In just 12 months, Dr. Davenport grew his revenue by $1.1 million, increased profit by 50%, and the value of the practice by 50%.
leadership development, increased production, profitability, company culture
Twelve months into opening his second practice in Laredo, Texas, Dr. Dick Davenport was still struggling.
“The new patient flow was a little bit lower than we expected because it’s such a prime location,” Dr. Davenport said. Even more concerning was that patients were not scheduling procedures. “That’s what led us to suspect that something was wrong.”
Opening his private practice in 1990, Dr. Davenport had grown to three associates (including his son, Dr. Matthew Davenport), three hygienists in an eight operatory office. His second office was added in 2016.
During expansion, he discovered two of his long-term employees had been sabotaging his second office. This prompted him to accept an invitation from Dr. John Meis and Wendy Briggs to attend their The Team Training Institute (TTI) Summit in New Orleans in April 2018. “We discovered we had some significant issues that we weren’t aware of,” Dr. Davenport said. In just 12 months after joining TTI, Dr. Davenport grew his revenue $1.1 million. He’s also increased profit by 50% as well as the value of this business more than 50% since it’s appraisal in 2016. Dr. Davenport cut his hours in half, has less stress, and says he is “having fun.” “We’ve achieved what we set out to achieve in less than two years,” Dr. Davenport said. “And we achieved it much, much quicker than we thought we would.”
He’s also experiencing more time freedom since joining TTI—taking off two consecutive weeks for the first time in his life last September. “It was a nice feeling to know I have that freedom to leave,” he said.
Dr. Davenport credits his practice’s transformation to the execution of the strategies TTI recommended. “We had a huge amount of growth,” Dr. Davenport said. “And it was just because of the changes TTI told us were possible if we would do them. The difference is, we did them. We did everything that they told us to do. We had all the meetings. We have quarterly leader retreats. We followed the exact same format that Dr. John uses... and it works.”
Here are 6 high-impact strategies Dr. Davenport used:
#1: Develop Your Leadership
Dr. Davenport found that leadership development, not only for himself, but for his team, is the #1 strategy responsible for his growth. Planning for the future, Dr. Davenport focused on creating what Dr. John calls a leadership pipeline after TTI recommended to start identifying people who want to be leaders.
“Most people try to keep it small, we went big,” Dr. Davenport explained. “We’re anticipating growth because if we do another location, I wanted people that are already trained in leadership, so we can move them over to the new practice.”
Dr. Davenport has grown his leadership team to ten people. “The key for us is just turning it over and letting the team run it,” Dr. Davenport said. “We’ve just mushroomed, and it’s been phenomenal.”
Leadership didn’t come naturally. Realizing he needed help, he hired Kimberly Martin as an office manager in 2014. However, not sure how to effectively manage and let someone else take over responsibilities, he struggled. “I built this practice from the ground up and I was used to doing everything,” Dr. Davenport said. “It grew to a point I could no longer do that. But I didn’t have a lot of knowledge or the skills... I had never delegated anything to anyone and didn’t know how to be a leader...TTI is what really opened our eyes to what was not only possible but necessary to make this practice work.”
They identified and approached potential leaders. Everyone they’ve asked has risen to the challenge and thrived in their new role. “I never expected them to be in that role,” Dr. Davenport admitted. “And the surprising thing to me, and one of the most satisfying things to me is to watch these people grow as leaders.”
“Knowing that we thought of them as a potential leader was a win for them because we saw them as capable of more than what they were currently doing,” Kimberly added. “Asking them was acknowledgment. They were excited and wanted to help... and they often do a better job than I would have done myself and take pride in doing it.”
There’s also less office drama. “With TTI, we went over the drama triangle,” Kimberly explained. “We went over that with all of our employees and they now know there’s a problem resolution procedure...So, a lot of that drama has gotten off of my plate and off of Dr. Davenport’s plate.”
Before the leaders, every problem, issue or question would go to the doctors. They didn’t realize how much time and focus that was taking away from their patient care. With leaders in place, and a team that respects the leaders the doctors have found they have more time to take care of patients. With this new structure, each doctor has almost doubled their personal production.
Plus, Dr. Davenport and Kim both agreed they’ve experienced a lot of personal growth as leaders since joining TTI. “At first I was spending almost all my time trying to develop myself as a leader,” Dr. Davenport said. “In January, Kim and I were spending more of our time teaching our leaders how to get more out of the people under their direct report. I feel pretty comfortable with our leadership roles now.”
#2: Put Your Core Values on Display
The emphasis on culture resulted in a better working environment and made it easier to hire new employees. “During a TTI retreat, they really hit on culture,” Kimberly said. “We always had it in the back of our minds, but we didn’t realize how important it was. Beforehand we would hire on people’s capabilities or knowledge. That would trump whatever core values we had. When TTI helped us create our core values, we realized we should have had these and kept those expectations for every employee because, the ones that we let go and the ones that we were having issues with lacked those core values.”
While patient experience was good before TTI, it’s become a more consistent experience for patients. For example, they ask every
patient to leave them a Google Review and 99% of those are outstanding. The team feels a greater responsibility to make the patient’s day too. “We’re trying to come from a yes attitude perspective...” Kim said. “Everyone understands that we’re always trying to put the patient first, more than before.”
#3: Optimize Production
In May 2018, Dr. Davenport did Hygiene Explosion with his staff. “We had no idea what we were getting into,” Dr. Davenport recalled. “I walked out of there thinking there is no way that this is going to work, and my hygienist said, ‘Yes it will.’ I was still skeptical when we went to Louisville two weeks later and found out that we were what they call ‘capacity blocked.’”
Between the number of patients, staff and operatories, and the skill level, he was not able to meet the demand of his patients. Dr. Davenport converted a consultation room into another operatory, hired an associate, and made a part-time hygienist full-time. He also completed implant training.
“We did everything we could possibly do to increase capacity,” Dr. Davenport said. “It was full speed for a whole year... "
Following TTI’s training, production went up 50% per hygienist.. “Morale is a lot better. Satisfaction in the quality of treatment they provide people is totally different,” said Dr. Davenport.
“They (hygienists) genuinely believe in the quality of what they’re doing... and the doctors--My son at the time was doing $30,000 to $35,000 a month. Now he’s doing $70,000 to $80,000 a month. My long-term associate is excited about dentistry for the first time in 16 or 17 years. His production went from $50,000 to $60,000 a month to $90,000 to $100,000 a month. Our new associate is at $75,000 a month.”
Before TTI, Dr. Davenport believed “the number or quality of new patients was the key to success.” Through TTI showing him what it meant to be capacity blocked, training his team in Hygiene Explosion, and adding same day dentistry, he’s discovered a better, easier path to success. “Through Dr. John we found we already have the patients we needed to be successful,” Dr. Davenport said. “For me it’s all tied together and now this is truly a team-driven practice. None of this would be possible without TTI and we would not be at this level with one person trying to do it by himself.”
#4: Tiger-Proof Your Business
Before TTI, Dr. Davenport was one of the
main producers. He believed in order to maintain the level of production to keep his office running, he had to work maximum clinical hours. But at 60 years old, he knew he couldn’t work forever. Which is why one of his main goals with TTI was to significantly reduce his clinical hours. To step more into a CEO role, he needed to get the younger doctors producing more. With TTI, he’s been able to reduce his clinical hours from 32 hours a week to 16 hours a week, leaving him time to develop leadership and other processes that allow his practice to keep running at maximum production without him being the #1 producer or even being present. “Whether I’m working or on vacation or neither... it doesn’t really matter to the rest of the office whether I’m there,” Dr. Davenport said.
The added benefit of reducing his clinical hours is that it has reduced the wear and tear on his body, allowing him to extend his time in dentistry. “Before I would have said I wanted to retire at 62. Now I could work like this until 68 or 70,” Dr. Davenport said. “Because now it’s just a hobby.”
#5: Replace Your Salary with Profits
By participating in the CEO Mastermind, Dr. Davenport discovered how variable his practice’s profitability number is and how important it is to be consistent. Every month he holds a meeting with Matthew and Kimberly to review his profit and loss. They discuss the projected value of the practice and what to do to generate value in the practice.
“We’re not consistent yet,” Dr. Davenport said. “But we’re at least aware of what needs to be done. I’m not sure I would have ever been aware of this had I not been in the CEO Mastermind. I’ve learned I’m doing what Dr. John calls replacing salary with profits.” In other words, part of Dr. Davenport’s income is generated from his staff ’s efforts. Part of the Tiger Proof strategy, this allows you to maintain a comfortable lifestyle without working as hard or negatively impacting anyone else’s income.
Surround Yourself With Like-Minded Dentists “One of the beauties of interacting with the people at TTI is everyone goes through the same problems we go through,” Dr. Davenport said. “There are people all over the country talking about the exact same issues and we’re all there trying to help each other. It makes all of us stronger and without having to necessarily make all the mistakes ourselves. And in the CEO Mastermind, I get to interact with some really intelligent people, which has been eye opening. It’s a real pleasure to work with these people--Some amazing things happen in that room.”
#6: Follow the Plan Exactly
TTI is helping Dr. Davenport lay the groundwork for expansion and transition. He plans to help manage expansion, but not finance it. While his son will be the main person running the practice, associates that have expressed an interest will have the opportunity to buy in. “It’s allowed us to envision a path of how I can transition out and my son can transition in,” Dr. Davenport said.
“If I hadn’t found TTI, we’d still be struggling,” Dr. Davenport said. “We looked at different consulting companies, but the ones I was aware of never really talk about leadership development. It takes leadership to run a practice. That’s what sets TTI apart from everyone else. They are teaching the techniques that we need, and they work for us beautifully. It’s getting to be more fun. We’ve reached the stability point. There are a lot of positives that came out of TTI, financially, emotionally, and everything else. It’s been an overall outstanding experience for us. The whole process.”
To accomplish your goals, follow Dr. Davenport’s lead. Trust the TTI process and follow the plan laid out for you. Focus on developing your leadership and engage with the TTI community and your TTI coach get help when you need it and stay on track. When you do, you’ll avoid mistakes and succeed faster.
Dr. Dick Davenport has also been featured on The Team Training Institute's podcast. Click here to listen to the episode: