Dentaid seeks volunteers for refugee camps in northern Greece


International dental charity Dentaid is seeking volunteers to provide emergency dentistry at two refugee camps in northern Greece.

The charity has been approached by the Red Cross which says there is a desperate need for dentistry at its camps in Cherso and Nea Kavala which are each home to 4,000 people.

Although there is some basic healthcare in the camps there is no dental provision adding to the appalling suffering faced by thousands of people who have fled their homes.

Dentaid is putting together a team of volunteer dentists, dental nurses and therapists who will fly to Thessaloniki in northern Greece, which is a short distance from the camps at Kilkis. Working from a tent and using portable equipment, the team will provide pain relieving dental treatment for the adults and children caught up in the humanitarian crisis.

“Dentistry is an area where there is a real gap in provision and none of the agencies are providing it,” said Gwen Wilson from the Red Cross.  “There is a desperate need and we are keen to get volunteers out there as soon as possible, although they will need to be able to work in the most basic conditions.”

The Red Cross has been working tirelessly to improve sanitation in the camps but access to personal hygiene items like soap and toothpaste has been very limited.  Many of the refugees have been suffering dental pain for a long time and have developed complications affecting their health.

“The images we have seen of people in the refugee camps in Greece are deeply upsetting and worrying,” said Andrew Evans, strategic director of Dentaid.  “We know there is a huge dental need and we are pleased that the Red Cross has approached Dentaid so that we can help.”

A small team of dentists is planning to travel to Greece in the coming weeks to establish the first dental clinics in the camps.  Dentaid plans to send a larger team of volunteers in June.  Volunteers will be asked to cover the cost of their trip and Dentaid will oversee their registration with the Greek authorities.

To find out more or to register interest please contact or call 01794 324249.

The Monday Morning Quote #364

“The smallest deed is greater than the grandest intention.”

Roger Nash Baldwin



Sorry only works for so long.

cal-0814-cl3-restaurant-10Waitrose – Crewkerne, Somerset 9.30am Thursday 21st April 2016.

It could be anywhere.

Me: I’ll have a bowl of porridge please.
Assistant: “Certainly sir”, opens cupboard, no porridge, “Sorry sir, we have run out of porridge”

Me: ”No problem, I’ll have some toast then”
Assistant: “Certainly sir”, opens cupboard, no bread, “Sorry sir we have run out of bread I’ll go and get some. Brown or white?

Me: Brown please.
Assistant returns and gets on with toasting my couple of slices, asks me if I would like honey, jam or marmalade. It’s breakfast so of course it’s marmalade. Then he makes my green tea (as it turns out it isn’t but I had given up the fight by then).

He cuts my toast diagonally into triangles and hands me them on a tiny plate. “Sorry about the size of the plate sir.”

The assistant apologised for three things that were entirely avoidable.

This pleasant young man was playing the cards that were dealt him to the best of his ability.

Lesson – build systems where your team are not having to keep saying sorry.

Bidders Asked To Swallow Oasis Dental Chain. When will the balloon burst?

cartoon illustration of a small fish swimming happily inside the mouth of big fish

Bidders Asked To Swallow Oasis Dental Chain

From SkyNews.
Bridgepoint is preparing to hire bankers to oversee a sale of Oasis, Britain’s second-biggest dentistry provider.The dentistry chain chaired by Lord Rose, the man spearheading the campaign for the UK to remain in the European Union, is preparing to put itself up for sale.
Sky News understands that the owner of Oasis Healthcare, which owns more than 300 practices across the UK, is about to kick off talks with prospective advisers about a formal auction of the business.
A sale will value the business at several hundred million pounds, and is expected to generate a decent return to Bridgepoint, its owner since 2013.
The timing of a process has not yet been finalised, but it is likely to coincide with – or come shortly after – an auction of Southern Dental, a smaller rival to Oasis.
Southern, which was founded by Dr Mazdak Eyrumlu a decade ago has retained Catalyst Corporate Finance, an advisory firm, to sell itself less than two years after an earlier auction was abandoned.
MyDentist, a larger competitor owned by buyout firm Carlyle, has also been exploring a sale or flotation, although it is unclear whether it is likely to change hands this year.
Oasis has been chaired by Lord Rose since shortly after Bridgepoint acquired it for £185m, since when it has announced a number of further bolt-on acquisitions to bolster its size.
In May 2014, it bought Smiles Dental and Apex Dental Care in deals which added more than 110 practices.
Accounts filed at Companies House for the year ended March 31, 2015 showed a 63% rise in turnover to £234m, with pre-tax profit up more than half to £30m.

In his foreword to the accounts, Lord Rose described Oasis as “the only branded group offering a sizeable mix of both NHS and private treatment”.
In addition to Oasis and his role at Britain Stronger in Europe, Lord Rose chairs Ocado, the online grocer, and FatFace, the fashion retailer.
Bridgepoint declined to comment on Monday.Glithead fishe skeleton in the plate from above

The monday Morning Quote #363

We learn little or nothing from our successes.
They mainly confirm our mistakes,
while our failures,
on the other hand, are priceless experiences
in that they not only open up the way to a deeper truth,
but force us to change our views and methods.

Carl Gustav (C.G.) Jung


A Collection of Smart, Friendly Individuals Does Not Constitute a Productive Team

From Kolbe connection

Today’s environment of rapidly accelerating change continuously gives birth to new markets, new solutions, and new opportunities.  Consequently, business structures everywhere have become decentralized and more fluid as managers are discovering the critical importance of highly responsive and productive “teams.” Today, the work force at a large organization typically comprises teams that assemble and dissolve in response to specific needs.  And when it comes to developing leaders for an organization, a business owner is less inclined to look for a lone superhero who will lead the way to profitability, and more inclined to find “team builders” who can achieve results within a changing business landscape.

So, what’s the best way to build a highly productive team?  Do you search for individuals with specific skills and a certain level of intelligence?  Or should you look for people with complementary personalities and similar life experiences?

According to a recent article in The Economist, “Teams work best if their members have a strong common culture.”1  Fair enough.  But if that is all there is to assembling a productive team, then why do so many teams with a common culture fail to achieve desired results?

Think about it – whether we’re talking about business, sports, or other activities, we’ve all known of (or even been part of) a cohesive group of skilled, intelligent individuals that still could not achieve anything close to the potential of the combined talents of its members.

On the other hand, many teams function very well in spite of the fact that they do not include the most talented or even the most intelligent individuals available.  Additionally, some highly successful teams (in sports and in business) have included individuals who do not even like each other.

In truth, “common culture” has little to do with team building.  Assembling people who like each other and who have similar personalities may be a good recipe for a social club – but it’s not the way to build a highly productive team.

The most important factor in team building lies in how each member of the team will take action – in other words, their conative MOs, or natural way of problem solving. A team of highly skilled, highly intelligent, and friendly individuals will have a very low chance of success if it suffers from a lack of conative diversity (i.e., “cloning”).  For example, a team of smart players all of whom are detailed, thorough and specific (initiating Fact Finders) may consider themselves to be very compatible with one another.  However, in the absence of anyone who simplifies, finds shortcuts or creates a sense of urgency, the team will likely collect truckloads of data but never accomplish a darned thing.

On the other hand, a team of change agents experimenting and improvising options (initiating Quick Starts) might create (and even execute) several innovative strategies within just a few days, but never achieve their objectives because no one has gathered sufficient background data to justify their solutions.  Additionally, since the team includes no one who was designing systems and bringing closure to open initiatives and ensuring that proper procedures were followed, the team might produce more problems than solutions.

To build a highly productive team, a manager (or a coach) should look for individuals with different conative strengths – people who will bring out the most in their teammates.  That means finding people who “initiate” and people who “counteract” in each of the four Acion Modes® (Fact Finder, Follow Thru, Quick Start, and Implementor).  And don’t forget the importance of finding individuals who will “ReAct” and pull the team together!

During “March Madness,” the best college basketball teams from all over the country put their reputations on the line and compete in a single-elimination tournament.  For a few teams, individual talents come together in beautiful harmony.  These teams are often said to be “playing over their heads.” However, such descriptions don’t come close to capturing the poetry of five different players meshing on the court.  When a coach knows the individual strengths of each player and then deftly mixes and matches these talents as the game progresses, and the players accept that their individual talents are magnified when they play in concert with one another, that’s when synergy is achieved, and usually a new national champion is born.

What’s true for teams on the basketball court is also true for teams in the office: The talent, personality, and intelligence of the individual members are important factors; however, in the end, those teams with the right balance of conative strengths will stand the best chance of victory!


The Monday Morning Quote #362

“Each of us … constructs and lives a ‘narrative’ and is defined by this narrative.”

Oliver Sachs in On The Move.


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