There is a famous saying that it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one that is most adaptable to change. Consider that camels can survive for months without food or water, while emperor penguins are able to raise their young in extremely hostile conditions. These animals are well suited to their particular environments, but if one were to put a camel in Antarctica and an emperor penguin in the Gobi Desert, they would not survive for very long. In the animal kingdom, effectively adapting to the environment can mean the difference between life and death.
This principle of survival also applies to most businesses worldwide, including dental practices. The past has demonstrated that the most adaptable companies are able to succeed more often than those that are inflexible and unwilling to change. Adaptability within an increasingly turbulent environment also presents its own advantages in terms of improving the efficiency of your business, thereby increasing productivity and practice growth.
As a practice owner, you will experience situations that require you to make quick decisions about whether or not to change course on a particular action. By learning to adapt, you stand in good stead of better reacting to unexpected problems – whether that be suddenly losing a staff member or an essential piece of equipment breaking down on a busy day, for example.
Ultimately, when a sudden, unusual event threatens to disrupt operations or to harm your staff, patients or property, a quick but appropriate response is essential in order to minimise any adverse affects on your business. How well your dental practice handles such crises is an indicator of its flexibility and adaptability. Of course, being adaptable as a dental professional can inspire those within your practice team to embrace change and maintain a positive attitude in doing so, helping to grease the cogs in the wheel of even the most unanticipated of transitions.
The adaptability of a dental practice can have knock-on effects on how well it performs. This is significantly impacted by the efficiency of the business, which is strongly related to technology. Frequently cited as an ‘enabler’, technology can help you improve the speed and efficacy of practice processes, often at a lower cost than before. It can also provide you with the capabilities to gather and analyse data, turning it into useful insight so that the practice can adapt to future changes. This could be in relation to a trend within the market, such as the popularity of tooth whitening and orthodontic treatments – particularly at certain times of the year when patients are more motivated to invest in the health and appearance of their smile.
Dental practices that can use technology to streamline their workflows, spot opportunities and better understand patients are the ones that are giving themselves the best chance to not only survive within a competitive sector, but also thrive. There are innovative solutions available that you and your practice team can benefit from, including the CS R4+ practice management software from Carestream Dental. With a fully incorporated Springboard feature, the CS R4+ platform can provide live, real-time reporting on the performance of your practice.
Staying competitive warrants not only the skill and willingness to adapt to change, but also the foresight to anticipate it. There are innumerable benefits to being adaptable, particularly within dentistry. If you feel you should be more flexible as a business owner, or think that your practice needs to become more versatile in order to remain relevant, then it is important to realise that such goals are well within your reach. Take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself and you could reap the rewards of a more cost-efficient and productive business going forward.