As a Practice Leader, How Do You Manage Change?

Say you’ve acquired a new dental practice.

Time to go in and show ‘em how it’s done, right? Out with the old, in with the new. Let’s get things running properly.

Well, not so fast — you’re dealing with people here. If you sacrifice your relationships with your new team members on the altar of efficiency, you may end up with neither.

For example, your first instinct may be to change the name of a new practice to fit with the branding of the rest of your dental group. Presto! Nelson Family Dental becomes Sunny Smiles Dentistry of Coatesville.

What you’re not thinking about, though, is that the team members who work there like the old name. It’s familiar, comforting.

And those team members are already dealing with the inevitable changes that come along with being acquired.

Why add more to their plates all at once and poison morale while you’re at it?

Instead, if you’re going to make changes, spread them out. Keep the old name for six months or a year.

Do the same with other changes, too. Better yet, ask your new team members to contribute ideas about what does need improvement.

Make it a joint effort — a conversation. You’ll all learn something and when change does happen, it will be more likely to go down smoothly.

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