Have you ever left a meeting in which everyone agreed that action needed to be taken to address a problem or issue? Where it was clear that the group was on the same page, so the next time everyone reconvened you were looking forward to seeing how the plan to address the problem was coming along? Then, much to your surprise, the group brought the issue up again, almost as if it hadn’t been addressed before. And just like last time, everyone agreed action needed to be taken. Was this déjà vu? You couldn’t help wondering if this was a recording of a previous meeting being played back again.
Similar situations can be found in the dental practice – chiefly because of a lack of clarity, a lack of communication, and a lack of accountability. The doctor and the team meet, everyone agrees that steps need to be taken to address specific issues, yet no one is assigned responsibility for developing a plan. No deadlines are set for implementation. Consequently, nothing gets done. Next time you want action and outcomes on those great ideas, designate an individual or a subcommittee to develop a plan with an established timeframe and watch your great ideas, plans, and expectations come to life.