Dos and don'ts for practice leadership: The power of shared decision-making

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As the practice owner, you have ultimate responsibility for decisions about how to run the business. But that doesn't mean you -- and you alone -- must make all the decisions. In fact, involving your team in the process is a much better approach. First of all, minor day-to-day decisions -- which typically account for as much as 98% of the total -- should be delegated entirely to staff. The most critical issues, like whether to bring in an associate or how to reduce the tax burden on your income, should be addressed by you and outside experts. The remaining decisions -- about systems design, customer service, marketing strategies, etc. -- can benefit from teamwork.


Brainstorm for ideas and solutions. Coming at issues with different personal experiences and perspectives, team members will almost always come up with suggestions you'd never think of -- and some of them will be excellent. Hold special meetings or take time at monthly meetings to talk about specific challenges and brainstorm solutions.


Don't neglect anyone or any idea. By acknowledging every team members' thoughts, even impractical suggestions, you'll encourage enthusiastic participation and make everyone feel that they're making a contribution to practice success.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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