Top hats and toast…two things that are not often synonymous with running a dental practice. Yet under the expert guidance of Sheila Scott and Chris Barrow, these two items were used during Practice Plan’s last Workshop Tour to help practices find new ways of discussing issues, generating ideas and solving problems.
Delegates attending the Top Hats, Toast and Moments of Truth tour were asked by Sheila to use a technique called the Six Thinking Hats, to discuss and potentially resolve issues. This technique was devised by Edward de Bono and featured in the previous edition of BoD Magazine. Essentially, teams are asked to approach an issue by imagining they are all wearing a series of different coloured hats, each of which corresponds to a specific way of thinking, e.g. yellow hat is positive, white is data-gathering, black is cautious. The aim is to stop discussions from descending into arguments because everyone thinks in the same way at the same time – each person gets a chance to speak and the topic can be looked at from all angles. The feedback was fantastic, with all teams finding it extremely useful in helping them approach issues and opportunities in a clear and structured way.
So, how do you follow up some top hat thinking? By drawing toast of course! Chris asked each practice team to draw out the process of making a piece of toast – as an example of solving problems using collaborative visualisations, i.e. drawing the process out as a group.
“Once teams had grasped the principle, Chris then asked them to focus on their patient journey and to visualise key ‘moments of truth’.”
The difference in approaches was astonishing; some were very simple, with just one or two parts to the process – others were more complex, starting with the harvesting of the grain for the bread. Once teams had grasped the principle, Chris then asked them to focus on their patient journey and to visualise key ‘moments of truth’.
A moment of truth is ‘a moment of delight or disappointment that has a disproportionate effect on the receiver.’ For example, when you unexpectedly receive exceptionally good or bad service. These moments – such as the first digital contact, first consultation, treatment coordination – were outlined in The Patient Journey Action Plan that all practices received.
Delegates began filling in the plan, looking at what action they are going to take, who will take it and when, in relation to each of these moments. They also took the plans back to their practices to finish off and post up in the staff room to ensure they are fulfilled.
“Delegates have already reported that they are using the techniques they learned to make changes in their practice. For example, Dental Care Partnership used the Six Thinking Hats method to resolve the question of whether to get new uniforms – which they did!”
And it’s certainly not the case that ‘what happens on tour stays on tour’, as delegates have already reported that they are using the techniques they learned to make changes in their practice. For example, Dental Care Partnership used the Six Thinking Hats method to resolve the question of whether to get new uniforms – which they did!
The countdown is now on to this year’s Workshop Tour featuring Joy Marsden. Joy shares her expertise in running a successful business and it starts with YOU! Renowned international and motivational speaker, Joy is back by popular demand, bringing her unique and interactive style to this programme.
“Based on years of research, ‘Keep Stepping’ will help every member of your practice team to communicate effectively”
Based on years of research, ‘Keep Stepping’ will help every member of your practice team to communicate effectively and sets three challenges to:
- Step up and be accountable
- Step out and be effective and confident
- Stand out and achieve success.
‘Keep Stepping®’ begins in September and runs until February so book your place now online
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