Home' News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin September 2016 Contents COVER STORY
new year’s Eve is traditionally a time
awash with big decisions, mostly about the
changes people intend to make over the
coming 12 months.
But for all the best of intentions, the reality
is few will even remember what those
changes were by the end of January,
let alone get close to achieving them.
Statistics from numerous studies reveal the
number of people who do succeed with a
resolution is between 8-10 per cent.
Springtime arrives, however, right when it
is needed, as a season of renewal and new
hope, as this change in nature brings out
the best in our environment – and often in
With summer around the corner and the
end of the year a matter of months away,
spring seems the logical time to make a
new range of business resolutions.
Much like the beginning of the financial
year, spring is when many practice teams
take stock of what is going on within
their workplace and attempt to make
changes before the calendar flicks over
to another year.
As stress remains a major factor in
dentistry, with those working in the field
considered to be among the most prone to
occupational stress, any effort to streamline
the workplace to reduce the causes of
stress in procedures, administration and
time management should be considered.
And just as pain is said to be the greatest
motivator in getting a person to make
a change in their life, the same concept
should be applied within the workplace,
says veteran dentist, Dr Georges Fast.
But rather than the word ‘pain’, Dr Fast
suggests it should be replaced with the
word ‘irritability’ as a motivator for change.
“Years ago, we had a soap dispenser in the
surgery that was in the wrong place and
so hard to reach, but we all put up with it
until one day, out of sheer frustration, I just
ripped it off the wall and put it where it
should have been all along,” Dr Fast recalls
with a laugh. “It had been irritating all of us
and causing stress but we kept putting up
“ The day you stop to fix something that
is not working, you wonder why you had
not taken time out to fix it years before.
Reviewing the way you are working in a
practice is the same process. Cast a tough
eye around you to see what is going on,
and what might need attention now to
make it operate more effectively for all.
It’s too easy to get into a rut and not
change anything. Get irritated, and let that
It’s a process Melbourne business
consultant, Louise Davis agrees with, and
applies a dental scenario as she explains
the value of the lesson.
“When it comes to making a change within
the workplace, think of the patient who
has a pain in their tooth but keeps claiming
they are too busy to do anything about it,”
Ms Davis says. “By the time they come to
the dentist, the tooth is so badly infected
they could lose it.
“If they had done something when it
initially irritated them, it could have been
easily resolved. Everyone working in the
practice needs to look at the processes that
are no longer relevant or could be done
better, and question the rationale for doing
it. After questioning it, work out what can
be done to change it, and then get busy
making that happen.”
a Tough revIeW
A successful workplace review is a task,
Louise Davis adds, for everyone working
in the practice to undertake as a team
effort. But before taking a broad approach
to areas that need attention, Louise Davis
suggests this is the time to be specific
when reviewing current procedures.
While a staff review of the
current operations should
provide the basis for an
effective assessment of the
workplace, appointing an
outside coach to observe
and analyse the workplace
procedures might prove an
effective investment for long-
“For some people, it can be
difficult to take an independent
view of what is going on at
your own desk and around
you, so an outside person can
come in with a very different
perspective,” Jacky Morgan says.
“ They might end up asking
questions you have been
avoiding yourself about the way
you operate. Someone looking
at things from another point of
view who can see things you
ADA NEWS BULLETIN | SEPTEMBER 2016 | 23
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