THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

Letters from a perfect imperfectionist – Taboos

There are certain taboos in the conversation about running a dental practice.

Things that, if you say them in print or in public, are likely to bring at best, howls of protest and, at worst, legal action.

So I’m going to share with you some things I have HEARD OTHER PEOPLE SAY.

Don’t shoot the messenger – my job is simply to observe and report – and I will protect my sources unto death.

Equally, I offer no comment, other than my continued fascination with human nature.

  1. I was chatting to a Principal the other day who told me that his 2015 business plan had been “torpedoed by an outbreak of pregnancies”. An evocative and cleverly metaphoric explanation for the absence of some key team players

  2. I visited a practice the day after a snowfall and the Principal told me that at 09:00 on the morning of the white-out, the lounge was full of patients who had travelled varied distances to attend their appointments but could not be seen because most of the nursing team had called in to say they were weather-bound. One enterprise-free young lady offered the explanation that “I can’t get to work because I only have high-heeled shoes”

  3. An associate at a recent daily huddle complained that a light bulb in his surgery remained unchanged after a week. The Practice Manager explained that it was perfectly OK for him to buy a light bulb and fit it himself – nobody would be offended

  4. A hygienist complained that she was invited to a free team dinner after a training day and wasn’t being paid for the time away from her family in the evening

  5. When a Principal announced to her team that the practice was switching from NHS to Private Practice and a membership plan was to be introduced, the Practice Manager stood to declare “over my dead body” to a bewildered team and owner

  6. A dentist called me for advice on building his practice as he had hit a glass ceiling. After explaining I was very confident in my ability to help him, he asked how much a day’s consultancy would cost? I replied that a full day plus 3 months virtual coaching would require an investment of £2,000 plus VAT. There was a pause, following which he asked, “do you do half-days?”

I could go on – in fact, on and on.

It seems that some folks just don’t “get” the idea of abundance and gratitude.

And yet, when that scarcity mentality is demonstrated, to respond is often considered politically unacceptable?

“These “letters” are the personal observations of me, Chris Barrow and are not intended to reflect the views of 7connections and its team members, they just give me permission to publish here on the basis that they can keep an eye on me, a bit like a mad relative at a wedding reception. I’m likely to upset the sensitive and outrage the sensible – if you fall into either of those camps then read at your peril.”

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