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Using the AFL off-season to plan for your future success.

It’s an exciting time for followers of AFL. It’s even more thrilling for fans of the Footscray and Melbourne Football Clubs.

From the perspectives of teamwork, leadership and goals-achievement, I find sporting teams deliver valuable insights that can be applied in any business, including dental practices.

This morning, my mind turned to the clubs whose season is now finished. Despite strategising and maneuvering throughout the year, they did not reach the Grand Final. Their year is over.

Now is the time for reflection and building to achieve greater success next year.

It is time for contemplation of what worked well this past year, and what needs to be improved.

What strategies, new ideas and systems had the powerful impact one had hoped for and will be carried into the next year?

What are the competitors who got to the Grand Final doing that is different that propelled them to such great success?

Football clubs are different to dental practices in that clubs start each new year on equal footing, regardless of where on the ladder they end up at the conclusion of the previous year.

Dental practices start their life on opening day. Then, depending upon the goals of the practice owner, spend subsequent years building to a stage where the practice is strong, viable and (hopefully) delivering the outcomes desired by the stakeholders of the business.

As I imagine the conversations and analyses of the AFL clubs whose season is now over, as they plan for the coming year, I wonder what value could be achieved by dental practices if they were to take themselves down the same journey of reflection and contemplation.

In terms of team management, patient care and leadership within the practice, what worked well this year to date? What did not work well? What are successful competitors, or colleagues, doing that can provide inspiration for new initiatives next year?

Building for success takes consideration, planning and implementation. This all takes time. Despite not being at the end of our year like football clubs, now might be the perfect time to spend time assessing your practice and establishing a plan to achieve greater success next year.