Business changes over the last 10,000 days

chris barrow businessChris Barrow reflects on changes to the business of dentistry over the last 10,000 days.

Where on earth did the last 9,496 days go?

Time does seem to fly when you are enjoying yourself and it feels like a moment ago that this former financial planner was wandering around the 1996 Dental Showcase and contemplating a new career as a business coach for dentists.

The rest is history and I’ve a lot to be grateful for, not least of which has been my relationship with all the folks at FMC, including the editors and team at Private Dentistry magazine.

Back in my financial planning days, I was a member of the exclusive ‘Million Dollar Round Table’ (MDRT) and would travel to the USA or Canada every July to meet with up to 5,000 other salespeople to listen to the best public speakers around at the time.

The broad concept

The MDRT used to promote a planning exercise called ‘The Broad Concept’, which could be simply explained as:

  1. Looking back to see where you had come from
  2. Looking in the mirror at where you are today and
  3. Lastly, looking forward and imagining your future potential.

Any anniversary, even a quadranscentennial, is an opportunity to do just that. I’ve no doubt that many contributors to this magazine will want to marvel at the differences between the world we live in now and that we were accustomed to back in the mid-90s.

In fact, wouldn’t it be great to pop into a time machine and walk around that former dental trade show, to see what was considered as innovation for the day, while humming to ourselves Boombastic by Shaggy and the unforgettable Can I touch you – there? by Michael Bolton.

Equally, there will be those who will dwell on the year of COVID-19 and how nobody a year ago (let alone 25 years ago) could have foreseen the events of the last 12 months and the obliteration of just about every successful routine or habit with which we entered the new year.

What does the future hold?

The final cohort may speculate on how dentistry might look in another 25 years, safe in the knowledge that nobody is likely to check.

We can rest assured that the most stimulated imagination is unlikely to get anywhere close to an accurate prediction.

In the meantime, we celebrate a publication that has consistently promoted the very best in clinical innovation and business excellence.

Private Dentistry (the publication) is 25 years old – which means that it just scrapes in as a Millennial by one year.

Indeed, the careers website, defines the main characteristics of said demographic thus:

  1. Values meaningful motivation
  2. Challenges the hierarchy and status-quo
  3. Places importance on relationships with superiors
  4. Intuitive knowledge of technology
  5. Open and adaptive to change
  6. Places importance on tasks rather than time
  7. Passion for learning
  8. Openly receptive to feedback and recognition
  9. Free-thinking and creative
  10. Values social interactions in the workplace.

A list that one could arguably suggest summarises the core values that the Private Dentistry magazine has brought to the dental landscape:

  1. Featuring ‘How I did it’ stories to inspire others to start their own businesses
  2. Asking searching questions in its editorials
  3. Acknowledging the work of dental leaders
  4. Promoting every aspect of digital dentistry
  5. Challenging tradition if it stifles growth
  6. Telling stories about what people have achieved, rather than idle speculation
  7. Constantly stretching its readers’ minds
  8. Listening to the audience
  9. Encouraging creativity and
  10. Promoting community.

So, I wish Private Dentistry a very happy birthday and celebrate with it this silver jubilee of all that is best in the profession and the business that we love.

Here’s to another 10,000 days.


This article first appeared in Private Dentistry magazine. You can read the latest issue here.

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