Updated: Nov 14
Find them, invest in them, and see your practice improve.
One of the aspects of practice development that you become familiar with after 30 or so years in the field is the concept of Leverage Points. Once you can spot them and work out methods to take advantage of them, your practice significantly improves.
According to Donella H. Meadows, Ph.D., leverage points “Are places within a complex system (a corporation, an economy, a living body, a city, an ecosystem) where a small shift in one thing can produce big changes in everything.” *
HIGHER LEVEL LEVERAGE POINTS IN YOUR PRACTICE
Ms. Meadows lists 12 levels of increasing effectiveness where leverage might be found. The top levels that can make the most significant changes are:
The mindset from which the business arises from
The power to transcend assumptions and accept new goals and values.
This is the Above Down Inside Out shift that can ignite the Innate power in a practice.
I have seen this when the clinic owner or team member becomes extraordinarily inspired and motivated, filled with a sense of mission. I also have noticed this in offices that shift from an entrepreneurial practice that is entirely dependent upon the owner to a systematized and goal-driven business.
TANGIBLE LEVERAGE POINTS
Adding a scribe or clinical assistant can be a practical example of utilizing a leverage point in a more tangible application. This might allow you to see an extra 10 patients a week and provide better service with less stress. In the end, you would have a positive Return on Investment for what you paid for the extra help.
Another example might be a situation where your front desk can’t keep up with check-ins, check-outs, call-ins, questions, data entry, cash collections, marketing reminders, and just being friendly. By adding the right person at the front desk, even a part-time during prime time in the afternoons, your volume might surge. (I have seen this.)
For a marketing example, you might be next door to a gym that sees hundreds of people each month. You could leverage your location with just a little effort to create a very beneficial relationship for their business and yours.
There are many examples of finding areas of your practice where the return will be positive when given more support.
LEVERAGING PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
In my experience, the number one leverage point is management.
As a practice grows, the admin tasks multiply exponentially. These start to fill up the doctor’s time, and eventually, growth hits a plateau.
By adding someone to take care of office administration or clarifying the duties of someone currently in that role, you can better concentrate on service, production, and leadership.
As a result, revenue increases and stress decreases. Proper training for the manager is essential and, unfortunately, usually absent.
As an aside, we are solving this now through our Practice MBA program. We are just a little more than ½ way through the training, and I am both impressed by their work and proud to be helping them become Goal Driven Managers.
But leverage points could be anywhere. Even between your ears! (haha!)
Look for where you might find a log jam or an untapped resource. Invest some time in supporting that area and see if that doesn’t make a big difference in practice.
You have untapped power in your business just waiting to be leveraged.
If your practice building efforts aren’t taking you to your goals,
there are reasons -- many of which are hidden from you.
Find out what they are and how to sail to your next level by getting and implementing my new book, The Goal Driven Business.