The Missing Link

February 9, 2020
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Having watched efforts to IMPLEMENT fail in my practice and now, as a coach/consultant,with so many others, I began searching for clues as to WHY.

What’s missing?

What can be done to help offices implement new strategies and keep people accountable?

How can the Team become more cohesive and focused on the practice’s goals and objectives?

I was recently speaking to a former employee ( I have relationships with many who have moved on to higher level positions) who said “Now having been part of a few other offices, I can say 100% that the little glitches we had are nothing compared to what other offices deal with daily. The lack of systems in an office is amazing!”

And while “systems” are critically important in business and clinical practice, they too require implementation.

So how did we eventually do it?  And how can YOU do it as well.

The missing link, in my opinion, is a system of properly structured, effectively led and routinely scheduled  MEETINGS.

When I suggest more meetings to most dentists, I hear “I can’t afford to take time out of the schedule” and other such excuses.

Our experience is that increased productivity is directly proportional to the increase in the number of effective meetings.

Let me explain.

Peter Drucker said: “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast!”

How do you develop and encourage a practice culture?”

First, you define the exact CULTURE you wish to encourage.

Then, you discuss it, promote it and reinforce it through meaningful staff interaction, reinforcement of positive behaviors and celebration of “wins”.  What better way to do that than through a regularly scheduled system of meetings?  Otherwise, the only staff interaction is during the “heat of battle”, quickie lunches and the yearly holiday party.  That’s not going to encourage meaningful team interaction.  In fact, because most interactions occur during the heat of battlethey can lead towards being contentious.

It’s meaningful and stress-free interaction that is required to remove obstacles and reinforce positive office culture.

The same system of meetings can be used to help implement a new strategy, initiative or system.

We see doctors return from a conference bright eyed and enthusiastic about the latest, practice building scheme or clinical process, only to face obstruction and obfuscation.  Staff often dread the Monday after such a conference.  They live in fear that their lives and office routine will be upset.

Often, they’re correct.

Doctors dictating “change” have little or no chance of seeing true, productive and stress-free change implemented.

So how were we able to get material changes such as instituting sweeping Oral-Systemic systems and patient flow challenging Dental Sleep Medicine into our practice?


We always had a morning huddle.  But it was only when we began having 2 weekly meetings, monthly meetings, quarterly meetings and a yearly retreat did we see an explosion of productivity.

We believe that there are 3 types of meetings.  

1.  Operational

2.  Strategic

3.  Hybrid

I’ll use our office as an example.  When I began learning how our dental practice could have a significant impact on our overall Patients’ health through an oral-systemic focus , I convened a full 1/2 day meeting.  

The purpose of this meeting was to outline a vision and purpose.  The agenda was formulated and a PowerPoint presentation made and delivered.  It includes the emotional WHY, science and strategic plan that would be implemented over the next 6 months (SMART goal).

That meeting was followed up with 2 weekly meetings.  One, of 90 minutes duration was with the entire staff.  It was an operational meeting to discuss how the implementation was proceeding and address any roadblocks.  Other, operational office issues were as well.

A second weekly meeting was of 60 minutes duration and was for the clinical staff.  This was to review cases and discuss operational issues.

Monthly meetings, with the entire staff, were of 2 hours duration and consisted of reviewing patient wins, roadblocks and next steps.

This process continued with quarterly and yearly meetings with the division leadership.  Results and strategies reviewed and projections and goals set.

The proper rhythm, tone and content of meetings was critical in our being able to implement sweeping changes in our office’s processes, both administrative and clinical, while maintaining a happy and extremely productive staff.

To find out more about how meetings can help you work smarter and not harder, contact us at:

Info@practiceperfectsystems and ask for a copy of my new book:

“From Here To Where: Practice Clarity in the Roaring 20’s”

To everyone’s excellent success,

Michael and the PPS team

Practice Success Insights

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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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