How to Turn Good Ideas into Action  

It’s 2022! I hope that you had a fantastic and safe holiday season!  

Have you thought about your New Year’s resolutions?  Usually, when we think of New Year’s resolutions, we think of improvements. My 2021 resolution was to make improvements to my exercise routine, or more importantly, begin an exercise routine. But unfortunately, without the proper motivation and implementation, resolutions can fall flat.   

Same goes with the resolutions you make to improve your practice. Have you thought about what you can do to improve patient care, production, communication, and revenue in your clinic? Have you been offered some good advice that you would really like to follow through on? 

Let’s be honest: most New Year’s Resolutions don’t make it past the gate; they become just words that don’t turn into action. Make this year different! If you have good advice that you want to turn into action, here are a few tips to make sure that happens.   

Don’t procrastinate – Research 

Procrastinating is one of the biggest issues to confront when attempting to implement good advice. Sure, it’s January now, but in five minutes it will be December. Putting it off until tomorrow means it will never get done and before you know it, you’ll be making your New Year’s Resolution for 2023. 

Sometimes, procrastination can stem from several different conflicts you may be facing about that advice. Do you agree with it? Will implementing it be too expensive? Do you think your team won’t approve?  

The first thing to do when being offered good advice is research. If the advice requires a software change, research the different types of software and associated costs. If the advice requires a change to your office design or décor, investigate different designs and décor.  

Don’t sit on the advice. Don’t put it off until later. Use the opportunity to do your research and see if the advice offered will make your office better and therefore make life easier for you, your staff, and your patients. 

Consult your team 

Once you’ve done your research and decided that the advice will legitimately help your practice, it’s time to consult your team. Never jump into action without first bringing your team in to discuss it.  

For something big, like a change of software, keep in mind that the process can be frustrating and time-consuming, not just for you but your entire team. Changing software requires conversion and testing and training. If your team is used to the old system, you will encounter some push back on the change. 

Gather your team together and let them know that, although the change will disrupt their normal routine and will be a learning process at the beginning, the change will make how they do their work a lot easier and faster. List the benefits of the change and remind them all that you are in it together.  

When we changed our CRM system over to a much more updated system, our entire team was gathered into a meeting to talk about it; the one thing that helped me as I started to learn the new system was knowing I wasn’t alone in the training process. If your team feels that they are on the same page as you and are sharing those same challenges, they will feel a lot better about the changes. 

Make a plan and set a goal 

Now that you have everyone on board, and the change you’re making is imminent, you need to sit down and make a plan. What are the first steps moving forward? What are the challenges? What’s going to be time-consuming and what isn’t? Do you want everything done by a certain time, a certain day? Set aside a span of time that you can work with, and an end date that you can work toward. 

Don’t Second Guess 

A lot of great ideas fall through when we second guess our decisions. This only happens when you don’t do your research. In order not to fall into this trap, do enough research in the beginning to be one hundred percent sure about your decision to move forward. This also includes consulting your team to discuss any deal-breakers. What can you live with? What can you live without? Has someone on your team brought up a challenge that might be too expensive to fix? Is the timeline to make the change too tight?  

Try to go over all the pitfalls of the good idea before putting any money or time into it. And only when you and the majority of your team feel one hundred percent certain, then move forward. However, even with that feeling of certainty, it is important to still take the time and weigh your decisions carefully as you continue down the path.  

Focus on implementation 

Most good ideas, though good in theory, never see the light of day. Why? Implementation is put off or abandoned entirely. If an idea is good, and I mean really good and will affect positive change on your practice, your patients, and your team, you cannot afford to let it fall through the cracks. 

Now’s the time to focus on implementation. You’re almost there – the finish line is so close you can see it. Once you’ve made the decision to push forward, begin implementation of the idea to turn it from a fantasy into reality.  

Implementation is the most important part and will be rewarding once it’s done. It is the final hurrah of good advice turned into action. 

The Takeaway 

Although the process looks lengthy in this post, it consists of very important factors in the beginning: research and consulting your team. Without these two items, good advice, whether by you or someone else, will never see the light of day. These two items dictate whether you’re ready to move forward and put the plan into action or scrap it entirely. Knowing that you and your team are one hundred percent on board will prevent the need to second guess your decision or procrastinate on it.  

Whether the change is big or small, what’s needed to move onto implementation is the absolute certainty that the change will be good for those that are the most important: you, your staff, and your patients.