English is a funny language. Words that are spelled the same can have different pronunciations and wildly different meanings. Words that are spelled differently can mean the exact same thing. To complicate things further, we also like to use everyday words in our slang. This can create some confusing and often humorous situations around these words.
Avatar. That word likely brings to mean a number of things. The smash-hit Disney movie by James Cameron likely is first, maybe it is the animated character and show by the same name or the electronic version of oneself on Twitter and the blogosphere. There is still yet another meaning and we are not talking about the incarnation beliefs of the Hindu religion. Merriam-Webster defines avatar in the way we want to use it today perfectly.
“An embodiment (as of a concept or philosophy) often in a person”
When setting out to determine what makes a Zen-user avatar, this author had some preconceived notions. Through constant feedback, careful listening, and crunching some data those notions were laid to rest. There was no real correlation between office size, storage locations, the age of the doctor, the age of the team, nor current distributors. The factors that create the Zen Avatar are much truer to the definition listed above. These users embody the philosophy of Zen.
Purchasing anything without embracing the philosophy behind that product will ultimately lead to shoving it aside on a shelf somewhere. Let’s use a metaphor. Everyone would like to be in better shape than we are now. Most of us know the steps, even small ones, that we could take for little gains. We could drink more water, do some push-ups every morning, or go for a jog after work. Yet, these things often give way to the other things in our lives. We are not truly too busy or too old to work out. More accurately, we have not embraced or embodied the philosophy that fitness is a lifestyle.
Much in the same way, when someone subscribes to Zen, their results can vary. The software does not change but its implementation and consistent use in the dental practice management system moften does. This boils down to which concepts are embraced and which ones are not. Here are some scenarios on both sides of the coin.
For example, two doctors want to reduce overhead. They both find Zen, take a demo, and sign up. Doctor 1 sends his only their lead assistant in for training, glosses over the change in a staff meeting, and skips the next training session altogether. I can tell you already this team is set up for failure. On the other hand, Doctor 2 engages their team through the entire process. They discuss “the why” at length so that the team does not feel it is a change for the sake of change. Instead, they see how this new process will benefit them and make their lives easier. Everyone who is involved with supplies is in for both training sessions. They ask engaging questions and work to understand what they do not know. The doctor stays involved through the implementation process and holds the team accountable for their end of the bargain.
Doctor 1’s office will struggle with buy-in at the team level. “I don’t understand it.” “It just creates extra steps in my day.” “I have my own process.” This team will also not be able to make full use of Zen. They will not verify orders in a timely fashion, which will not allow them to restock their dental inventory management software with one click. Now, they are back to their old ways of counting each item and guessing what they would need for the month to come. Then the end of the month comes in emergency orders are being placed and the budget smashed to ruins.
Doctor 2’s office will look far different. They put in some leg work at the beginning but now the team is operating better and freer than ever. There is never a worry whether they will have everything because they always do. Orders come in every two weeks and the team hardly seems to notice. There is not a mad dash to the supply order because everyone knows they will have what they need. The ordering process takes less than 10 minutes and they are using that time to more effectively treat patients.
These are small examples of the giant impact that a mindset can have. You see, it is not about much more than that. As a leader or THE leader in the practice, it is your duty to guide the team to function at the highest level possible. This ensures that each patient is getting the highest level of care possible. With any change, there will always be push back. The best offices manage that push back from the onset by effective communication and accountability. Those who choose to cut corners, get an incomplete system in the end and no one is happy with that. The ones willing to put in the work to truly establish a process, end up with a real solution that helps them grow.
In summary, it is all about the mentality of the office, the end users. That mentality starts at the top. If a team is finding all of the reasons that a system will not work, I can assure you they will find those excuses in practice. The teams that are finding the solutions to integration will find solutions throughout the entire process. This is not to suggest that we like certain clients better. Through hard work and research, this is what we have found to be true,
“It can be a great day or not, the choice is yours.” Embodying this philosophy makes a true ZenSupplies avatar.