My practice is different

Frequently, when discussing practice financials and metrics with practice owners, the statement, "my practice is different" is spoken when the topic of implementing the 40/20 rule in management practice cost centers.  In some cases, this may be true, but most often, it is not.

Managing labor and inventory are not easy, especially if the practice has long-tenured employees and processes by which the practice operates.  The people component makes it difficult to change.  Every business has loyal employees.  Every business has established processes.  To address challenges in a business, some employees make take it personally that you insist that some things must change.  They are doing their best the way things are, and now you're being ungrateful and telling me I'm not performing well for the business.  We all don't know what we don't know.

So, how do you overcome these establishments to institute change that is needed to meet the desired expectations? In my experience, it is always best to focus on setting some objectives, based upon some measurement or metric as a indicator of potential improvement that might be possible.  In this manner, the team can drill down in their fact-finding with emphasis on a specific area to determine what impacts the metric in question, and what components of your business are currently not known, measured, or under control that will help you have confidence that all is being done appropriately in that area now.  This type of exploration can provide monumental outcomes if they are followed through to their conclusion.  This requires a team attitude that desires to get better every day, keeps egos in check, and focuses on doing what's right for the team and the practice. 

When you find those results that help you improve, make sure that you celebrate as a team as well.  The acknowledgement of a job well done by the team in finding those improvements is essential in establishing a culture that welcomes positive change.  Celebrate your teams' success!

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