Transitions and Team-Building

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Last Monday morning greeted us nervously as we all slowly, sleepily, filed into the front-desk-area-cum-training-ground.  Valerie and Michelle had smartly set up a refreshment station replete with brain food, and I bought a new Keurig coffee maker just for the occasion.  Darlene, who has transitioned from full-time to part-time and will be leaving for good very soon, came in for the week to man the phones for us, make appointments, and schedule any emergency patients that might need our help during what we expected to be a grueling week.

What were we up to in this war room?  Determining the fate of nations?  Running simulations to try and outfox the competition?  Deciding where to set interest rates in order to spur the economy?  No, something much, much more demanding and difficult:  we were, in one week, going to completely make the transition from one dental office management software to another, become trained in the new software, and go paperless all at the same time.  GAAAAAAAAHH!!!

Paula, our trainer, deftly nudged everyone out of the nest of the old software and into the fresh air of the new—and didn’t let anyone fall.  Michelle created several fun games with giveaways which kept spirits high through a week of what could’ve been drudgery.  Valerie supervised the whole operation—which included coordinating with our hardware support staff (hardware and software people don’t always play well together)—with the cool calmness of a seasoned general.  And, the rest of the staff jumped into these untested waters with the attitude of “Last one in’s a rotten egg!”  Me, I just stayed out of the way, and gave support when needed.  When you have a staff like I do, you merely give them the reason and the task, then GET. OUT. OF. THE. WAY.

They will say I sat in my office all week with my feet propped up on my desk—which I did—BUT, I did so with the gloating knowledge that I had the right people in the right places to get the job done, and they didn’t let me down.  In the end, we did get the job done, we did it well—Paula stated that ours is her new best software conversion experience—and we did it together.  It’s great to be able to take a seemingly painful task and turn it into a team-building exercise, don’t you think?