DSOs Done Right

Waiting for our offices to re-open can be painfully frustrating – and – it can also be a time of creative productivity. For some still in quarantine, there is still time to address that never-have-time-for “To Do” list. Here are some basic important DSO foundational building blocks that often get overlooked by fast growth, perceived lack of time, or simply lack of knowledge. Make this a team project. Then, when the time is right, you will come back stronger with your fortified foundation. Like all foundations, you will be prepared and poised for internal and external growth from your solid platform. You will be on the right track to, not just survive, but thrive. Here are 5 ways to get started  with your foundational DSO building blocks to help you grow with purpose.   



“Culture is the bedrock, the final wall, against which one leans one’s back in a godforsaken chaos.”   J.C. Powys, The Meaning of Culture

Clarify your company vision, your “noble purpose”. Yes, I know it may seem like a mundane, redundant, and tired cliché. But I can tell you that most visions/missions are either way too long, the same as everyone else, or just  plain UNmemorable. As a test, how many of your employees can recite, on the spot, your company mission? The best one I know of so far is only 3 words long! Create yours- one that truly represents unique you. And one that will stand the test of tough times. Your people, teams, and patients will be grateful to know what you/they stand for. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect. You can always revise it. But for now, you will have your first foundational DSO pillar in place. 



“The legacy of the systems aware leader becomes service to future generations by creating an environment that encourages team collaboration, big picture thinking, and creates long-term sustainable results.”  

  Emily Rogers, Executive Coach


It is easy to neglect systems and protocols, when overwhelmed in day-to-day business. However, having clear systems now, foundational building blocks, eliminates so many problems down the road. Additionally, it will ensure clinical and business consistency for all your practices and future acquisitions. Protocols also tell your people what you expect of them which can reduce redundant training, behavior management and HR issues. People simply perform better when they know their company’s  expectations. (See Pillar 1.Culture) Systems categories should include: clinical, business, communication, HR, leadership, among others. (Do not worry if your list of protocols is not complete. You will always be adding to this list.) Systems and protocols in place also decrease liability and make a company more attractive and valuable to buyers and investors.


JOB DESCRIPTIONS– Frustration or Fortification

“In much the same way as a recipe ensures success in baking, job descriptions ensure success on the job. They are your “recipe for success”. Comprehensive job descriptions outline the expectations and responsibilities of the job, and represent a form of communication and understanding between employer and employee to guide objective performance management and accountability.”             Tim Twigg, owner Bent Ericksen & Associates


Many find the responsibility of writing and reviewing job descriptions boring, difficult, and useless – understandable. However, they are important for both practical and legal reasons, i.e. regulatory compliance and supporting internal programs (recruitment, performance management, compensation). Many HR companies can provide job description templates for you to “fill in”, which are state specific compliant. This is a great time to create and revise one of your HR foundational building blocks – job descriptions. 

HR resource:




“Teledentistry is here to stay. Use it- Your patients are counting on you.”

           Janet Hagerman


The concept of teledentistry is exploding now, and for good reason. Never have we needed it more. There are now tons of resources online. Choose your teledentistry platform. Create your protocol, step by step. Involve your team. Get started now. 

Teledentistry resources:



As this landscape is changing constantly – more on this in another post



“The people in the trenches need to be able to trust that their team, and their leaders, will be right there on the ground, working beside them, when the going gets tough.”        

Marc Benioff, founder/CEO Salesforce


Keep in touch with your teams, colleagues, and friends. Work together virtually fortifying your DSO foundation to build on that potential when we get back to our new normal. Platforms like Zoom make virtual meetings easy (and fun. I did one for my 10-year-old great-nephew’s birthday party!)  At the very least Facetime with your folks. Be the re-assurance they need (even if you are not sure yourself). Your teams and tribes are hungry and eager for face-to-face connection with you. Be there for and with them. 


New to DSO leadership? – You’re not alone – You’ve Got this!


For a more detailed step-by step free guideline to implement your DSO foundational building blocks, email me at [email protected] and put “DSO foundational guidelines” in the subject box.