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323: How to Grow a Practice- Nonconventional Idea

If you’re a Dental A-Team podcast listener, you KNOW Kiera is all about creating a word for each year. In this episode, she shares her 2021 word, invites listeners to do the same … and then encourages your PRACTICE to come up with a word for the year, too!

For example: The DAT’s 2021 word? Maximization! 

This topic is a great one for weekly meetings. Gather your team together to brainstorm word ideas that represent what your practice wants to accomplish this year. Then share them with us: [email protected]. We can’t wait to hear your words!

 

Podcast Transcript

Kiera Dent:

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast. I'm your host Kiera Dent, and I had this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective. Because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, biller, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants where we have traveled to over 165 different offices coaching teams. Yep, we don't just understand you, we are you.

Kiera Dent:

Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress and create A Teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast.

Kiera Dent:

Hello Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera, and you guys, happy day to you. I hope you guys are doing so well out there. I hope it's a fantastic day. I am having a fantastic day. I just wrapped up an office visit. I was with an office for the last four days. Or, excuse me, two days, seeing four offices, and we just did their quarterly traction meetings. It was really fun to do something different, to do something that I've never done. It was really exciting to go around. We have a big flagship practice, so their main practice, and then we went to three of their smaller practices to get them just kind of started on traction.

Kiera Dent:

And so we called them kind of our baby meetings. They were a little bit smaller. And you guys, it was awesome. I'm excited. I'm going to actually have the office manager get on a podcast with me this afternoon to go over how it was from her perspective and how it was going around to all these practices. So I'm on a high. I hope you guys are on a high. And I am getting ready to do a nice five-hour drive to my next practice. I had a chance to fly, but I was concerned with the weather that flights might not go out. And you guys know, if you know me at all, when sleep is on the line, you better believe that I will not jeopardize my sleep. So I'll get in about two hours earlier doing this, so that way I get to sleep before the office tomorrow.

Kiera Dent:

So, you guys, today's podcast, I wanted to talk to you because I know it's beginning of the year and I did a podcast earlier where we talked about creating a word for the year. And what I mean by that is, each of you choosing your word for the year of what you want this year to be. I gave the example that I've done in the past, where I would pick a word for myself, and then that would be like the theme for my life.

Kiera Dent:

So for example, last year it was I wanted to really be strong, so for 2020 my word was strong. And then, if you listened to the podcast, you know I got bored with that and so I chose the phrase best. I wanted to live my best life. So that stood for balanced, essential, strong and timely. Because those were four areas that I wanted to improve last year. So I was living my best life in 2020.

Kiera Dent:

And truly, a lot of those things came true. It was a really great experience for me. So this year, I came up with my word while I was in Hawaii on a trip. It was great. I think everybody should go to Hawaii to set their New Year's goals. It's probably one of the best things I ever did. And what happened was I was fighting the word that I wanted it to be. The word that first came to me was love, and I thought that was a dumb word. I thought it was a very weak word. I have a struggle with feeling weak. For a long time, I used to wish that I was a guy because I thought women weren't as strong.

Kiera Dent:

Now, obviously I've changed my mind and I think women can be very powerful. I think men can be very powerful. I think it can be a great thing, just making sure you embrace and love yourself. So as soon as I thought that this was a weak word, I realized I probably actually need this word more than I think I need this word. And so, I ended up choosing the phrase to love myself this year. And that kind of encompasses boundaries. It encompasses being able to say no. It encompasses doing things that are best for me.

Kiera Dent:

Hello, Dental A Team. I hope you are as excited as I am, because guess what? May 14th and 15th this year, we are running Dental A Team's full team Summit for the first time ever. It's May 14th and 15th, a Friday, Saturday, and it's CE training for you and your whole team in your practice. So in the past, you've had to fly your whole team to get full team CE. And instead, we're bringing the CE to you.

Kiera Dent:

You guys, I have attended so many virtual events and I cannot wait because this is going to be epic of all epics. We're going to teach you guys, with your whole team working together, how to build your dream practice, how to have accountable teams and run effective meetings. We're going to have breakout sessions with each department specifically. So billing, OM, TCs, schedulers, hygienists, assistants and doctors, and we're going to round table style learning from the best. We're going to have lessons on leadership. We're having guest speakers come in. You guys, it is going to be epic and I want all of you there. So head on over to our website, thedentalateam.com/events, and snag your ticket for you and your team to attend Dental A Team's full team Summit this year.

Kiera Dent:

I love what we do. I've noticed I have had some health issues come up by not prioritizing my health. And so, really showing forth that love and compassion towards myself was what I felt. And I felt weak, you guys. It was a word I was resisting, but I realized it encompasses everything I want to be. And then of course I decided to make the acronym LAF, L-A-F. So it's the year of laughter and fun, and LAF stands for love myself. So love me, act fearlessly and live fulfilled.

Kiera Dent:

So love, act fearlessly and fulfillment are kind of the zones I'm going for, and that's kind of my recipe for how to feel fulfilled is to love myself first, then to act fearlessly, and then to find fulfillment through life. So that is, in a nutshell, kind of how I came up with my word for myself and my phrase for myself this year. And so I hope you guys have done that.

Kiera Dent:

But I wanted to take it one step further, which is something I've never, ever done until this year. And I'm so excited about it because I did it in my company and we didn't even try to, and when we did it, I realized, "Oh my gosh, we've got to podcast about this." And it is creating a word or a phrase for your practice as well. So choosing a word.

Kiera Dent:

So what happened was Kayla and I were actually in our company traction meeting, and we were going through, we were setting our goals for the year, and we actually started to revamp our core values. So you guys, every business goes through ebbs and flows. We realized our core values were lacking a lot of the fundamentals. We noticed our culture was different and we kind of dissected, "What's going on with our culture? What's going on with the people we're hiring?" We noticed our interviews weren't as great as we wanted them to be.

Kiera Dent:

And so we actually scrapped our core values and we went back to the drawing board. We thought, "Let's look at our core and see if that's really where we're at." So, you guys, if you want to do this, look to see, what are you getting? What's your culture of your company? And be okay to change that. I believe that business is ... dental practices should be fluid, and if we're not willing to make changes, how are we ever going to make ourselves better? Because who we were a year ago is not who we are today. The experiences we had over the last year maybe morphed us and changed us.

Kiera Dent:

And I was actually listening to this really cool podcast that I'll dive into more where they talked about changing up your core values. And I thought, "You know, our core values aren't what I think they should be." I mean, our first one's fun, which I love to have fun. But we're considering changing it maybe to energy. That we bring fun energy and exciting energy and good work ethic energy and professionalism energy. So maybe it's more about our energy and not so much about fun.

Kiera Dent:

Because we noticed we started to attract people that kind of were lazy. Not saying the people that have come or gone were that way, by any stretch, just our applicants. We were getting a lot of people that weren't what we wanted. So as we were changing up our core values, Kayla, shout out to her, I love her insights in our business, her and I were talking about, "Well, what do we want 2021 to be for the business?" And we were making up our rocks and our goals and the wildly important goals that we wanted to set and then what we were going to do this quarter.

Kiera Dent:

And we did a brainstorm dump and we kind of realized that this year, our word for the business is maximization. We've built for the last four years. Dental A Team has been on a rampage to build content, to produce content, to make more content, to deliver more value. And Kayla had a really good point. We were looking at all the things that we have. You guys, half the stuff that we have, we haven't even released to you.

Kiera Dent:

And so, we have all this content that we have. We have all these workshops that we put on. All this amazing content that we've produced, but yet, it's just sitting in our Google Drive, not doing anything. And so we thought, how could we maximize our business this year? How could we take what we already have built? So making our lives easier, but maximizing.

Kiera Dent:

And that's where all of a sudden the idea for this podcast came up of helping you guys create a word for your practice. So we talked about, on the other one, making a personal word, but consider making a word for your practice. What would encompass for you? I had a dental ... And this came up last night on one of my coaching calls where I have a practice and they've been building, building. They've been taking a ton of CE. And the reality is, it feels good to take CE because we feel like we're making progress, but what if we're not actually using that CE to maximize the practice?

Kiera Dent:

So this office that I was talking to, they've taken sleep, they've taken ortho, they've taken implants. They're doing a couple of implants a month and that's it. And so, for them, I also thought the word maximize, maximization, is a great word for their practice. So how can they maximize what they already have? And how can we get those systems super tight? So how can we get the systems on sleep super tight? How can we get the systems on our implants super tight? How can we maximize all the seeds that we've planted over the years and actually bring those into harvest this year?

Kiera Dent:

And so, that's why I wanted you guys to ... This is a great team meeting. You guys can do this on a morning huddle. You can do this on a weekly calibration meeting. You could do it on a monthly team meeting. You choose. Whatever you want, whatever's your flavor. You guys know I'm an EOS traction through-and-through girl. So we would run this on our traction meeting. You guys could put this on an issues list.

Kiera Dent:

But creating the word that you want to execute this year for your practice and really getting that dialed in, that's going to help drive your goals. So I know, and it's crazy, I've never done this. So you guys, I'm telling you something that we just implemented. I've done it for my personal life and it's worked insanely well. I've done it for the last three, four years, and it's worked amazing. I feel like I'm very focused on that. I build things around that, and I've really loved that experience. And then I thought, why not do the same principle in our business and get the whole team bought into it?

Kiera Dent:

So this year, Dental A Team's word is maximization. So when we build our rocks, when we're thinking of new ideas, instead of constantly creating new, how can we maximize what we've already got and how can we take our practice to the next level in the easiest, simplest, most efficient way possible, and let's grow that.

Kiera Dent:

So for you guys, like I said, get everyone together. You guys can have them brainstorm words for the practice. What would encompass what we want to accomplish this year as a practice? And then maybe hang that. I know ... If you guys want my word, I actually made it on an Etsy bracelet. So yes, those of you wondering, since I have three words, technically, I made three different Etsy bracelets.

Kiera Dent:

But my main one, it says love me, and that's a shout-out to Kayla again. Kayla had this idea to build these Etsy bracelets. So we were looking at them. So you guys could actually, if you wanted, if the word was a really cool word for your whole team, Etsy makes bracelets, so if you have ... I don't know if all team members would want a bracelet, but you could it as a bracelet so the team remembers that we're working on ... it could be maximization, or you could even get them their own personal words and then maybe at the office you hang that word up in all the operatories or on the computers or maybe that's your background with your logo on it. But just putting it there.

Kiera Dent:

Because what's really cool is that as we ... I love to be lazy. I love to be efficient. That Taurus side of me that likes to just hang out, and then get really excited and then be done. I definitely love things to work in my subconscious, because I believe that it makes me better without a lot of effort. So I'm really all about putting things out there that I see every single day. Of course we've got to focus on it, but that's a great way, if you guys pop it on your computers, if you have it in your weekly meetings, it's the same thing about goals. What we focus on, we achieve, that becomes our reality.

Kiera Dent:

And so putting it in places that your team can see. You could make bracelets for it. You could find different things. Maybe it's a bookmark for your book club group. Like I said, you could put it on the TV screens. Maybe you incorporate it to your logo this year. There's so many different fun things that you could do. Don't make it crazy town, because obviously complexity's the enemy of execution, but use your team to get together, create a company word that you guys focus on this year and just see what happens.

Kiera Dent:

You guys are welcome to take this challenge with me. Obviously we have core values. We have our core values. Those are not going to change. But kind of the focus word for this year is something that we're going to execute on and we've already put it into place. So we wrote it up on a whiteboard. Our HQ is a grand total of 420 square feet, so we all can see it from any office, from any angle. It's a very small, cozy, adorable HQ, if any of you ever want to come visit us in Reno. We will happily do tours. It's done in about two minutes, but we'll definitely give a cake pop on your way out or some other form of treat, because that's just the Dental A Team way.

Kiera Dent:

But yes. Come take the grand tour and then we'll take you up to Tahoe and go paddle-boarding or snowboarding, whatever season you choose to come in. But the reality is, that's where we put it, so that way we could see it every day, our team could focus on it. If you have multiple practices, maybe each office wants to have their own individual word.

Kiera Dent:

So you guys, there is a weekly meeting topic, a start your year off right topic, something to just help you guys think a little bit differently, do things a little differently and get different results. And as always, thank you guys so much for listening. If you found value in this podcast, please just take a second, leave us a review, share this with a friend, subscribe. That helps the practice grow, or the podcast grow, just like you guys grow your practices. And as always, thank you guys so much for listening and I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team podcast.

Kiera Dent:

All right Dental A Team listeners, that's a wrap. Thank you so much for listening, and if you loved today's podcast, go leave us a review. It takes you five seconds and your review helps more offices, more practices, more team members just like you find out about the Dental A Team. Thank you guys so much for being part of my Dental A Team family.

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