Article Date: 9/1/2012

view from the top
view from the top

From “WIGs” to the Radio

Where will your Wildly Important Goals take your practice?

Gary Gerber, O.D.

Once a year our clients meet for a national meeting and day of business education. This year, we had a speaker from the Franklin Covey (FC) organization talk about FC's “Four Disciplines of Execution.”

While I absorbed the information, I kept two sets of notes: one from the perspective of a practicing doctor and one as the owner of a consulting company. The first discipline focuses on what FC calls “WIGs,” an acronym for Wildly Important Goals. The premise here is that in order to get important tasks done, we need to be able to say, “I'm willing to only focus on two-or-three goals, and ignore the rest for now.” It's difficult for sure since most of us have a list of goals a mile long. As the FC speaker implied, “There will always be more good ideas than there is time to execute them.”

Getting started with WIGs

The first step in this process is to identify your WIGs. As an O.D., I thought a WIG would be something like, “Make 15% more top line revenue this year.” And as a consultant I thought, “Make sure our doctors make 15% more top line revenue this year.”

Once your WIG is defined, the next steps are to break your WIGs down into concrete, actionable steps. In a doctor's case that might be, “Sell more photochromic lenses” or “Increase my recall effectiveness.” Again, as a consultant it came back to, “Show doctors how to increase photochromic lens sales, and have more of their established patients return on time.”

When our team at The Power Practice discussed our WIGs for the remainder of this year, the discussion repeatedly came back to “Get more and better information to more doctors faster, succinctly and make that information actionable.”

We already e-mailed and talked to clients frequently. We hold monthly conference calls. Then, as a joke, someone said, “Let's tap into the radios in our clients' offices and broadcast the content to the doctors.” And with that comment, “The Power Hour” (www.Power was born.

How can the exact same system that led to an optometry radio show lead to new innovations in your practice?

Peel back the layers

Using our above example, you could put forth the challenge to your staff, “We want to increase photochromic eyeglass lens sales by 20% through the next six months. How can we do that?” When a staff member says, “Use the demonstrator in the optical more often,” follow-up with, “And how can we do that?” They might reply, “Make sure we always have spare AA batteries on hand, because that's the only reason I won't be using it today.” Continuing to peel back the proverbial business-building onion you could say, “And how can we make sure we never run out of AA batteries?”

From a simple idea of, “Use the photochromic demonstrator on every patient,” you might find that your system of maintaining office supplies improves. But, this only works if you stay laser focused on the larger goal (the WIG), and take a “do whatever it takes to support that goal” attitude.

Challenge your staff

Present a similar challenge to your staff, and see how many layers deep you must go for your WIGs to become reality. It's a great exercise sure to improve your office efficiency and profitability. And that's my WIG for this column. OM


Optometric Management, Volume: 47 , Issue: September 2012, page(s): 20