What can your pediatric dental practice learn from the Golden State Warriors? You might be surprised.
Only a few years ago, the Warriors were one of the worst-performing teams in the National Basketball Association. From 1992–2012, the team only managed to break a .500 win percentage four times (for those unfamiliar with sports, a .500 win percentage means an equal number of wins and losses).
Then Peter Guber and Joe Lacob purchased the team. These two aren’t your typical athletic types, being wealthy “nerds.” After carefully analysing the game, they figured out how they could break basketball.
Up until now, the dominant teams had good shooters and were strong inside. Large and physical athletes could push through and put points down the hard way. Shooting from outside the 3-point line wasn’t a major focus in anyone’s strategy due to the lower chance of success from that distance (which is why an extra point is awarded to begin with).
If a player makes a basket from 23 feet, their team is awarded two points. But, if they back up only 5 percent further, the shot is awarded 50 percent more points. So the new owners rebuilt their team, aiming to capitalize on the three-pointer.
It started a revolution in the NBA.
The Golden State Warriors began with the “Splash Brothers,” teammates Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who between the two of them alone shattered the season team record for three-pointers (483). The owners also brought in a new coach, Steve Kerr, who holds an all-time career record for accuracy in three-point shooting from his days in the NBA.
Having looked at the metagame of the NBA, the new coach and owners saw what they had in three-point shooters, which had never been a primary focus of an NBA team, and adapted their playing strategy to take advantage of it.
Curry, surrounded with talented support, dominated the NBA. He destroyed record after record, shooting better from 40 feet than most NBA stars shoot from 15 feet. If teams overextended themselves trying to stop Curry or double-teamed him, he simply passed the ball to one of his own talented (and now poorly defended) teammates, who could take the opportunity to score.
The Warriors tore through the NBA, breaking record after record and becoming the NBA champions in 2015, the runners-up in 2016, and once again the champions in 2017. Since Kerr took over, the team went from hardly ever having a .500+ season for decades to averaging an 84 percent win rate.
What Does All This Have to Do With Dentistry?
Adapt to the game.
For most of their history, the Warriors were not a good basketball team. Almost overnight, they became so good that they might have just broken basketball. They evaluated the game differently than their opponents, and then played to their strengths to become the best. They didn’t just sign a super-star; they created a team of them by taking advantage of the opportunity they saw.
To follow the Warriors’ lead, you need to understand the metagame of your market and industry. Where are the opportunities? Can you focus on different services, days, or hours and achieve a better result?
It helps to have data. Guber and Lacob saw the three-point opportunity by studying the numbers. If your case acceptance isn’t what it should be, look at the data to find out why. Know your team’s strengths and know when it’s time to make a change. You might see a viable option that you didn’t realize was there before.
“Good enough” is never good enough.
When the Warriors made it to the Finals in back-to-back seasons and shattered records left and right, do you know what they did with their legendary team?
They improved it by replacing Harrison Barnes with Kevin Durant.
And that’s not all. As Stephen Curry was dominating the NBA from downtown, he was simultaneously the league MVP and the league’s Most Improved Player.
While he was better than anyone in history at making three-pointers, he wasn’t comparatively good at making layups, and that lack of flexibility made him easier to defend against. Curry worked very hard to improve his weak area, which increased his performance rating by record levels.
Even if you are already the best pediatric practice in your market, don’t rest on your laurels. Look for opportunities to improve every member of your team and the practice as a whole.
It’s a team effort.
Curry may have the most attention, but he is surrounded by an extremely talented team. Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green aren’t just a dream team but also work synergistically. Working together, they accomplish more than they would working as individuals.
Curry has no problem dishing the ball out to another team member in a better position to take a shot, and Green is better than anyone else in basketball at serving screens to set his sharpshooters up for a basket.
Is your dental team a group of individuals, or are you a team that relies on one another. What kinds of responsibilities do you trust your dental assistants with? Does every team member answer phones and make appointments, and are they all filling vital roles?
Be the Best in Your League.
The Warriors identified an opening in their market and designed a team strategy to take advantage of it.
If you want to win like the Warriors do, you need to assess your team, your market, and even yourself. Identify the strengths in your team, and then design a strategy that emphasizes them. Always work on improving. And speaking of improving, the PDAA was designed to help pediatric dental assistants improve their trade. Enroll your team today, and help your team become the best they can!
You might have a legacy right under your nose and not even know it.
And if you need a little help getting more out of your team and dental practice, download our FREE dental practice profitability guide. It has 7 easy ways to increase the profits at your practice.
~ Dr. Rhea Haugseth