Dental associates; workers or self-employed? The tide is turning…. from JFH lw

Laura Pearce, Senior solicitor at JFH law has written a an informative blog post on the changing position of associates in the eyes of HMRC.

Since the Central London employment tribunal handed down its decision in the Uber case on 28th October 2016, the courts have been awash with claimants seeking to gain worker status. Pimlico Plumbers and CitySprint have both had judgments against them, and claims against Deliveroo, Amazon Logistics and Hermes are all in the pipe line. 

But how is this relevant to the dental profession?

Whilst associates enjoy self-employed status for tax purposes, this is an arrangement with HMRC; not the legal system. Since the Uber case it is clear the courts are cracking down on false self-employment and so dental practices need to be live to this issue.

Failing to identify a person’s status from the outset will be a costly mistake to make.

Here we take a look at the recent judgments in the Pimlico Plumbers and CitySprint cases and explain what impact they have on worker status in the dental profession.

To make sure you don’t wind up before the courts read on here. 

The Monday Morning Quote #422

As The British & Irish Lions start their tour of New Zealand…..

“Rugby has always been a game for all shapes and sizes.

You have the superstars and the fast guys who score the tries, but you also need the workhorses and the people who play all the other roles.

Unless they all work together as a team then it’s really going to affect the performance. Everyone’s got to rely on everyone else.”

Warren Gatland

Nice piece on the practical elements of leadership from the HBR

Use High Standards to Motivate Employees

Employees constantly watch their leaders to understand what kind of people they are. So one of the most important things leaders can do is to insist on high standards. While low standards lead to low commitment, high standards are energising, even for the most self-motivated employees. But choose your arenas carefully. If you demand perfection in every aspect of performance, you’ll come across as a tyrannical nitpicker. Choose one or two things you want to be known for, such as always being prepared for meetings, insisting on product quality, or supporting excellent customer service. Whatever the standard is, consistently uphold it and demand it of others.

Adapted from “Followers Don’t See Their Leaders as Real People,” by Nathan T. Washburn and Benjamin Galvin

Kolbe Wisdom™ and Sales & Service

KOLBE WISDOM™ AND SALES & SERVICE

If “selling” can be defined as the exchange of goods or a service for money, then it stands to reason that the process is influenced by the instincts of both buyer and seller. So by knowing the Modus Operandi™ (MO) of your team you can predict how they will work at maximum effectiveness.

In Dentistry there is so much more than just selling an item of treatment or even a service. You and your team are engaging in a life-long relationship with any new patient to your practice. Sadly if you read and listen to some of the people advising dental professionals you would think it’s simple. That all you need to do is follow the memorised script to its, apparently, logical conclusion for effortless success.

This approach, presuming one size fits all, not only fails to bring the best out of the members of the team but also omits any consideration of the buying instincts of the patient, client or customer.

A quick review:
In previous postings I have outlined the principles behind Kolbe Wisdom™ and how, by using the 32-question Kolbe A Index, it is possible to identify the striving instincts that drive natural behaviours.

I outlined the four Conative Characteristics:

  • Fact Finder – Gathering and sharing of information – Specifiers.
  • Follow Through – Sorting and Storing Information – Classifiers.
  • Quick Start – Dealing with risk and uncertainty – Improvisers.
  • Implementation – Handling space and intangibles – Builders.

Each Action Mode has three Zones of Operation, which determine how the individual acts when using it.

  • Initiating Zone: how they insist on beginning the problem-solving process.
  • Accommodation Zone: how they respond to people and situations.
  • Preventing Zone: how they avoid or resist problems.

We lead from different strengths and it is the mix of the intensities in each of these characteristics that gives rise to our individual ways of doing things – our modus operandi, or MO.

A successful sales team is (like any other team) a synergistic group that takes advantage of all the instinctive insistencies. Too often it is presumed that an individual with what is deemed to be a “sales personality”, described as outgoing, high-energy and driven – frequently by greed – is the right person to have in charge of sales. If that were the case and these are the qualities to succeed in sales there wouldn’t be the failures in selection that there are now.

Successful selling requires creativity; it’s a matter of pure instinct. Most recruitment techniques, like sales training courses, miss the point. There is little point in selecting the extrovert because he or she is the life and soul of a party. Similarly, there is nothing to be achieved by teaching manipulative techniques in mirroring and gaining a false sense of rapport in order to make a one-off sale which will be followed by buyer’s remorse when their innate needs surface.

The phrase about a leopard changing its spots comes to mind when considering the different ways that a member of the Dental Team will initiate in everything they do, not least the sales process.

Take, for example, a discussion about rebuilding a broken down dentition. A Fact Finder would instinctively want to know everything about the patient before describing the treatment required. Someone who initiates in Follow Through would be keen to describe the reliability and longevity of the proposed work and perhaps offer a guarantee. In Quick Start the clinician will just want the patient to trust their judgement and will be itching to get going. The Implementor requires something tangible like models, wax ups and radiographs, so that their instinctive needs are met.

Unless the authentic instinctive nature of the person involved in dealing with the patient is allowed full rein then they will be unfulfilled, inefficient and ultimately unhappy. This will soon show itself in their dealings with patients and will lead to less than optimum performance of the whole team.

Good sales people meet their customers’ needs by using their instinct to find alternatives that work with the instincts of their customers. The process must be win-win without manipulation of the client to act contrary to their best interests.

When instinctive needs are met, there’s no procrastination, no buyers’ remorse and no customer dissatisfaction. That is the sales process at its best.

Sadly the reality is that much sales talk is artificial communication, which ignores buyers’ instincts in pursuit of the “close the deal” attitude. Until this changes, the majority of dental people in “sales” including front desk, nurses, hygienists, treatment co-ordinators, associates and, above all, practice owners will continue to fail and they and their patients will continue to miss having their needs met.

Want to discover your Kolbe A? HERE

Next week: Sales considering the patients’ MO™.

During this piece I have, once again, borrowed and quoted heavily from Kathy Kolbe’s book “Pure Instinct” which is available from Kolbe Corporation through their website www.kolbe.com.

It is possible that some of the concepts I discuss will not be clear to the reader who has not read the earlier articles, for back copies please email me.

“Jeff, what does Day 2 look like?”

Another post via the essential Benedict Evans’ Newsletter. This is from Jeff Bezos‘ (Amazon founder & CEO) annual shareholder letter: “managing Amazon and change in a large company”. Well worth a read.

“Jeff, what does Day 2 look like?”

That’s a question I just got at our most recent all-hands meeting. I’ve been reminding people that it’s Day 1 for a couple of decades. I work in an Amazon building named Day 1, and when I moved buildings, I took the name with me. I spend time thinking about this topic.

“Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”

To be sure, this kind of decline would happen in extreme slow motion. An established company might harvest Day 2 for decades, but the final result would still come.

I’m interested in the question, how do you fend off Day 2? What are the techniques and tactics? How do you keep the vitality of Day 1, even inside a large organization?

Such a question can’t have a simple answer. There will be many elements, multiple paths, and many traps. I don’t know the whole answer, but I may know bits of it. Here’s a starter pack of essentials for Day 1 defense: customer obsession, a skeptical view of proxies, the eager adoption of external trends, and high-velocity decision making.

True Customer Obsession

There are many ways to center a business. You can be competitor focused, you can be product focused, you can be technology focused, you can be business model focused, and there are more. But in my view, obsessive customer focus is by far the most protective of Day 1 vitality.

Why? There are many advantages to a customer-centric approach, but here’s the big one: customers are always beautifully, wonderfully dissatisfied, even when they report being happy and business is great. Even when they don’t yet know it, customers want something better, and your desire to delight customers will drive you to invent on their behalf. No customer ever asked Amazon to create the Prime membership program, but it sure turns out they wanted it, and I could give you many such examples.

Staying in Day 1 requires you to experiment patiently, accept failures, plant seeds, protect saplings, and double down when you see customer delight. A customer-obsessed culture best creates the conditions where all of that can happen.

Resist Proxies

As companies get larger and more complex, there’s a tendency to manage to proxies. This comes in many shapes and sizes, and it’s dangerous, subtle, and very Day 2.

A common example is process as proxy. Good process serves you so you can serve customers. But if you’re not watchful, the process can become the thing. This can happen very easily in large organizations. The process becomes the proxy for the result you want. You stop looking at outcomes and just make sure you’re doing the process right. Gulp. It’s not that rare to hear a junior leader defend a bad outcome with something like, “Well, we followed the process.” A more experienced leader will use it as an opportunity to investigate and improve the process. The process is not the thing. It’s always worth asking, do we own the process or does the process own us? In a Day 2 company, you might find it’s the second.

Another example: market research and customer surveys can become proxies for customers – something that’s especially dangerous when you’re inventing and designing products. “Fifty-five percent of beta testers report being satisfied with this feature. That is up from 47% in the first survey.” That’s hard to interpret and could unintentionally mislead…….

……..Good inventors and designers deeply understand their customer. They spend tremendous energy developing that intuition. They study and understand many anecdotes rather than only the averages you’ll find on surveys. They live with the design.

I’m not against beta testing or surveys. But you, the product or service owner, must understand the customer, have a vision, and love the offering. Then, beta testing and research can help you find your blind spots. A remarkable customer experience starts with heart, intuition, curiosity, play, guts, taste. You won’t find any of it in a survey.

In full HERE take the time and read the 1997 letter which follows it – makes interesting reading.

Now that’s one way to ask for feedback

 

I love reading reviews on Amazon, the 4 & 5 stars tell me something but the 1 star reviews sometimes make me fear for the survival of the human species, “couldn’t get the lid off, “arrived without batteries”, etc. I often wonder where the gap between expectations and reality started as they are so far apart and how there can be such diverse opinions on the same things.

The coffee shop on the ground floor of the House of Fraser store in Princes Street, Edinburgh is a regular stop for a pot of green tea. During a recent visit I was forced to think about why so many of us are happy to give feedback either via Trip Adviser, Amazon, Goodreads, or the dreadful NHS “Friends & Family” or less formally, but more usefully, by sharing opinions with friends, family, colleagues and so on and how much use that feedback really is.

The one thing that we rarely do is to make our case directly with the person, business or system with which we have dealt. That may well be due to our reluctance to face up to another human being and deliver both positive and  negative feedback, and to both commend and recommend. More likely is that very few of us welcome feedback, interpreting it as direct criticism, nor do we have systems in our business where we encourage direct, honest but non-confrontational, sharing of how someone’s experience was for them. 

In most face to face professional situations – especially dentistry – we ought to be able feel how the experience is for someone so that it can modified and dealt with as you are progressing so that the right support can be given. Whilst that is true, or sadly, not true for clinicians are our support staff wired in the same way, are they taught to seek and expect responses? Do we take the time to fine tune their antennae? Do we select for empathy or efficiency? Or both? Or as I all too often find, neither?

Just thinking.

 

 

Kolbe – My Decade of Success – What’s Your Kolbe?

WebIt’s nearly ten years since I completed my Kolbe Accreditation, since then I have shared the my knowledge with hundreds of individuals and helped many teams understand how instinct is so important in knowing themselves and their teams. So over the next few weeks I am revisiting some articles that I wrote back then.

What’s Your KOLBE™?

One of the biggest challenges to any clinician and small business owner is the blending of individuals together to make a team.

These are the same challenges that can afflict larger businesses and corporations too.

  • Do you recruit people then find they aren’t quite what you thought?
  • Are you beset with problems retaining staff?
  • Do have difficulties integrating the individuals into a team?
  • Is your hygienist outside the wire?
  • Do your associates fail to embrace your vision for the future?

The KOLBE Wisdom™

  • Identifies the striving instincts that drive natural behaviours.
  • Focuses on the strengths of your team.

The KOLBE A Index is a 36-question survey that reveals the individual mix of striving instincts; it measures individual energies in:

  • Fact Finder – Gathering and sharing of information.
  • Follow through – Sorting and Storing Information.
  • Quick Start – Dealing with risk and uncertainty.
  • Implementation – Handling space and intangibles.

The results are a serious of ‘scores’. Mine for instance is 6/3/8/3, this isn’t the place to give full analysis, my PA’s is 8/8/1/4 which means we work together well.

Hence the question: What’s your KOLBE?

Some background. Kathy Kolbe is a well-known and highly honoured author and theorist who has been working in the field of human behaviour for nearly 40 years. Following on from her scientific studies of learning differences between children she devised The Kolbe Wisdom™, which has been used by such businesses as Kodak, IBM and Xerox and many others around the world. It is now available for use with smaller teams.

The Kolbe Wisdom™ is based on the concept that creative instincts are the source of the mental energy that drives people to take specific actions. This mental drive is separate and distinct from passive feelings and thoughts. Creative instincts are manifested in an innate pattern (modus operandi, or MO) that determines each person’s best efforts.

These conative or instinctive traits are what make us get things done. They should be differentiated from the cognitive (knowledge) or the affective (feelings). As Kathy Kolbe has written, “The conative is the clincher in the decision making hierarchy. Intelligence helps you determine a wise choice, emotions dictate what you’d like to buy, but until the conative kicks in, you don’t make a deal – you don’t put your money where your mouth is.”

Conation doesn’t define what you can or can’t do, rather what you will and won’t do.

A person’s MO is quantifiable and observable, yet functions at the subconscious level. MOs vary across the general population with no gender, age or racial bias.

An individual’s MO governs actions, reactions and interactions. The MO also determines a person’s use of time and his or her natural form of communication. Exercising control over this mental resource gives people the freedom to be their authentic selves.

Any interference with the use of this energy reduces a person’s effectiveness and the joy of accomplishment. Stress inevitably results from the prolonged disruption of the flow of this energy. Others can nurture this natural ability but block it by attempting to alter it.

Individual performance can be predicted with great accuracy by comparing instinctive realities, self-expectations and requirements. It will fluctuate based on the appropriateness of expectations and requirements.

When groups of people with the right mix of MOs function interactively, the combined mental energy produces synergy. Such a team can perform at a higher level than is possible for the same group functioning independently.

Team performance is accurately predicted by a set of algorithms that determine the appropriate balance and make up of MOs.

Leaders can optimise individual and group performance by:

  • Giving people the freedom to be themselves.
  • Assigning jobs suited to individual strengths.
  • Building synergistic teams.
  • Reducing obstacles that cause debilitating stress.
  • Rewarding committed use of instinctive energy.
  • Allowing for the appropriate use of time.
  • Communicating in ways that trigger the effective use of the natural, universal and unbiased energy of creative instincts.

Any  team is as good as:

  • The conative fit each individual has with his or her individual role.
  • The members are, in accurately predicting the differences between each other.
  • The management of the team is, in using the talent available.

In dentistry the use of Kolbe does not only help build the right teams. When the concepts are understood and applied to clinical situations or ones of patient choice and treatment planning then resistance can be handled and the correct way of presentation used.

There are only two fully trained and currently accredited KOLBE Consultants in the UK.

There is only one experienced in working with Dentists and their teams. 

Take YOUR Kolbe A analysis here

If you would like to find out more about using these fantastic tools in your practice or if you would be interested in a presentation to your study group or society get in touch via the contact form below or call me on 0044 7778 148583.