5 BIG QUESTIONS ON INNOVATION
1 How is your team changing the game within your industry sector?
We’re very proud of our title as the first fully dedicated provider of turn-key dental suites. We sought to create a care delivery model for dentistry that previously did not exist in the same form, quality and packaging for campus environments. We wanted to bottle the magic of private dental practice and drop it into corporate settings in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, and customized to those settings. We love the way clinical settings of every kind are trending more towards aesthetically pleasing environments as opposed to sterile and impersonal settings as found in days gone by.
We like to think of ourselves as pioneers in this area. Dentistry is perhaps the most interpersonal form of healthcare, since the services are provided “face-to-face.” While we are unable to eliminate every element of that experience, we strive hard to control the things within our reach to positively impact the clients senses. But the value-adds have been game changing too. We know that a filling today avoids a very costly crown tomorrow. But there is also a high correlation between a lack of routine dental care and large medical claims involving chronic disease later on.
One of the most valuable commodities is time, and employers are measuring productivity in terms of not just absenteeism, but also “presenteeism”, which involves remarkably significant losses – the degree to which they don’t have fully engaged employees within the workplace. If you have toothache, it’s probably a major reason why you’re not mentally engaged.
Also, a lot of our clients are really interested in optimal recruitment and retention – and they know the millennial generation is looking closely at the work environment. Having a boutique dental office on-site goes a long way for clients in communicating the message that we really care about our community. In fact, we do frequently have prospective employees come into our offices, because the employers are very proud of these amenities.
2 What are some of the biggest impediments to innovation in your organization or industry sector?
The “status-quo” is always an impediment. We realize this isn’t unique to our organization but rather a consistent theme throughout organizations looking to meet needs in new and innovative ways. Both end users and employees have to embrace the bundling of traditional dental services in a non-traditional setting, the corporate or university campus environment. Because the patient has gone out for dental services for so long; it can take some time to comprehend the dentist operating where the patient already is!
3 How has innovation become engrained in your organization’s culture, and how is it being optimized?
Our company was founded on the principle of change. We have learned a lot about the need to build a culture that appreciates innovation and change. In interviews we describe “change” scenarios and ask those candidates as to whether those circumstances evoke feelings of comfort or discomfort. Of course, the excitement and adventure that comes with climates of innovation are highlighted as well as the challenges.
We ultimately want individuals and team members to be where they are supposed to be, whether it be with our growing organization or another that can offer more of a daily routine. We believe no single person has a monopoly on good ideas. We love to celebrate the individual with a unique outlook on how to maximize our potential as an organization. This begins with the patient experience and extends to our institutional “host” clients. We try hard to craft each relationship with care and a certain level of customization.
4 What technologies, business models, and trends will drive the biggest changes in your industry over the next two years?
Already, we are able to provide client employers with new analytical HR tools– bringing population health statistics to the table, which the employer can reflect on and use to make key decisions around their populations. At our core, we are still a services organization. Our product is our people. Leaders in the dental field will be distinguished by the excellence with which they provide high quality and ethical dentistry. Ultimately this comes down to the talent and ethos of the individual dentist and the care team that surrounds them.
5 Can you share a specific innovation strategy you’ve recently encountered which you find compelling?
I really like Spotify. You’d think that there were so many different ways already out there to package music, but their approach really resonated for so many people, including myself – to offer music that reflects your mood. Similarly, our company is not reinventing the wheel in our space; we’re just taking it down a path it hasn’t been before, which is perhaps comparable to the exceptional Spotify approach.