In 1978, my practice purpose was “To provide excellent restorative services with personal and professional integrity, and to emphasize individualized preventive care.” My vision? “To partner with, and serve the community in which I practice, both as a clinician and a leader.” These simple statements lacked grandiose language, but served my patients, team, and practice well for thirty-five years.
Today, the elements of a practice vision are more sophisticated, and may include:
1. What is it that we wish to give, provide, or do?
2. Who do we wish to do it with?
3. Who do we wish to do it for?
4. What is it that we wish for our desired outcome?
Amy Morgan, CEO of the Pride Institute, advises that vision is dynamic, and changes throughout the life of the practice as various levels of success are achieved. And Katherine Eitel-Belt, of LionSpeak fame, recommends that the practice vision be reverse engineered from one’s desired life style to achieve balance: “How can my business support my life?”
If your vision is your “Big Why,” as author and entrepreneur, Chuck Blakeman, proscribes, your purpose is how you get there! But, however one conceives of his or her practice vision, only he or she can truly own it, for it is unique to every individual. Certainly its discussion with, and possible modification by, employees can lead to a greater sense of team empowerment, but no one else will “live the vision” (or the practice purpose) on a daily basis like the owner.
Think back upon what motivated you to sacrifice eight or nine years of your life as a college student to achieve your doctorate, and the enormous financial risk you took in paying for that education and establishing a practice! That reflection should be both illuminating and inspirational! Write down your thoughts, marry your vision with your life, and modify your vision and purpose as needed. After all, it is YOUR future! Good luck!
Dentists are typically well prepared to care for their patients through excellent clinical training, but are grossly underprepared to own or operate a small business in today’s changing and challenging marketplace. Learn valuable real life lessons in this dynamic and fast-paced program which will touch on many of the factors necessary to operate your practice successfully.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
From the book of Proverbs, Bible