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415: What If… No Rules

This episode is the perfect follow-up to episode 409, “Yes, … and?” In it, Kiera challenges listeners to use the What If? method to solve problems and come up with amazing ideas. The concept: Write down the rules of your industry on one side of a piece of paper. Then, across from each rule, write down, “What if …” and then flip that rule around! Kiera shares how she created an entire business plan with this method.

The what if method incorporates the soul of your team and the systems of your practice into one extremely fun activity (best meeting ever?).

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Podcast Transcript:



0:00:05.6 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, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner and I have a team of traveling consultants where we have traveled to over a 165 different offices coaching teams. Yup, we don't just understand you. We are you. 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.


0:00:51.0 KD: Hello, Dental A Team listeners, this is Kiera. Alright, remember how I like teased you on the Yes, And Podcast? If you have not listened to that one, get your booties over there, listen to it, it is gonna be such a fun one and I definitely dropped a few ideas on how to hire a hygienist. Guys, I think that that's a huge pain point for you. So, go take a listen, but I teased it up about, What If. So this is gonna be a next layer to that podcast of What If. So on that podcast, we were talking about how you can get your teams to want to grow you, to want to get new ideas, things like that. So I'm gonna take you guys one step further on the What If. So what happens is, I was at a CE, and they were talking about how often we listen and we live by the rules of our industry. And yet so often, so many of our best ideas actually live outside of the industry. So for example, I'm gonna pull from Disney. Disney Land was actually created off of Walt Disney doing this What If experiment.


0:01:57.9 KD: I found this out, I had no clue. I bet you guys didn't know this and if you did rock on, email me, [email protected] I wanna know my other Disney fans out there. So Walt Disney actually did not like how the movies were going. So he didn't like that you had to go at a certain time and it was dark, and so he just started playing... He listed off all the things about going to the movies, you have to pay for a ticket, there's only so many movies that are listed at a certain time, you have to sit on certain rows, there are other people all around you, you usually have to go at night. And these were all the rules of the movies. So then he did, he wrote all that on the left-hand side of the paper, I don't know if this is exactly how he did it, this is just how they showed me. So then on the right-hand side of the paper, you say, What If.


0:02:47.4 KD: So you go through this whole process of What If. So, "What if people could actually watch any movie that they wanted at any time? What if people could come and see the characters from a movie and they were in costume? What if we had food in the shape of people's favorite movie, so they could actually get the experience of the movie while they are participating? What if we had adventure lands in different areas that people could go to? So based on the different types of movies that they enjoy, they can actually go see that type of experience instead. What if you had one ticket that let you watch all the different types of movies?" And if you look at that, so many of those ideas are what led to Walt Disney World and Disneyland.


0:03:33.4 KD: So what's really funny is that came from the rules of the industry of the movies, and Disney, which is in an adventure, a totally different industry with theme parks is actually where it came from. So the idea of this exercise is write down all the rules of your industry. So we're in dentistry. So let's just go through this and I've actually been thinking about this so much because I thought you guys COVID changed everything. We now look at life differently. The way we hire, the way we employ people, the way that the housing market is like, "Oh my gosh," the world has gone bat crazy. So with that said, write down all the rules. So it would be that new patients have to call and make an appointment, or new patients can schedule online. We have to have a hygienist to clean teeth. We have to have a dental assistant to help assist the doctor. And we have to have a front office treatment coordinator to schedule treatment plans. We have to have one or two columns of hygiene for one doctor to keep them busy. Most doctors need to run two or three columns of production. Typically, assistants need to have an assisting license.


0:04:43.1 KD: Sterile tax can be helpful. You just go through all the rules that you have on yourself in your practice. We have to hire using Indeed. And then you just go into this, What if world. So on the other side of the paper, just start writing ideas. So for example, let me... You could say, "What if we didn't have to hire using Indeed? What if we didn't actually even have to have hygienists? What if doctors could do hygiene in their schedule and still be as productive?" And doctors are like, "I actually don't wanna do that." It's fine, just keep writing ideas down. "So what if... What if dental assistants could do hygiene? What if patients didn't have to come back every six months? Is that even a possibility? What if patients could schedule on an app?" Well, that's local med. "What if there was a way that we didn't have to have treatment coordinators upfront and we could do everything chairside, 'cause that would cut down on the overhead and that would cut down on the number of people we'd need to hire?" You guys, all the inventions that we have today come from a What if experience. So the problems you're having right now might actually be able to be solved in this What if experience. So hold please, I'm gonna show you guys how I did this in my own company.


0:06:10.1 KD: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera, and I just wanted to talk to you guys real quick about one of my favorite things, you know I'm obsessed with them, and those are membership plans. Membership plans are one of the easiest ways to grow your practice, and if you guys don't know, Kleer has an incredible membership program that I am obsessed with. They are the one that actually drives results. And honestly, guys, if you implement Kleer today, your practice is actually going to drive two to three times more uninsured patient business, and double your production per patient. They've proven this. They studied this. And, their implementation is fast, virtual, and totally free. So, you guys, pop on over to Kleer to schedule your free demo. And that's Kleer, And no, you're not gonna regret it. We work with them, we love them and they truly are invested in you.


0:06:36.8 KD: Okay, so on consulting, I said that for dental consulting, we have to have knowledge industry, we've got to fly to them, no front office training, old processes, it's a one-to-one approach. There's masterminds, CE driven, siloed approach, every practice is siloed right now. There's no cost collaboration, no business trading for dental practices, private practice or DSO. There's marketing, and the pain points tend to be, in most offices, billing, office management, leadership, business numbers, overhead and bookkeeping, the schedule, new patients and marketing systems, case acceptance and hiring. Okay? So I wrote, "Those were my rules of the industry." Then I did "What if?". You guys, I literally just went for as long as I went. So I said, "What if we cross-collaborate offices and we do kind of like a mastermind approach?"


0:07:22.1 KD: That's something I wrote, "Business intrigued equals entrepreneurs." So what I said, "Teach on-set topics, universal front office training certificates program, so we had a universal front office training where literally your front office could actually be trained in a way that was very simple. What about regional masterminds where we have practices all in every region come together, so they weren't siloed anymore? What if we did dental school trainings? What if we did OM training program? What if we did a dental practice boot camp where it was one week where doctors had business leadership operations manual creation, front office case acceptance and scheduling and marketing?" And I drew out this whole thing and I said, "Hotels, food, team bonding. Could it be virtual? Could we host it in Florida, in Texas?"


0:08:05.4 KD: And then I said, "What if we did dentist connect?" Where it was one time a month, where we did a mastermind. Or what about one time a year where it was a regional in-person where doctors came. A doctor could host it. We could work with banks and CPAs. I even wrote down cost ideas around this. I said we could rotate this on the 12 systems, so it could be the 12 systems that we have in the dental A team. We can have it running on our podcast of how we can get people into this Mastermind Experience. And then I wrote down "What would be the value prop? What would be our how-to specifics? When would we actually wanna do it? What if January was doctors only, so we could do a deep dive on overhead, and then February we'd have... And this could be a virtual mastermind where we could have actually all doctors in one room and it would be myself and a speaker going, and in the other would room teams and they're being trained?" So it's like a one-hour webinar every single month, where we'd literally get all of our doctors together and they can mastermind together. We'd be running it, but we'd literally get all doctors together and they share ideas, and then we also get team members, because a lot of times it's where we're siloed.


0:09:06.0 KD: You guys, I literally built out an entire business plan office. By the way, if you guys like the idea of having Dentist Connect or any of those ideas, email us because we're thinking about our next layer for you guys. That came from a 30-minute What If? Experience that I did when I wrote down the rules of the industry, and then I just went along with a What If? I calculated it out. I figured it out. I looked for different ways. Also, you guys, we're looking to potentially bring in a working with a dental practice, where we would actually do a universal front office training, where a team could fly there, or we have a great way to actually train them on software specific, kind of like a dental school approach, but it would be done virtually.


0:09:46.3 KD: It's like all those fun ideas came when I did a What If? Experiment. "What if I reworked the ideas that are currently the rules of my industry? What if I thought outside the box? What if I failed?" Fantastic. At least I learned one way not to do it. "What if I exceed? What if you figured out a way to do dentistry that didn't require hygiene? That's psycho guys. That's crazy town. But what if you did it? How do you think assisted hygiene came about? I promise you, because somebody got stuck somewhere and they came up with a "What If?" How did eAssist get created where they're a remote billing company? I guarantee you because somebody lost a biller and they said, "I'm never gonna have this happen again," or a biller left a practice and said, "Hey, this is one of the biggest pain points. I'm gonna create a billing company so nobody ever gets stuck like this again." How do you guys think all these different platforms and companies came up? Because somebody did this "What If?". So those pain points you're dealing with, write the rules down. So this is the way you're going to implement this and execute it.


0:10:47.5 KD: Team members, or doctors, whomever you want, all of you can do this. Hygienists, you can write down the rules of hygiene. Dental assistants, you can write down the rules of dental assisting. Treatment coordinators, write down the rules of treatment coordinating. Doctors, write down the rules of doctors. Schedulers, write down your rules of scheduling. And then all of you, you guys could have this, this could be the most incredible fun team meeting you could ever have.


0:11:10.3 KD: I bet you you guys are gonna pull some brilliant ideas from it. All of you write down the rules of your industry or your position. What are the rules? And then on the next sheet do... It's like 15 minutes or 30 minutes, guys, don't get crazy on it. Literally right down a "What If?" experiment. "What if we did things differently?" I promise you the answers to your problems right now are lying there, if you will go and look for them. This is one of my favorite exercises. I can't wait to do it again, 'cause I'm gonna write down the rules of marketing. I'm gonna write down the rules of consulting. I'm gonna write down the rules of sales. I'm gonna write down all the different rules and have my team do this with me, and then do the "What If?" experiment. "What if we did something different? What if it looked like this?" You guys, some of those ideas are stupid, some of those ideas, I'm like, "Ah, would I actually do that?" Probably not. Like dental school trainings, what we meant by that is actually put together a course for dental schools where they'd actually learn front office, because we've found that that's where doctors are so shackled and they don't know the front office.


0:12:06.0 KD: Good idea, bad idea. I'm not sure. [0:12:08.3] ____ and then you go back and you revisit this. And so guys, I want you just to explore. This is something where I'm coming to you, of this is how you incorporate the soul of your people and the systems of your practice. You re-think, you think outside the box, you get creative, and you can do this in every single position. Dental assistants listening, you might not think you can change and revolutionize dentistry. Guess what? You can. You can be just like me, I'm a dental assistant. I started out as a dental assistant, and now I run a dental consulting company across the entire United States and global. That's so fun. I reworked, I thought differently. I literally said, "What if a dental assistant could own a dental practice without being a dentist?" That was my "What If?". That was my goal. I said, "I'm gonna own a dental practice and I'm not going to be a dentist." I didn't know how. But guess what? That came from thinking outside of the box. So guys, I would challenge you, use this exercise, think outside the box, think about "What are my rules of hiring an associate?" Write them down, and then think, "What if I did something different? What are the rules of hiring right now?" And then do a "What If?". You might come up with the best ideas for the pain point that you're struggling with the most, and all it takes is a 30 minutes of thinking time.


0:13:19.8 KD: I usually do this in the morning when I'm doing my Miracle Morning, if you will. And I block it. I block 30 minutes of thinking time in my morning three times a week. This is not a joke, Shelby can attest to this, she's blocked it in for me. I haven't been perfect at it, it's blocked in there, and I've done it twice now over the last two weeks, and it's been incredible. Every single time I do this, something incredible comes. I don't always do this "What If?", but you can literally write the rules of all these different sections and then do the "What If?" experiment on the side. Do it as a team. Try it out, let me know how it goes, let me know the fun, exciting, creative, new, innovative ways that we're doing it. Dentistry in the world has changed since COVID, so now it's time for us to shake it up, rattle it up. And this is one of the greatest ways I've learned to do it that I wanna share with you. So as always, guys, thanks for listening. The Dental A Team podcast is not just about growing your practice in the conventional ways. It's about thinking outside the box. It's about teaching guys to be better humans, better people, so you can positively impact the world around you, 'cause that's our mission and this is the greatest way we know how.


0:14:19.1 KD: Again, I might write the rules of podcasting. The rules of how we can impact people and then do a "What If?". Any of you are welcome to share ideas with us. We always love hearing from you, [email protected] And if we can help you with your systems, with getting your life on track, with getting your team member on track, that is what we're here for. And we love helping offices. We'd love to welcome you into The Dental A Team families, so if you've been thinking about it, email us, [email protected], and we'll be sure to connect with you. As always, guys, thanks so much for listening. I'll catch you next time on The Dental A Team podcast.


0:14:52.3 KD: And that wraps it up for another episode of The Dental A Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you next time.




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