Robotics on the way…

Dr Marc Cooper a dentist turned business consultant, understands all elements of the business of dentistry. Never afraid to be provocative and often way ahead of the curve, his newsletter is amongst my top ten regular must reads.

He has written in recent times about the transformational nature of technology and the growth of robotics and AI with a newsletter, “The End of Dentists as We Know Them” where he quoted from Susskind and Susskind’s HBR paper

Our inclination is to be sympathetic to this transformative use of technology, not least because today’s professions (medicine and dentistry), as currently organized, are creaking. They are increasingly unaffordable, opaque, and inefficient, and they fail to deliver value evenly across our communities. In most advanced economies, there is concern about the spiraling costs of health care, the lack of access to justice, the inadequacy of current educational systems, and the failure of auditors to recognize and stop various financial scandals. The professions need to change. Technology may force them to.”

He has followed that up today:

….below is a copy of a Patent Application that is in process and its associated claim document.  Like everything else, from computers to man-powered flight, when an idea whose time has come arrives, numbers of people in different parts of the globe work on it simultaneously.

…..over the next decade, robotics in dentistry will play a larger and larger role, until dentists become computer operators not dental clinicians. 

It doesn’t matter if you believe me or not, the future doesn’t care about right and wrong.  The future is impartial to “what already is.”

Patent Application – http://www.sumobrain.com/patents/wipo/Medical-robotic-works-station/WO2016022347A1.pdf

Patent Claims– PDF

 one of his correspondents had sent him this: 

Robotics for implant surgery gets FDA clearance. 

http://www.neocis.com/

Bad news for online advertisers – you’ve been ’ad – John Naughton

The old line was, “the trouble with advertising is that only 50% of it works and you don’t know which 50%”.

My concerns about digital marketing are not about the process per se but rather about the number of people who claim to be “experts”, I think my Linkedin connect requests have become 50% “I’m a digital marketer and I have an innovative solution for dentists” and 50% “the rest”. These new contacts usually tell me that dentists aren’t switched on enough, they don’t return their calls and don’t they want to gain “limitless” (I kid you not) new patients (that’s if they can remember to call them patients). I try to explain that as a professional marketer they really ought to take some time to research their own market, I then also tell them that no I don’t see patients myself and I’m sorry I am not going to introduce them to all my clients just because they are obviously young and oh so clever.

I am reminded of the people who were in financial services at one point selling endowment policies that messed up the financial planning for many. 

You see I’m an old fashioned “duct-tape marketing” fan who thinks that you should use as many free or ‘as low-cost as possible’ systems before putting your hands in your pocket. I’m choosing to be deliberately Luddite here but I suggest that you apply a coat of scepticism before parting with cash. (Never forget that Facebook is an advertising company with ambitions to rule the world by deciding what news it decides you will read.)

John Naughton’s piece in the Observer on Sunday hit the nail on the head as usual. I particularly like the phrase surveillance capitalism.

There is, alas, no such thing as a free lunch. The trouble with digital technology, though, is that for a long time it encouraged us to believe that this law of nature had been suspended. Take email as an example. In the old days, if you wanted to send a friend a postcard saying: “Just thinking of you”, you had to find a postcard and a pen, write the message, find a stamp and walk to a postbox. Two days later – if you were lucky – your card reached its destination. But with email you just type the message, press “send” and in an instant it is delivered to your friend’s inbox, sometimes at the other end of the world. No stamp, no expense, no hassle.

It is the same with using the cloud to store our digital photographs, browse the web, download podcasts, watch YouTube Lolcats, look up Wikipedia and check our Facebook newsfeeds. All free.

Well, up to a point. Most of us eventually tumbled to the realisation that if the service is free, we are the product. Or, rather, our personal data and the digital trails we leave on the web are the product. The data is sliced, diced and sold to advertisers in a vast, hidden – and totally unregulated – system of high-speed, computerised auctions that ensure each user can be exposed to ads that precisely match their interests, demographics and gender identity.

And this is done with amazing, fine-grained resolution: Facebook, for example, holds 98 data points on every user. Welcome to the world of “surveillance capitalism”.

Continues.

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.

The Weekend Read – What they don’t teach you at Harvard Business School by Mark H McCormack

9781781253397First published in 1984, I see that it is still one of the top sellers in the Business sections of airport book shops. Its very longevity proves that it either must have something going for it or because it has always been popular it must be good. Well you pays your money and you takes your choice. I find it a well written, easily digestible book with plenty to offer anyone in any business.

I read it when it was first released by Collins in 1984 (so yet another thank you to my Dad)  thinking that the lessons of “big business” which at the time were a million miles away from my life as a peripatetic associate in dental practices would not apply to my life. In this as in many other things I was wrong – the fundamentals of business large or small are the same. I have re-read it a couple of times since and although the landscape may have changed the fundamentals have not – nor will they.

The book is split into three sections People, Sales & Negotiations, and Running a Business. The opening four chapters should be compulsory reading for all new dental graduates including as they do with getting on with people, making an impression and getting ahead. The Sales and Negotiations isn’t as high blown as you may think and has plenty of nitty gritty advice.

The last four chapters on running a business are invaluable to anyone thinking about getting into business on their own or wanting to be a first class employee. There is a lot of B***S*** spoken these days about being an entrepreneur; those people who say they want to be an entrepreneur, especially in dentistry, would do well to read the last chapter of the book where he states that 99% of people should work for somebody. Start by examining your motives and if they are dreams, if you are running away from things or you ‘want to make a lot of money’ then McCormack writes, “forget it”.

In case you don’t know who Mark McCormack was (he died in 2003) here’s the blurb, “dubbed ‘the most powerful man in sport’, founded IMG (International Management Group) on a handshake. It was the first and is the most successful sports management company in the world, becoming a multi-million dollar, worldwide corporation whose activities in the business and marketing spheres are so diverse as to defy classification. Here, Mark McCormack reveals the secret of his success to key business issues such as analysing yourself and others, sales, negotiation, time management, decision-making and communication. What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School fills the gaps between a business school education and the street knowledge that comes from the day-to-day experience of running a business and managing people. It shares the business skills, techniques and wisdom gleaned from twenty-five years of experience.”

Available from The Book Depository.

Oasis. BUPA. Round and round until the music stops….

(Apologies for mixed metaphors)

I remember a staple of children’s parties was a game called pass the parcel. In this a present was wrapped in many layers of paper and passed from child to child who were seated in a circle. When the music stopped whoever had the parcel removed a layer of wrapping paper. As the game wore on it became more exciting as to who would be holding the parcel when the last sheet of wrapping was removed.

The present wasn’t always what you wanted. Some parents would wrap cabbages or other vegetables.

The news that Bridgepoint is selling Oasis to BUPA has been rumoured for a couple of months. The price is apparently £835 million. They paid £185 million when they bought it in 2013. They have made serious acquisitions and expansions (including using the fact that they also owned Smiles to further expand into Ireland).

They (BUPA) already have a number of practices which I believe are all private, taking on the conglomerate that is Oasis with lots of NHS practices will be a challenge. I have heard stories of associate dentists having to buy their own materials  and other less than thrilling tales of the pursuit of the UDA target that made me feel it was a “buy, build, expand and sell exercise”. That’s what venture capitalists do.

BUPA is a name that one readily associates with private health care and i wonder if this is the first step into their creating an alternative very large private dental chain. In which case they will have to set about developing a culture of customer service, communication and patient care that many of Oasis practices are sadly lacking at the moment.

That’s a very big ticket for them to repay. As with all these takeovers about which I seem to write 3 or 4 times a year I wish them success because the workforce of dentists and DCPs deserve good management and appreciation and the patients should be able to expect and receive the very best treatment.

It is a myth that any business is too big to fail. I am concerned that this parcel may well reveal itself to have a balloon at its centre. In which case be careful how you tear the paper and sellotape, because, to use a line which I seem to write every couple of weeks at the moment, there’s nothing sadder than a burst balloon. My memory of a lot of children’s parties is them ending with the someone in tears.

This time the balloon could be very big indeed….

images

 

Ads and Blockers

Online Advertising On Laptop Shows Websites Promotions And Ecommerce Strategies

My friends are fed up of hearing me bang on about digital advertising and (to a certain extent) digital marketing generally. I believe that much of it is smoke and mirrors sold to the unwary with promises of subsequent success which, like all advertising is impossible to measure. The old gag that only half of advertising works the problem being that nobody knows which half, is still as true as ever, except I am not convinced the figures for half working don’t greatly exaggerate its efficaciousness.

Perhaps I am outlier, I mute TVs when adverts appear (including the BBC’s repetitive self-publicity) and I do have ad-blockers on most digital devices. Ghostery has opened my eyes to the extent to which we are followed by people trying to flog us any and everything, most of which I neither want or need. I enjoy looking at ads in magazines but rarely remember what they are promoting. I have been chuntering on for several years to anyone who will listen that, “the world is full of two sorts of people, those who have ad-blockers and those who don’t realise that ad-blockers exist.”

From Private Eye issue 1429 14-27 October 2016.

“Despite repeated assurances by ad agencies to their clients that customers are craving branded content with which to “engage”, it seems consumers are increasingly inclined to avoid digital marketing wherever possible.

Recent findings by market researchers TNS suggest that over a quarter of people online “actively avoid” sponsored content, while a third feel they are “constantly followed” by online advertising. Even better, data from the Internet Advertising Bureau show that when asked why they block ads on-line, the most popular response is”[I] found out ad-blockers exist” – or, put more simply, “because we can”.

Case rested.

PS John Hegarty’s book on Advertising, Turning Intelligence into Magic, is a must read for anyone who has an interest in the subject of advertising.

 

World class?

Use of the term world-class.

Usually means one of the following: you are lazy, corrupt, or deluded.

Rarely, it means something else that in almost all instances does not need saying. 

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