Blog, Dental groups, Growth

Running your dental group based on who you were is limiting growth.

Running your dental group based on who you were and who you are now is limiting your growth.  Many growing dental groups fail to anticipate what is needed to support growth.  Instead they focus on productivity and revenue – which are present moment metrics, benchmarked against the past.

Instead use clever psychology and insightful planning to evolve into who you need to be, to create the future you desire.

Successful businesses understand that creating a vision for the future and a pathway to get there, which builds capability for growth, is fundamental to success.

It’s HOW that plan is delivered which will mean outstanding success.  And the how is in the hands of you and your team.

So, who do you need to be in 5 years time?

Your Future Self

A Fast Company article about this topic quotes a TED Talk entitled “The Psychology of Your Future Self,” by Daniel Gilbert, a Harvard psychologist.  Gilbert talks about his research and that when he asked people if they believe they are the same person they were 10 years ago, most people said no.

He goes on to explain that “despite being able to discern changes in themselves from the past, people consistently underestimate changes that will happen in the future.”

This is exactly the same when it comes to growing your dental group.

Decisions based on the future, not the present

“Hal Hershfield, a psychologist at UCLA, has studied the impact of having a “future self” concept on present decision-making. He found that it’s good to see your future self as a different person than who you are today. When you see your future self as a different person, with different perspectives and preferences, then you can make present decisions based on what your future self would want. These decisions may go counter to what you actually would prefer in a given moment. For example, your current self may want to eat a bag of doughnuts, but if you consider what your future self would prefer, you may come up with a different decision.”

Fast Company article 

The same psychology applies to businesses and teams.  When considering your business vision and plan imagine you have travelled into that 3-to-5 year future.  Imagine observing yourself and your team – who are you, what job roles are part of your infrastructure, how are you behaving, what challenges have you overcome and what have you learned?

Created with Sketch. I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then. Alice in Wonderland.

Deliberate Practice

Having a clear vision and goal you are working toward means you will be more deliberate about your decisions and what you invest in your learning and personal growth.

Having a goal shapes the process.

However, you need more than a goal.

You need to shape your identity and that of your business.

You need to be clear on who you as a business are becoming.

This is different from measurement by turnover or EBITDA.

Without investment now in the future identity of your business you will reach a plateau, or even decline.

What do we mean by business identity?

Identity tends to conjure up brand – logo, website appearance, marketing approach etc.  Business identity is often intrinsically linked with the Founder – they become the ‘face’ of the organisation.  But, when you’re considering the identity of your future business, you need to be considering what else impacts on this:

Your people.

Your culture.

The way we do things around here.

The way we make decisions.

The way we measure and monitor outcomes/successes.

The skills and capabilities of the people doing it.

What we invest in the skills and capabilities of our people.

Created with Sketch. "The truth is your brand is not your brand until you truly let go and allow the people who helped you discover it to explore, push boundaries, make mistakes, and challenge you. It takes courage to be a founder. It takes even more courage to let go." Balwant Ahira, Creative Brand Director, Studio Ahira

The right people, ahead of the right time

Dental group owners and Founders who have grown up to a point often struggle to see the benefit of expanding the Senior Leadership Team.

Instead they invest in ‘doers’ with the view of reducing their own workload so that they can focus strategically.

But the more ‘doers’ appointed, the harder it becomes to bring in new Senior Managers.

Meanwhile, it means that the Founder is still making all decisions, delegating and having to follow up actions.

Consequently, it becomes harder and harder to let go of the ‘reins’.

To really drive and accelerate growth within a dental group, you need to have a skilled and experienced Senior Leadership team in post early on.  They are the strategic leaders and decision-makers of your organisation.

The team who are ready to lead your future organisation now.  The team who are invested in future growth, as much as present productivity and revenue.

To ensure your dental group grows, recruit and appoint for tomorrow’s ambitions, not today’s needs.

Want to scale your dental group?  What are you waiting for?  Read more here.

Want to ensure you maximise the multiple as you scale your dental group?  More here.

Lyn and Rob Paxman the evolveyou dental team have worked with several dental groups, including the countrys’ largest dental corporate, helping them to accelerate growth.  Contact us for a conversation about how we will work with you.