Technology can be both exciting and terrifying to many of us — in both our personal and professional lives. While the allure of efficiency can entice us, we often can feel that “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
Recently, my husband installed new locks on all our exterior doors. Our old locks were perfectly useful, and I saw no reason for the upgrade (and expense). He loves technology and wanted to change our old deadbolts to a more high tech option, with a programmable keypad and even an app to allow for locking and unlocking remotely. I came home one day, and the locks were on the table, and I thought, “If it makes him happy, I’ll learn to adjust,” even though I thought there was no reason for the change.
Today, as I came home from grocery shopping with my hands full of bags, I didn’t have to dig through my purse to find my keys, and I silently thought, “Well, this was a good idea,” as I punched in the code and let myself into the house. My reluctance and hesitation to add something new changed my thinking; how were we doing it the old way for so long?
How can we have the same mindset — for ourselves and our team — when adding new technology into our practice?
- Be open minded. Just because something has always been done one way, doesn’t mean it is the only or best way to do something. Poll your smart colleagues and friends, read articles, listen to podcasts, attend meetings — there are so many great solutions out there. Being open to making changes is the first step.
- Be all in. When you add something new, go for it! Don’t dabble or dip your toe in the water. Embrace new equipment, new technology, new ways of doing things — and do it well. Nothing demotivates a team faster than a lukewarm introduction or implementation.
- Get help! Whenever I’m looking to add or change something, I reach out and ask for advice and guidance from those who have done it before. The eye care industry is teeming with amazing resources to help you be successful. It’s okay to admit you don’t know everything. The smartest people I know are the first to ask for advice.
- Involve your team. Looking to address pain points, or make everything run smoother? The best people to ask are the ones who are doing the tasks! They can help guide you to make good decisions about when and where to make changes, and you’ll have better buy-in when it is their idea.
My older son has embraced his independence this summer, and not having to worry about him being locked out is such a benefit of our new locks. Every time I don’t have to dig through my bag and fumble to find my keys, I now think, what other technology can we add to make our lives simpler and easier? What can you update in your practice to make an impact on your patients, your staff, and yourself?
Yours in success,
Jennifer L. Stewart, OD