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a blog by Chris Barrow

A day in London City

Fantastic practice visit today with James Goolnick and the team at Bow Lane Dental in the City of London. The downside was a 4.15am start, a Virgin train that broke down half way to London and a security alert at Euston Station just as I arrived. The broken train was quite funny though – after 10 minutes stationary (no communication – note to Richard Branson) the steward announced over the tannoy that they were “re-booting the train”. In the good old days we used to fix trains – now we re-boot them like laptops. He added that if anyone was in the toilets they would be locked in during the re-boot. “Oh dear, what a calamity Three old ladies locked in the lavatory They’ll be there from Monday to Saturday Unless the re-boot is successful?” Doesn’t quite flow. Anyways – I arrive at Euston, just as they are closing the Tube because somebody has noticed a suspicious package – and about 2000 people spill onto Euston Square looking for a cab. There is one (a cab that is – not a package) – and I’m lucky enough to notice it, driving down a side street – so I arrive miraculously only 10 minutes late for my meeting in the shadow of St Paul’s Cathedral. In the morning I thoroughly enjoy my conversation with James on the distinction between management and leadership (see previous blogs and ezines) and a detailed financial analysis of practice performance year to date including individual associate and hygienist profitability. James has really done his homework on the Excel templates we distributed at the April workshops and has profitability nailed. Before lunch I meet privately with Lucy, James’ practice manager and we deal with some issues that are concerning her in the role of systems manager. In the afternoon I meet with his team and we discuss some of the flaws they are noticing in their patient journey. What follows is a good conversation about how the team can pull together and improve those systems. My job satisfaction from the day is immense. This evening as I make my return train journey from a very steamy Central London (OK so far thanks Mr Branson) I feel very privileged to work with such a world-class practice as clients. I also acknowledge the thousands of Londoners who were carrying on with their business today – and I joined them on the Tube from St Paul’s to Euston this evening. I have to admit that I was looking around my carriage for men with large black rucksacks (what would I have done if I had spotted one?) and reflected upon the courage of ordinary people who will not allow their “normality” to be disrupted – life goes on and London goes on.

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