Mis-en-place. Do your prep work.

Mis-en-place is a French culinary term which means putting in place or everything in its place. It refers to the set up required before cooking, and is often used in professional kitchens to refer to organising and arranging the ingredients that a cook will require for the menu items that are expected to be prepared during a shift.

It transfers well to Dentistry (and many other fields), as a dentist I tried to ensure that my surgery was “closed down” for the night with everything ready to start the next morning. All instruments were autoclaved, notes, X-rays, letters and lab work were all to hand and had been checked. The paperwork from the day before was either completed or was in its rightful place.

It means that everyone knows what materials, instruments and other resources are required before starting a case; on of my clients tells me that his nurse must often leave the surgery because something else is needed. When the “something elses” are repeated day in, day out there is something going on. Time to learn about mis-en-place. Not to embrace this means that you will operate at the speed of the slowest team member – not a recipe (excuse the pun) for success.

The lead for this must come from the top, if you’re a mess your business will be a mess, if you get behind with paperwork, so will everyone else, if you roll in late and unprepared, then don’t be surprised if your team and colleagues do the same.

It means that if the first patient has an appointment at 8.00am you and your team are ready, poised and smiling at 7.55.

Anything else means you’re not taking things seriously.

 

“Dentistry is Tough”

You know you’re being taken seriously when the incoming BDA President checks your name and writing in their address.

“An opinion piece was recently published in BDJ In Practice by Dr Alun Rees, ‘Is Dentistry making us sick?’ It starts with the statement, ‘Dentistry is tough’. I don’t think any of us would argue with that.”

For Roslyn McMullan’s full Presidential address CLICK HERE – I wish her a successful, productive and happy year and look forward to thanking her when we meet.

 

The Monday Morning Quote #525

We’ve all seen talented young players who get to a certain level but there comes a time when talent will only take you so far.

The great players go away and work on extra things. They work harder on their skills. They start having early nights and they think about their diet and training.

That is what takes them to the next level.

Warren Gatland

Mixed surgical teams lead to less medical error..

From The Economist

Diverse surgical leadership promotes co-operation and decreases conflict

SURGEONS are people, and people are animals, and animals often fight. Which is why Frans de Waal, an expert on animal behaviour, has turned his attention to the operating theatre to see if the methods he honed studying chimpanzees might be used to improve surgical practice.

Dr de Waal—and, more particularly Laura Jones, his colleague at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, who did the actual field work—used those methods to construct ethograms of surgical teams. An ethogram is a list of all the types of behaviour that occur within a group of animals. To draw up these lists Dr Jones observed interactions between 400 doctors, nurses and technicians during 200 operations. She logged all the non-technical communications she spotted, and classified them as “co-operative” (likely to lead to better surgical outcomes), “conflictive” (potentially jeopardising patient safety) or neutral.

Full article HERE you’ll probably need to log in.

I continue to be surprised by the relative inefficiency of dental practices – whilst a surgery isn’t a full theatre, the need for teamwork, support and cooperation are the same. Often it’s a result of poor training (of dentists as much as nurses) or an acceptance of lower standards.

It’s all examined in the Practice Business Health Check

Servant Leadership

I first came across the concept of Servant Leadership in Robert Greenleaf’s book.

Wikipaedia describes the concept thus, “the servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible. Servant leadership turns the power pyramid upside down which puts the customer service associates at top of pyramid; instead of the people working to serve the leader, the leader exists to serve the people. When leaders shift their mindset and serve first, they unlock purpose and ingenuity in those around them, resulting in higher performance and engaged, fulfilled employees.”

In recent times I was impressed by Danny Meyer’s description of his use of the concept in his restaurants described in his excellent book, “Setting the Table”.

Traditional management is “top down”:

But something wonderful happens when you flip the structure:

The leader’s role is to serve and support the layer above them, no matter where or who they are.

You cannot have a dynamic organisation unless you are constantly encouraging people to improve and believing that they can do it.

Does it work? My personal experience says so and Suzanne Peterson and her colleagues showed that when CEOs are servant leaders, tech companies have significantly higher returns on assets over the next nine months, even after controlling for prior returns. HERE

Leadership is a multifaceted discipline take some time and consider this concept, you’ll be glad that you did.

 

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