Too often, dentists have run their practices under the “I say, you do” philosophy. While this can certainly ensure that your practice focuses on the areas you want it to focus on, it can also put too much on you since you are accepting responsibility for all of the decision-making. That level of micro-management is often too much work for one person, and dentists often find themselves so mired in the business management side of their practice that other areas suffer.
Luckily, consultant and dental practice management expert, Frank Curtin is here to teach you a different way to lead. Frank utilizes a modified version of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) method to help dentists learn to delegate more, micromanage less, and become more productive as a result. Frank recently joined me for an episode of the Progressive Dentist Podcast to share his simple, smart strategies for delegating responsibility and empowering your staff to prioritize what matters and make decisions that can allow your dental practice to thrive and allow you to focus on the important things.
During our discussion, Frank shared how he helps his consultancy clients streamline their dental practices, put the right team members in the right positions, and allow their staffs to understand his clients’ priorities and make decisions based on those goals.
Setting the Right Goals and Priorities
One of the key points Frank discussed during our conversation was the need to set short- and long-term goals and designate responsibilities based upon an accountability chart within your dental practice. Being clear with your staff about their responsibilities and your priorities is key to getting everyone on the same page and working in unison. Frank recommends you set plans in 90-day and 1, 2 and 5-year increments. By working toward short-term goals, you can set the stage to meet your long-term goals as well.
Each person on your staff should understand how they are contributing to these goals and should understand their areas of responsibility. Once they understand these things, they can be empowered to make decisions themselves rather than coming to you for everything. By shifting the decision-making from you to your staff, you can spread out the responsibilities so that you no longer have to micromanage every little detail of your practice.
Visionaries and Integrators
As Frank explained it, “visionaries” are the people who set the goals for an organization. Typically, this role would be filled by the dentist who owns the practice. Conversely, “integrators” are responsible for getting things done and implementing procedures and processes to achieve those goals. Visionaries take a big-picture view of the practice, while integrators have a more managerial can-do attitude.
These two roles work in tandem to strengthen the operations of the dental practice, and they serve as a check against each other. A visionary may come up with a fantastic idea, but maybe it isn’t the right time to implement a big change. In this case, the integrator’s responsibility would be to rein in the visionary and keep the focus on what needs to be done for the practice right now.