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a blog by Chris Barrow

Why you need to build a team who don’t resist change – they embrace it

Of one thing we can be sure.

In 5 years from now, your business will be indescribably different from the way it is today.

That’s what technology has created – a pace of change more rapid than at any time in human history.

You and I are not particularly well-suited to that. Neither are your team.

As a 3 million year-old species and as children of the Gregorian calendar, we are naturally inclined to preserve the status quo.

Maslow identified “security and safety” as the second most important need after basic survival.

“Change” doesn’t appear on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

So don’t be surprised if, when you return from a trade show, a conference, a post-graduate course or a meeting with your business coach and announce to the rank and file that “it’s all going to change!”, that folks dig fox holes and prepare for the worst.

You are guaranteed to initially create insecurity and resistance.

In the good (?) old days, a great boss was the one who kept things exactly the same.

Nowadays, an owner who does that is commercially doomed.

So the questions is:

how do you lead and manage a team and gain their agreement to continuous adaptation?

A good starting point is to be honest and transparent with everyone.

Whether you are revitalising an existing practice that has gone stale, resuscitating a practice that you have just bought or rearing a practice that you have just opened – it’s a good idea to make it very clear to everyone that CHANGE is going to be your motto.

Advances in technology mean that every aspect of the business of dentistry will CHANGE.

Every 5 years your financial, marketing, customer services, operational, clinical and HR systems will be INDESCRIBABLY DIFFERENT.

I have no idea what your business (or mine) will look like in August 2022.

If team members are going to thrive in that environment – then they are keepers.

If team members are going to resist and block – then their talents are going to be best employed elsewhere.

Your level of tolerance must head towards zero.

I suggested a starting point of honesty and transparency.

I’m going to add to that COMMUNICATION.

Just as at the pace of change accelerates, so does your responsibility to keep all team members informed as to what’s going on in your head and in your business.

Tell your team what you are going to do next, tell them what you are doing now and remind them of what you have done – over and over again.

An informed team will be less fearful and more supportive.

Life has become a thriller – the next episode is just a week away and we cannot wait to see what happens next.

If Maslow was around today I think he would be revising his work to include “embracing change” as a need.

When it comes to recruiting – I’m looking for those people – so must you.

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