As a leader, you’re constantly making choices – but are you pursuing the path to success, or getting lost in the process?
Seeing what’s right in front of your face can be one of life’s greatest challenges. We all know the feeling – on a small scale, it’s frantically failing to leave the house because your keys are in the middle of the coffee table. In this example, the easiest solution is probably your partner coming into the room and pointing them out. Left alone, you might get there eventually; but who has that kind of time?
In a business context, it’s the same old movie on a much larger screen. Here, you may not just be missing your keys – instead, you’re missing key opportunities to improve, innovate, and become more effective.
This is often where we enter. As consultants, we’re the metaphorical partner coming into the room of lost keys. Bringing fresh eyes, a detached viewpoint, and our experience of many other practices, we’re able to identify opportunities you might have missed. We also have the benefit of available time; while you’re busy with the day-to-day, we can immerse ourselves in what’s going on and lend resources to the bigger picture.
It’s said that the more that you know, the more you realise what you don’t know (get your head around that one). In short, it’s perfectly okay to be a leader and not have all the answers. It’s also important to point out that 98% of what you’re doing is probably right – but being technically right doesn’t mean you’re being effective.
I’ve written before about ordering a whopping McDonald’s meal and then choosing a Diet Coke. On paper, there’s nothing wrong with the Diet Coke: it’s the slightly healthier, lower calorie alternative. In a choice of two, your selection is spot-on. It’s just a shame that the McDonald’s was “wrong” in the first place.
Regardless of age, status and job role, whether practice owner, associate or patient, everyone is in the same boat: unable to see beyond their own experience. For an associate, the issue causing a stall is often the question of what percentage they are paid; perhaps having their head turned by 50% deals. And of course, this isn’t wrong: their percentage of the overall pot – dictating how much money gets taken home – clearly does matter. However, a better area for focus is Average Daily Yield (ADY). It may seem obvious that 50% of £1,000 is less than 40% of £2,000, but it isn’t: associates are often trapped in McDonald’s, ordering Diet Coke and possibly a bag of fruit.
If an associate is able to gain an understanding of ADY and how to improve it, the question of percentages matters far less, as their take-home will ultimately be far more. It’s your job as a leader to help them to see that, through collaboration, the £2,000 ADY is achievable, whereas if you paid them 50%, you’d be wiping out the marketing budget and therefore any new patients, meaning there’d be no profit or budget for the extra nurse…and so on.
Let’s consider a real-life example. We met with an associate who’d worked within two practices: one in which they dealt straightforwardly with set percentages, and one in which there was a focus on ADY. Initially, the associate thought that the latter was a bizarre way to operate – until making changes increased his ADY from £1,000 to consistently above £3,000 (a x3 pay rise) by looking in the right place. This associate’s initial analysis (percentages) wasn’t wrong; it was just the wrong analysis to use.
When we work within a practice, we’ll tackle this challenge of not being able to see what’s really there. Once we’ve cracked this together, you’ll also be able to help other people to be more effective, to see the bigger picture, and to think beyond their own experience.
There’s every chance that you’re already a good leader – but once you realise that there’s more going on in your practice, you can become a great one. The first step is getting the facts in place, so get in contact and we can discover the commercial realities of your business.