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Applying Pepsi leadership lessons to dentistry

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As dental surgeons we hate fizzy drinks. As consumers, we drink them with moderation and concern. We believe that dentistry and fizzy drinks are poles apart. But it seems that Pepsi and its leadership has a model that can be easily adapted to healthcare systems as well.

Indra Nooyi, ranked the most influential of the 12 female CEOs in the fortune 500 has certain distilled down leadership lessons to engage not her clients, but her colleagues and team members. This leadership philosophy can be easily applied to our healthcare system. The leadership distils are as follows

COMPETENCY

Nooyi advocates lifelong learning as the only tool that will make you stand out in the crowd. Continuous learning remains a necessary part of healthcare professionals development. Globally, the ability to remain abreast of new technologies in dentistry is the key indicator of competency. This is also an indicator of how current you will remain in the market and dentistry trends.

COURAGE AND CONFIDENCE

A good leader is able to transmit his thoughts concerns and ideas in a progressive and positive manner. Any organization that wishes to succeed needs to create a culture of courage and confidence. We see this problem in healthcare systems and in dentistry as physicians are reluctant to speak out against other physicians or health care professionals if they conduct wrong clinical practice. This is the reason why many health care systems face stagnation. A dental clinic or institute needs to provide the right to speak out if any false practice is taking place. The dental surgeons must understand that they are part of a culture which needs to constantly improve on itself. If there is no critique, the system will start to fall back and lose out on quality of dental care which is the right of every patient.

COMMUNICATION

The evolution of medical communications is a clear indication that health care systems require equally strong communication lines as it needs the data to be communicated. Communication will be the key determinant of the success or failure of a dental institute in the future, if not now. The dental leadership must find the means of communications to bring a vision for dental care in order and motivate dental surgeons of Pakistan to change the dynamics of dental care for the better.

CONSISTENCY

No effort is effective unless it is pursued relentlessly and with consistency. The inability of the Pakistani health sector to develop a concrete Dental Act remains a glaring example of how inconsistency can cause failure to develop regulations and standards, thereby leading to system failure.

COMPASS

What is the moral compass that is directing us dentists in Pakistan? A brief introspection reveals that there is not much unless it pertains to ensuring patients receive quality care in the clinic to gain favourable reviews and return clients. Dental industry in Pakistan must now establish the means to ensure our integral compasses are directed towards oral healthcare of the masses, quality and compassionate care.

The leadership is the linchpin ensuring a successful execution of plan and completion of targets. The dental community needs leaders who are able to look beyond its four walls of clinics or institutes and create a bigger paradigm for dental healthcare. While there are many local and international efforts that show the progressive streak of Pakistan’s dental community, the need to unify efforts and create a pan nation strategy is essential to bring out distinctive benefits to the population of Pakistan.

February 6, 2014

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Dental is part of the Medical News Group of publications which in 1968 became the pioneer of medical journalism in Pakistan. Medical News is the only periodical in Pakistan which has 3 simultaneous editions from Karachi, Islamabad and online.

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