Inspecting Your Indicators
By Cathy Jameson
From May 2005
Baseball is an American passion. My son, Wil, is a catcher. He’s played since he was four years old and is now playing high school ball. His growth over the years has been guided by many coaches. One stands out to me. Kevin Alwan was manager for his 10-year-old team. He was a quiet coach, always taking notes, recording statistics. When I asked him what he gained by keeping all those notes, I was surprised by how much our styles in managing overlapped. He said, “I know I am not the best coach in this league. I am not even a good ballplayer. What I do have is information and that gives these boys an edge during every game. I keep track of each player’s batting performance. I can predict with certainty where the ball is going to be hit and so I can position my players. In addition, I can tell you with certainty which plays the coach is likely to call for the batter. So I am able to tell my batter what to prepare for.”
Statistics determine games. If you saw Moneyball, you know the Oakland Athletics re-created the game by getting control of one tactic, that of getting each batter to base. Doing so, one at a time, won games!
What does this have to do with your dental practice? I have been consulting since 1986 and I don’t know everything there is to know in each client’s practice. What I do have is information. The practice numbers. Trends predict patterns. Patterns can be corrected. You just need to look at indicators from a period of time and know what the numbers should be and then make adjustments.