How Do You Create A Culture?

by Tiger Safarov     |     Insider

03.16.2018, 12:00 PM


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Happy Wednesday night everybody!

We are continuing our wonderful tradition of writing something short and important every Wednesday night, so today we going to talk about how Zen offices create a culture and what their culture is.

As I mentioned before, I'm traveling the country and visiting our clients, and so far we are blessed to have 170 offices across the country using ZenSupplies. We get a lot of perspectives as we go to a lot of offices. We have offices smaller in size, we have offices bigger in size, with a different number of treatment rooms and team members.

The culture is something that I can feel as soon as I walk into the office. The culture starts with how I open the door, how they handle feels, how the mat is laid down on the floor, what happens when I wipe my feet, how the receptionist presents herself and how she says “Hello” and so on. So the culture to me, when I see my offices, is in the details.

One of the greatest examples I have so far, of the doctors that have the best culture in their offices, is the doctors that always come in through the front door. Let me say this again - the front door is key. Our doctors in ZenSupplies who are mega-successful in my own opinion (which is very very subjective), use the front door.

There are a lot of concepts of front door vs. back door, doctors sometimes being late and so they’d use the back door to walk into the office. I get it, things happen, life happens. But make it a habit to use your front door. Meaning, every morning as you walk in you see some things - you will see paper lying on the floor, you will see blinds not being accurate. You open the door and you see your front person not smiling. You can ask the question, “Hey Susan, what's going on? Has anything happened? Maybe we should go and get a latte or something?” Go to Starbucks and cheer her up, get the day going.

Another thing that’s actually very very important if you're running an office: if you're running late,  you’re sort of late with the whole thing of getting your office up and running. Let me remind that most doctors are leaders, and I when I say ‘most’ I really mean it. Most of the doctors are the leaders in the dental practice, and as the leader in your dental practice, you technically cannot be late - that's number 1.

And number 2 - it's your job to make sure that you go through the front door, get everybody excited, you get everybody cheered up. And so your Susan who's at the front door is the key to the culture, meaning that when your patients start coming in, if Susan looks at them with bright eyes and says, “How are you doing today? I cannot wait to see you. Let's get you in, the doctor's waiting for you! The team is excited to see you, (whenever the patient name is)!”. How do you think that patient is going to feel? And it always starts when the doctor goes through the front door, sees Susan, gets Susan fired up. Even if Susan had a bad day before, a bad night, didn't sleep well, something happened at home. If the doctor, as the leader, gets the team fired up, everything will change.  

And then it goes to the morning huddles and things like that. So part of the good of culture is having the morning huddle. You cannot go through the day - or let me say this, I have not seen a successful dental office without having a morning huddle. It might be just 5 minutes, it might be just 7 minutes. The tip that I've learned from my good friend Gary Takacs is this - you have to look at the schedule and to ask yourself, whose day are we going to make today? Meaning, who is that special patient on the schedule that needs that special attention? So maybe somebody at the front knows something that happened in the patient's life that they can tell you about during the morning huddle and say, “Doctor, please sit the by the chair side with this patient, hold her hand.”  Talk for a little bit about something that happened in their life - maybe somebody passed away, maybe something happened with their kids, or maybe something good happened. But whose day you are going to make today is going to be an important question during the morning huddle. And so everybody gets fired up and then you guys start the day.

So the culture is:

  • the front door,
  • your receptionist,
  • the morning huddle.

These are the three important pieces.

There are other pieces that are going to be important, but in my mind, this is what I’ve seen super successful officers do consistently - they get everybody excited. And the doctor is the leader at the practice who would get it all going, and who would get everybody inspired.

So I hope it helps! I will talk to you, guys, next Wednesday.


Tiger Safarov


[Edited by Anna Ilyina]

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