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How to Create Great Systems


How do YOU make a paper airplane? I’ve got an exercise for you and the team. Grab a sheet of paper, then fold it into a paper airplane. But it doesn’t end there! You also have to write down the step-by-step procedure for making that paper airplane. Now, ask a team member to make a paper airplane following your written instructions.

This exercise might sound a tad ridiculous. After all, there’s only one way to make a paper airplane, right? This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are as many ways to make a paper airplane as there are people on the planet. I’ve seen a room full of dentists complete this exercise, and every single one of their airplanes looked different.

Every team member has a different method for completing the same task. A system that makes perfect sense to you might make zero sense to a teammate. When you write down a system, make sure it’s clear and easy to follow so the team can achieve consistency every single time.

Repeat after me: specific is terrific. Vague is the plague.

You can’t improve a system unless it’s already in place. Become a systems-driven practice to maximize efficiency and get everyone on the same page.

Watch this week’s video to see how the paper airplane exercise works!

Kirk Behrendt

Kirk Behrendt is a renowned consultant and speaker in the dental industry, known for his expertise in helping dentists create better practices and better lives. With over 30 years of experience in the field, Kirk has dedicated his professional life to optimizing the best systems and practices in dentistry. Kirk has been a featured speaker at every major dental meeting in the United States. His company, ACT Dental, has consistently been ranked as one of the top dental consultants in Dentistry Today's annual rankings for the past 10 years. In addition, ACT Dental was named one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States by Inc Magazine, appearing on their Inc 5000 list. Kirk's motivational skills are widely recognized in the dental industry. Dr. Peter Dawson of The Dawson Academy has referred to Kirk as "THE best motivator I have ever heard." Kirk has also assembled a trusted team of advisor experts who work with dentists to customize individual solutions that meet their unique needs. When he's not motivating dentists and their teams, Kirk enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and spending time with his amazing wife, Sarah, and their four children, Kinzie, Lily, Zoe, and Bo.