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434: Quarterly Meetings: 90-Day Sprint Plans

Continuing on our journey of meetings this month … It’s time to talk quarterly meetings! Kiera shares the basic blueprints for setting up these meetings, basically 90-day sprint plans, that will continually align your team.

  1. Preschedule the meetings

  2. Build an issues list

  3. Revisit the focus of the company

  4. Review the previous quarter

  5. Build out what must happen next

The folks who should be at these meetings are your leaders, department heads, doctors, owners. Kiera also mentions specific books attendees should read in advance of quarterly meetings.

Does setting up these meetings feel daunting? Not to worry, the Dental A-Team can help you! We’ll visit your office quarterly to get these meetings going, and eventually you’ll be ready to do them on your own!

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Listen to episode 428: Are Your Morning Huddles “Womp-Womp-Womp”?

Listen to episode 431: Is Your Team Aligned?

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Podcast Transcript:

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0:00:05.6 Speaker 1: Hey everyone, welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent, and I have 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 in a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants, where we have travelled to over 165 different offices, coaching teams. Yep, 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 team. Welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast.

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0:00:50.5 S1: Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera and oh guys, do I have a topic for you. So today's topic is quarterly meetings, and it feels quite timely for me because let's be real, this is two days before our Q4 quarterly meeting, so I'm super jazzed to be sharing with you guys how I run quarterly meetings, how we execute them in offices, and the reality is, we even have some practices where we just go out and see them every quarter. We facilitate these meetings, we help them grow, get the whole team on board, and then off we go. Kind of building for them a 90-day sprint plan, if you will. So the reason I like quarterly meetings is because it aligns the entire team. It gets everybody rowing in the same direction, it recalibrates us, it refocuses, and it allows us a time to really drill down to what's the most important things to get done in the next 90 days to move the company forward. It also keeps everybody highly hyper-accountable.

0:01:44.2 S1: So yes, these quarterly meetings are run off of the Traction by Gino Wickman model. There's another company, Heart and Soul, that we pull from, so we kind of... We do mostly Traction, we also have turned it into some of our own things as well, but generally speaking, it's pretty much the same format. One thing I found though is, yes, I can run these and I'm super good at facilitating meetings. It's also really nice to have somebody else facilitate to push you. I have a facilitator every so often that will join us. A lot of offices literally only pay us to fly in for quarterly meetings because we push them, we drive them, we get them all aligned, and we're able to say things that sometimes team members struggle to say with one another. We'll push back on an idea, we'll ask and say, "Is that actually the most important thing to get done this quarter?" So if you guys are ever interested, you're curious on that, wanna know more of how we do it, email us, [email protected]

0:02:37.4 S1: I will say the offices that do this with us, we drop their overhead usually between a 5-30% in one quarter, 'cause we focus on the business, we focus on the systems, we focus on the people, and really just making sure we're driving, getting you guys all aligned on your goals, your accountability. So it's really, really fun. I know that they're insanely effective. We've done it for hundreds of practices, and we do it in our own company. We've seen our own company quadruple since implementing these, so that's why I'm a pro quarterly meetings. So with that said, what I would suggest is number one, they've gotta be pre-scheduled, alright? So pre-scheduled, we run ours for eight hours. It's a long time. We do them virtual or in person, and I actually haven't found one to be more effective over another. Sometimes it's easier in person, 'cause you can push on them a little harder, you can get the vibe in the room, and also if things start to get a little... Sometimes it gets a little spicy, [chuckle] if you will, 'cause people are talking about different opinions, sometimes in person, that's a little easier to navigate. However, I have navigated those conversations via Zoom very successfully.

0:03:42.2 S1: So the leadership team, your key players, so typically office manager, regional manager, lead hygienist, lead dental assistant, lead front office, doctor, maybe associates, that's typically who's invited to this quarterly meeting. The people who are going to be on this leadership meeting, they have to be willing to say the uncomfortable, they have to be willing to be problem solvers, they have to be willing to say what needs to be said in order to make sure that the whole organisation is moving forward in the correct manner. That's sometimes awkward. So a great book is Patrick Lencioni's Five Dysfunctions of Teams. I recommend everybody read that before attending a quarterly. I also recommend reading What the Heck Is EOS or Traction before coming to the quarterly meeting, so people at least know and they're not just wasting time.

0:04:26.6 S1: So then, you guys start it out. There's a segue, you break it down, you talk about what are the wins from the last quarter, what are the areas that we need to grow on. That's gonna build an issues list for you, then you review what is the focus of our company. Where are we headed in the next one year, three years, 10 years? What are our core values? What is our passion? What's our niche? What's our target market? Are all those things aligned? We revisit those every single quarter, and yes, I have changed at my quarterly meetings, I've changed at my goals, I've changed at my core values multiple times, because we wanna make sure that we're always driving towards the North Star that's really our North Star.

0:05:04.9 S1: After that, we actually review last quarter. How did last quarter go? Did we accomplish everything we set out? Were they the actual best goals for us to work on? Were they busy work? What happened? Were they successful? Were they not successful? Were they actually SMART, so specific, measurable, attainable, realistic with a timeframe? Did that happen? How did last quarter go? Did we feel like it was a win of a quarter? Did we feel like it wasn't and why? I like to drill into why. [chuckle] Why was it successful? Why was it not successful? Then after that, we build our next set of rocks. Rocks are kind of hard to understand if you haven't read the book, so I call this the 90-day sprint plan. What has to happen? They're the must, the absolute have to happen over the next 90 days. What are they? So with that said, we have to figure out where we're at, meaning what has to happen for each department. Some people will say, "We have to call our attorney for getting our handbook into play."

0:06:05.0 S1: I'm gonna ask is that a rock, is that gonna take you 90 days to accomplish, or is that more of a to-do? A lot of times we put big goals when they're actually just to-dos. So a big goal would be, like for our company, last quarter we realised, "Hey, in order for us to grow, we have to have our operations manual in play." We have to have a training process for every single department, because we don't have that. We're very, very vulnerable as a company, right now it's called #TheGreatResignation, people are shifting jobs, people are coming and going, people are losing employees or adding employees, and we realised as a company that's where we're the most vulnerable. So yeah, it was more of a growth quarter versus a progress quarter, if you will. So did me spending all that money and time to have my team build out operations for our operations manual this last quarter, did that actually grow our business profitably? The answer is no, it did not. However, if I don't have that foundation, I'm not going to be able to run as far, because if we have team turnover, guess what? It's very hard to replace them, it's very hard to train them, all those different things. So we have to figure out, "What do they need to do? What do we need to put it into play so that way we can run long-term?" That was our leadership team. We all drilled down and realised that, "We have to get this done."

0:07:21.8 S1: Are you guys sick of trying to figure it out on your own? I know I am. When I'm trying to run a business, sometimes I just think, "There's got to be a better way to do this." And so for me, my answer has been to find someone who's done it and does it really, really, really well. I'm talking the best of the best of the best. I want someone who's been in my shoes, somebody who understands what I'm going through. When I was looking for the consulting business, I found a coach who literally has run a consulting business. Well, that seemed like the perfect fit. So you guys, right now we have a few spaces open in our Platinum Consulting, that is in the consulting where we actually come to your practice, we help you get systems implemented. We don't just tell you what systems to implement, we actually implement them with you and for you. Guys, it is one of the best investments I've ever made, is to hire a coach who understands the business I'm in, who's lived it, who's done it. And that's what we in the Dental A Team do, we literally, physically fly to you. So if you're sick of trying to figure it out on your own, if you just want somebody who understands you, join our Platinum. I'd love to have you, I'd love to have our consulting team come out and see you, be in your office, be with your team and truly help you get on to the easy path of dentistry. It doesn't have to be hard, so join us in the Platinum, we'd love to have you.

0:08:41.8 S1: There were other things we put into play. Sending out contracts for new clients, that's so clunky, it was not working. That's a rock, that moved our company forward exponentially. We also implemented HubSpot this last quarter, so that way we have a better way to communicate with our clients and track their services. Those are things that were getting clunky, so we literally talk about, "What is going to move our company forward the absolute most?" And you have all your different opposing sides, all your different opposing departments coming to the table to talk about this, which is so much fun. Because then you get to collaborate. Sales can push back, treatment coordinators can push back, hygiene can push back, we can say no, or we can say yes, or we can bring up ideas. And at the end of the day, every person should leave with one to two big goals that are gonna help us achieve our big annual goal. So that's why they call it rock, so it's from the Rockefellers. So we have a huge company goal, okay, or a WIG, Wildly Important Goal, set from the E-Myth Revisited, I think is the one that one came from. So we've got our big WIG, Wildly Important Goal, and then each quarter we build our 90-day sprint plan.

0:09:50.8 S1: So what's one or two rocks, if you will, or goals, that each person takes and owns? It should take them 90 days, 90 days to accomplish this. I also really love on there something I learned that we're implementing now that isn't part of Traction, but I'm finding more and more success with it, is if we set smaller tangible goals. So let's say in 90 days we need to have our SOPs built per position. Well, guess what? You better believe it, the last two, three weeks, my team's been hopping on those SOPs. What the heck were we all doing for two months? The answer's nothing, none of us were working on it except for, I think, maybe one person. We've got some high achievers over there that are just... They don't like to procrastinate. But the majority of our team waited until the last three weeks. And some people are still waiting right now, they've got literally one day to get this done. So that's what happened. So we could have been smarter, and we could have said, "Okay, by this date, we wanna have this portion of the goal done. By this date, we want this portion," so that way we actually had more success hitting those throughout the quarter versus scrambling.

0:10:50.0 S1: Similar to you guys setting production goals, same thing happens. If we're not tracking it throughout the month, last week of the month is psycho. [chuckle] So we break these down to have smaller goals. You can have these in your department, you can have this as your full team, and I really like it to be something that will take you 90 days that's going to push the company forward. So some examples of some rocks would be in an office, we just set it up, we're trying to get people to join a membership plan. So we have a goal of doing, say 10 membership sign-ups this quarter. We're trying to grow new patients in a practice, so we have X number of referral cards to hand out this quarter. Well, that might feel like a to-do, but guess what? We're going to track it, we're gonna measure it, and we're gonna see how many new patients come off of those referral cards. It could also be hygiene protocols, it could also be that you're putting into play a perio, we wanna get X number of ortho cases, X number of implants. So you have all these, "Goals," that are going to be tricky for you to achieve.

0:11:44.5 S1: And then everything that we do, all of our meetings, everything around that is going to push you guys towards hitting your big goal for the year. So that's where you have to assess, "Is this busy work, is this something we just wanna get done, or is this something that will actually move us forward?" Then we go through issues, we solve our issues, and then we wrap up, conclude, have our to-dos, etcetera. We rate the meeting on a scale of one to 10, and then off you go into [chuckle] working on those goals. And then every single week, it's the check-in, every single week we check in, "Where are we at? Are they on track? Are they off track?" Using tasks like Asana, we use HubSpot tasks, there's ClickUp tasks, there's Basecamp, lots of different project management softwares, monday.com is a great one. But you can put these rocks, these large 90-day goals in there and then have a weekly check-in with every single team member to make sure that we're actually on top of this, to make sure that we're actually growing our company, to make sure we're actually all staying accountable.

0:12:41.4 S1: Because the worst thing we can do is spend eight hours figuring it out, getting all this on board, and then we just don't do it. That was honestly a waste of a day, waste of money, waste of time, waste of energy. Don't do it if you're not gonna actually execute. But for me, it's a non-negotiable, those rocks are done, and you know you're gonna have to be answering of, "Okay, why didn't I get my rock done? What was it?" And I don't mind doing that, because the people on my leadership team, I want them to be transparent, I want them to be honest, I want them to be open. So guys, try it out. It's how you run a quarterly meeting, I literally just did a step-by-step for you. You can also call us, we're happy to help you. We help to implement this in several practices, train you how to be able to do it on your own, so that way you don't need us. [chuckle] Our goal is to always train you so you can do it on your own. Alright, guys, can't wait to hear about your quarterly meetings. Email us if you have any questions, if you want us to help you out, [email protected], we'd love to hear from you. And as always, guys, thank you so much for listening. And I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team podcast.

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0:13:40.0 S1: Alright, Dental A Team listeners, that's a wrap. Thank you so much for listening. And if you love 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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