Numbers Matter

December 20, 2021
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I had always wanted to fly.  I mean be the pilot!  The thought of flying a plane was a constant dream as a child.  Soaring above the clouds somehow soothed me.

Marriage, Dental School. family, and practice got in the way.  You know how that goes!

So, when the first opportunity came to get into a small plane, I jumped at the chance.  I can remember it like it was yesterday.  It was in Maine on Long Lake.  The family hopped in the back seats and I cozied up next to the pilot.  This was the closest I had been to my dream.

The take off from the water was exciting.  The view was spectacular.  But I kept staring at the control panel.  There were so many dials!

When I asked the pilot how he manages to keep an eye on all the gauges and still fly the plane, he said; “You just look at these 2.”  I think he pointed to the altimeter and fuel gauge.

My dreams of flying were shattered.  I would be looking at every dial and checking them constantly.  I would definitely crash.  No thanks, I decided then and there that I would leavepiloting to the professionals.  Let them worry about all the gauges and numbers!

In business, the same is true, except that YOU usually build the plane yourself and it’s up to you to figure out what dials and gauges to incorporate.  And of course, YOU are the pilot too.

Did you think about that when you started practice?

Did you think about it when you chose a practice management software or EMR?

Did you think about it when you wrote your office manual or job descriptions?


Probably not.  And so, you, like so many are flying without the aid of instruments.  Are you“flying by the seat of your pants” like the guy in this photo?

This guy has an engine strapped onto his back.  Do you feel like that sometimes?

On Thursday, January 6th and Friday, January 7th, I’ll be giving a webinar where I will discuss the gauges you need to pilot your practice in 2022.  We’ll discuss what numbers to watch and what they mean.  Think of this as a flight simulator.


‘22 Metrics That Matter


Why is this so important now?

It’s because there are so many things going on and you areprobably focused on only  ONE or TWO gauges.  Like the pilot of the plane on Long Lake, you’re probably looking at how full your schedule is and how much money is coming in.

While that might work when there are clear, smooth skies, this is not such a time.  The clouds are already forming, the winds are picking up and the forecast is ominous.

You, or someone you trust, like a copilot, need to start paying attention to all the numbers.  If you have such a copilot, please bring them along.  They need the flight simulation too.

Here’s an example of how one of the most troubling issues of the times, dubbed “The Great Resignation” can be forestalled using metrics.

The Harvard Business Review recently listed 13 signs that your employee is getting ready to quit.  Because replacing them is so challenging, having a heads up for the need is valuable.  Plus, maybe there’s something that can be done to keep the team member if they are an “A” player.  This is something everyone should keep on eye on during the current dental staffing crisis.

Take special note of #1. It assumes that you to know a specificmetric.  The other 12 are more subjective. Feelings might be helpful for strategic business planning but numbers give a more realistic and objective perspective.  I guess the lesson is:  start with numbers and use intuition, feelings and EQ for support and corroboration.


1. Their work productivity has decreased more than usual.

2. They have acted less like a team player than usual.

3. They have been doing the minimum amount of work more frequently than usual.

4. They have been less interested in pleasing their manager than usual.

5. They have been less willing to commit to long-term timelines than usual.

6. They have exhibited a negative change in attitude.

7. They have exhibited less effort and work motivation than usual.

8. They have exhibited less focus on job related matters than usual.

9. They have expressed dissatisfaction with their current job more frequently than usual.

10. They have expressed dissatisfaction with their supervisor more frequently than usual.

11. They have left early from work more frequently than usual.

12. They have lost enthusiasm for the mission of the organization.

13. They have shown less interest in working with customers than usual.


Are there metrics for you to gauge a team members contribution to the practice?

Do you track each team member’s productivity?

How do you determine who an “A” player is?

Obviously, Harvard’s Business Review thinks you should be keeping some metrics.  On our webinar, we’ll discuss WHAT to measure, HOW to measure and WHEN to measure.

Isn’t it time to STOP FLYING BY THE SEAT OF YOUR PANTS and start looking at the numbers?

To become a dentist you have a fairly high IQ, some of might even have great EQ’s.  This webinar will help you boost your BQ, or Business Quotient.


‘22 Metrics That Matter


To clear skies and a smooth flight ahead,


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Dr. Michael Goldberg is one of the leading educators on dental practice management in the United States.

Michael ran and sold a prestigious group practice in Manhattan and has been on Faculty at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center for 30 years including Director of the GPR program and Director of the course on Practice Management.

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