guides an organization that serves to help dental management consultants throughout the country improve and grow their skills.
Her love for knowledge and personal growth drives her to provide balance driven success through systems, teams and technology for the practices she works with every day.

Bonnie Pugh
443-676-1671 cell
888-425-3235 x700
Practice Dynamics
[email protected]
www.practicedynamics.net