Episode 183 – MBA Alternatives That Won’t Break the Bank
“Do you have to get an MBA? The answer is probably no, but what do you want to learn?”
~Dr. Chad Johnson
What would an MBA do if they came into your office and looked at your systems from a business point of view?
If you’re anything like most entrepreneurial dentists, you’re always asking yourself how you can do things better. Can you streamline processes? Can you develop a better system? Can you bring in more money for your bottom line? The questions are nearly endless.
It’s almost inevitable that most dentists end up entertaining this thought: “Maybe I need to hire an MBA to look at my systems.” Or even better, “Maybe I should get my MBA so I have the knowledge I need to improve my practice myself.”
The problem is by the time you pay for an MBA and invest the valuable hours of your life, you’re looking at a time-consuming, expensive investment. And hiring an MBA to come into your practice can be out of your reach financially.
So we have an alternative question for you: what do you want to learn?
We love to make your lives easier! So we’re doing the hard work for you and reviewing a number of MBA-alternative systems and methods to help you get the MBA knowledge without the time and financial cost.
So as we dive into these reviews of MBA-alternatives for independent dentists, we encourage you to think about:
- What your business goals are
- What knowledge you feel you are missing
- What you want to learn and apply in your practice
Hi, Dr. Regan Robertson, CCO of Productive Dentist Academy here and I have a question for you. Are you finding it hard to get your team aligned to your vision, but you know, you deserve growth just like everybody else. That’s why we’ve created the PDA productivity workshop. For nearly 20 years PDA workshops have helped dentists just like you align their teams, get control of scheduling, and create productive practices that they love walking into every day. Just imagine how you will feel when you know your schedule is productive, your systems are humming, and your team is aligned to your vision. It’s simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. We can help visit productivedentist.com/workshop that’s productivedentist.com/workshop to secure your seats now.
Dr. Chad Johnson 0:46
Should I hire an MBA for a year and have them do it or would it be better if I got an MBA, and then I would, in essence, be the MBA for free? You know, giving my own consulting advice because I better understand systems and she’s like, “Well, since we know what you want to learn, why don’t you just figure out which books they teach on that subject, and then just learn from that.”
Welcome to the Everyday Practices Podcast. I’m Regan Robertson, and my co-host, Dr. Chad Johnson and I are on a mission to share the stories of everyday dentists who generate extraordinary results using practical proven methods you can take right into your own dental practice. If you’re ready to elevate patient care and produce results that are anything but ordinary, buckle up and listen in.
Should you hire an MBA into the practice for a year? Is there a different way that you could tackle it? That’s the topic of discussion today on this episode of Everyday Practices with your host Regan Robertson here and my talented, dubious.
Dr. Chad Johnson 2:04
Fantastically looking co-host. Dr. Chad
Dr. Chad Johnson 2:09
Dr. Chad Johnson. Hello Chad.
Dr. Chad Johnson 2:12
With a voice for the radio not for is not for you too. Yeah, no, all is going well. We’re having a good week. We’re wrapping up the girls and soccer and stuff like that. It sounds like you guys are full swing into spring as well.
Yes, it is. It is hot here. It is warm in the northwest and all of the doctors and our teammates, since you know, we are virtually a completely remote company with team members all over the United States, they laughed heartily at me complaining that it was 72 degrees up here in the Northwest. Right. Yeah, that is nothing. So but yeah,
Dr. Chad Johnson 2:47
When you’re not used to it, you know? Yeah, it’s you know. So we were going to talk today about as you said, you know, like, should you hire an MBA and Regan, I was telling you earlier, and for the listeners’ sake, I was kind of curious about MBA programs and for those who go back in the history of Productive Dentist Academy, Chris Moriarity was finishing up his MBA and yeah, and I was thinking to myself, you know, maybe I should do that. So yeah, how you get envy, you know, you go, that’s cool that he’s doing that, that’s really cool, maybe I should do and what would that look like for Veranda, my dental office, you know, for the brand, as I started to buy a couple practices and expand and stuff like that, would it be advantageous to me to get that? Well, so I was talking with Victoria and she said, “Okay, so like, you know, how many hours are you going to put into it?” and then, you know, we’re calculating it out and I was like, what she was like, “What, what’s your, you know, hourly productivity? And, you know, so multiply that out,” and, you know, I figured out that it would be about an opportunity cost of about $3 million and, you know, because I’ve actually got a job and you know, like, “Do I need an MBA?”, and she said, “What are you trying to learn?”, and I said, “I really want to develop systems in my practice, the way that an MBA would look at an ad a business, not just the dental office, but if they had fresh eyes on a dental office, and they were to draw a schematic of what the office is doing as far as bringing in money, you know, the output of money, the systems of like, okay, so your patient is the customer, and how do they flow through the office and stuff like that, that’s kind of what I want to figure out is like, how do we make how do we perfect that, you know? Should I hire an MBA for a year and have them do it, or would it be better if I got an MBA, and then I would, in essence, be the MBA for free, you know, giving my own consulting advice, because I better understand systems?”, and she’s like, “Well, since we know what you want to learn, why don’t you just figure out which books they teach on that subject and then just learn from that,” and I was like, and that’s when I stopped looking into the MBA programs online because I was kind of heavy into looking at all that stuff and, you know, for ones that you could do in the evenings, and would you have to collaborate at the same time, or are they asynchronous where you can record stuff at different times and, you know, how would that work? And that’s kind of the backdrop to this and that was actually when I was getting into audible, more and, and I was like, “Okay, well, why don’t I just listen to some of these books,” which goes back into our book discussion. So today, knowing that, you know, that MBA program is what opened it up ELS was, is the system for entrepreneurial DI Wires, do it yourselfers, and the book is called “Traction” by Gina Whitman and I love it. I don’t think it’s necessarily the only way to get things done, but it really meant a lot to me when I, it resonated well with me and when you’ve heard about it, you’ve gone through a similar system, and why don’t you tell the listeners about yours and then what we’ll do is compare contrast stuff like that.
That’s a great summation. There’s so many, I would call them alternative MBA-style programs and books and systems that you can you can learn. I went through “Traction” years ago, when we took PDA over to Small Giants, it was me and Victoria and Small Giants is an organization. I think it started by Bobe Burlingame, I want to say and that he wrote the book of that. Anyway, it was a lot of companies that had ESOP’s and small, small to medium-sized businesses and that’s where I learned about traction and read through it and then I ended up going down the route of “Business Made Simple” by Donald Miller, who also has the same passion for building an alternative MBA program for business owners so that they can get the knowledge but not necessarily the time and investment commitment that it takes, and you know, when I when you were saying that chat, I thought, “Oh, my gosh, you’re so talented at what you do,” and you and I definitely share I would call it the curse or the blessing of curiosity and learning. I think if, if time truly were infinite for us, and we could clone ourselves, you and I would learn everything because it’s fascinating.
Dr. Chad Johnson 7:26
Have you ever thought about taking a sabbatical and at the end of the year sabbatical, you wouldn’t be done with, sometimes I just wonder, you know, like, if I’m just filling up my queue with stuff, but it would never end.
You know, there’s just so much to learn, you know that that’s my retirement plan, right? As soon as my as soon as both my children graduate, I will be going back to school full time for fun, because there’s just so much to learn, and there’s and then you can share what you know. So yes, I think both you and I should definitely be on that track and then whether or not we’re filling it for filling it up sake, that’s like a therapist call that something much deeper. Right, so so we’re gonna, we thought it would be fun listeners to take you through since I’m certified as a BMS, coach, and Chad, you’ve been in traction for two years with a coach, right and your practice is with a
Dr. Chad Johnson 8:18
Two years with a coach and thanks to Stephanie Mohan, who is in West Des Moines here in Iowa, who plugged me in with a coach so that way I wasn’t doing it by myself, that really accelerated the program. So fantastic. Yeah, he’s been great and funny enough, I’ve also been doing PDA coaching for my office in general, on top of the specific EOS coaching. So it’s just kind of an adjunct. It’s almost like special ops for my, for my team, you know, so I’m double, I’m double coaching right now.
Well, let’s talk about that for a minute because I that’s really important, I think, to hear because you’ll oftentimes think that there’s one coach, for one thing, that’s it, but when you think about PDA coaches, we’ve always said that there is no cookie cutter solution. It really is customized for the practice and our coaches are certified in various many different you know, there’s lots of different consulting methods, operating systems.
Dr. Chad Johnson 9:11
One thing that I thought was interesting that both methodologies recognized business made simple and traction, they both say you really should choose one operating system and, and kind of stick to that for the terminology. For example, traction has the term rocks, and rocks are priorities, right? They’re different, they’re different priorities that you placed focus on. If you don’t know that or if you try to blend different operating systems and terms dentistry is horrible with acronyms. How many acronyms have you heard in your life when it comes to dentistry?
Dr. Chad Johnson 9:45
Too many and then that yeah, there’s even a couple of terms for you know, for well, like an acronym can be used in two different ways and then it’s just really annoying because you don’t know what’s going on. Yeah.
So in this in this previous session, Today what we’re going to talk about over the next few weeks is comparing traction with business made simple and listeners we had a fantastic interview a few months ago with Mike Michalowicz, the author of “Profit First” and his new revised version of “Clockwork”, which is another system that you can look at as well, which I think fits in between the two of them. So we’re going to do a deep dive on these, and let you know the benefits, what the pros and cons that we both see because when it gets down to it, it’s like, it’s like picking a Porsche with the right trim level, like which is right for you really.
Dr. Chad Johnson 10:38
And furthermore, there’s a, there’s actually, to complicate matters, there’s a third book called “The four disciplines of execution, Four DX, that’s by Christmas, Mitch McChesney, Jim Healing and Sean Covey and they do the same thing and they actually have a really neat subject matter in there about leverage and so we’ll, we’ll talk about lead, lead measures versus lag measures and that’s been really important to me, that’s into 40x to the four disciplines of execution. So leveraging yourself with lead measures and your team, as opposed to lag measures, lag measures are so easy, and we tend to fall into doing lag measures. So we’ll talk about that, but well, you know, what, I mean, just real quick, lag measures would be, you know, like, what did we produce last month? Well, how is that going to affect our coming behavior, when it’s, it’s already a thing of the past? It’s like, it’s neat to know, and it has some bearing to it but the question would be, can we this week, make 50 phone calls, so that way, we can reactivate patients into the schedule, so that way we’re producing stuff. That’s something tangible that people can do as a lead measure that it’s like, if we do that, then as a science experiment in our office, we’re going to say, “If we make those 50 phone calls, do we get the outcome that we want?”, and then you make the 50 phone calls and then you keep on doing it week after week and you find out okay, did that do it, or do we need to make 80 phone calls and does making 80 phone calls change versus doing 50 phone calls? You know, and then or do phone calls matter at all and how much does that matter to the bottom line, you know, to what we are collecting, because that’s something that the team can know that tomorrow, they can have an effect into it. That’s a lead measure, that is four disciplines of execution. It’s really not talked about in that style elsewhere, but you’ve heard it before lag measures lead measures, right. So that’s, that’s who it comes from?
Yes, I whenever I hear a lag, I just think of looking at the stars and you know, when you’re looking at stars, you’re looking at the past, because it can’t reach us quite quick enough and I don’t know if your practice does budget versus actual, that was something that PDA has done for forever and it really does help visualize what are those activities, one of my favorite sales, mentors, he was president for a huge multi-million dollar company, global company and he used to say it comes down to activities, understanding the activities, and the percentage of close rate really, and then really focusing on that. So focusing on the behaviors of it, if I hear you, right, that’s how you get into looking at your lead measures, which BMS covers really well and I bet traction probably does as well, they probably do with their, with how they set up their meeting structure and whatnot. So yeah, as you guys can see, this is going to be some spicy fun, I am so excited to dive into this because we both put these measures into play in our own businesses. We’ve seen doctors do it, and it’s this is going to be a hoot.
Dr. Chad Johnson 13:43
So if you have any questions that you would like to lead us into, right, when we post about this on Facebook, feel free to find us on Facebook on Productive Dentists. Productive dentists.com Facebook? Well, you know, whatever the Facebook page productive productiveness is that what is it?
facebook.com, yeah. Productive Dentist Academy
Dr. Chad Johnson 14:12
Productive Dentist Academy, yeah, and so you could ask your questions, or give any thoughts and stuff like that and we’ll shout those out if we get any, regarding, you know, have you given, have you given 40x a try? Have you given BMS a try? Have you given ELS, The Entrepreneurial Operating System, which is the book traction, have you given any of those try? Have you been frustrated with them? Have you found success with them? We’d even love to have you on the show if you want to talk about it. So that could be a follow-up as well and it could even be a year from now. Like if you’re listening to this in 2025 and you go crud I wish I could have you know talked about that. Come on, you know, let’s do it, but we’re, you know, in the grand scheme of things right now, we’re going through a bunch of books and specifically we’re tying some books together so that way we can talk about the principles within those books that really matter in dentistry, I feel like our offices become more self-sustainable in taking care of our own problems by implementing us and of course, I love Donald Miller. So I mean, you know, like his stuff as far as marketing and branding is amazing, but then he took it another step further with Business Made Simple altogether with how he has business owners handle their businesses, because he’s been led by trial by fire himself.
Yes, he’s definitely very transparent about that. I think Gino is also good at that. I think Mike Michalowicz is also good at that, I’ll learn about the 40 X. I don’t know about that so I can’t speak to them, but I think they all do a really good job at being vulnerable, and overcoming, communicating how they’ve overcome their challenges and sharing the systems that have helped them. That’s definitely how I see it.
Dr. Chad Johnson 15:53
You’re awesome. This is kind of a short episode for us to kind of introduce the topics that are coming up and why so if it seems short, and there’s not a lot of action-packed, but take this for the message of the day lead measures versus lag measures and, you know, have you thought through when you’re making smart goals, even you know, stuff like that, the idea is to just take a goal and make it smart, but then, you know, for lead or for, you know, what are you, what statistics are you measuring and whatnot, following the lead measures and having your team act on those versus the lag measures?
Well, thank you very much, Chad and listeners to bring it back around to the beginning, this, this discussion is really, our goal with it is to give you the alternative measures to hiring an MBA in your practice, because many of you, you know, might not have the resources to make that a reality right now, or you’re not the size where it’s just completely inappropriate as well. So instead of going, if you’re thinking about getting your MBA, these are some things that we think you should consider first.
Dr. Chad Johnson 17:01
Yep, and you know what? Actually, Elon Musk recently talked about that they asked, one guy interviewed, it’s on YouTube, I found it as a short and he got asked, “Do you think that people should get their PhD?” He said, “Well, it depends what the utility is on it. So if it has a big effect on a few people, then it’s valuable and if it has a small effect on a lot of people, then that’s still valuable. So you need to figure out, you know, like, what the, what the effect is going to be like, how many people you’re going to affect and will it be a big change within a small industry or a small change within?” You know, a lot of people, for example, fluoridated water, someone that, you know, came up with that, that might just be like, Well, I mean, he made a small difference, that’s neat that he did that, but you know, like, but it’s like, no, that’s a huge difference to a lot of people that that’s, you know, it’s a small, huge difference to mankind and so that was worth it. The PhD question that Elon Musk answered could go to our question, do you have to get an MBA? And the answer is probably no, but what do you want to learn, and I think that was fantastic advice from Victoria, so props to her.
Fantastic. Well, we look forward to the next few weeks and hope you have a great week along the way.
Dr. Chad Johnson 18:18
That’s right. Take care, everybody.
Thank you for listening to another episode of Everyday Practices podcast. Chad and I are here every week. Thanks to our community of listeners just like you, and we’d love your help. It would mean the world if you can help spread the word by sharing this episode with a fellow dentist and leave us a review on iTunes or Spotify. Do you have an extraordinary story you’d like to share, or feedback on how we can make this podcast even more awesome? Drop us an email at email@example.com and don’t forget to check out our other podcasts from Productive Dentist Academy at productivedentists.com/podcasts See you next week.