Southern Arizona Endodontics (SAE) has been one of the most successful dental facilities in Southern Arizona since 1984, but, to them, that’s not enough. SAE strives for better patient care. Every department at each of their facilities has adopted the C.A.N.I. philosophy, a mindset that focuses on Constant and Never-Ending Improvement.
- What Is C.A.N.I.?
Derived from the Japanese philosophy of Kaizen, which roughly translates to “change for the better” or “good change.” It’s not a series of steps or a training program but a mindset that permeates all areas of company culture and dental business. It guides every facet of patient care.
SAE views improving patient care as a journey with no end. Endodontists, assistants, patient care and support departments all focus on continuous improvement and take personal responsibility for implementing changes that benefit the entire organization.
The organization recognizes that improvement requires continual innovation and refinement, and that without intent, there is no growth. Each individual is constantly asking themselves the following questions:
- How can I grow today?
- How can I improve this process for co-workers and patients?
- Where can I access information or training that makes me more effective?
Team members of SAE use the answers to drive incremental improvements so that each day strengthens the organization from within. One team member quoted Robin Sharma, who said, “One of the main aims of this journey that you are on is to improve. It’s fine to be content, but never be satisfied, so improve everything. Improve it all, daily, relentlessly, and passionately.” This idea sums up this overarching philosophy.
SAE borrowed an idea from Zig Ziglar to stimulate growth. It encourages employees to use their commute time to listen to personal development audio books that could make them more capable, effective, and valuable. With a focus on continual improvement, team members are motivated to carve out time for intentional growth. They often seek out online tutorials that improve technical skills or teach new ways to make patients feel more comfortable.
C.A.N.I. Cultivates Teamwork
This is all about making incremental changes that move relentlessly toward a goal. SAE applies this philosophy to respond positively to challenges. To continually improve, the company views mistakes and errors as missed opportunities. The focus isn’t on who is to blame for what went wrong and how that person should be penalized but rather on examining what went wrong and finding ways to refine processes for the betterment of the team.
Some businesses, however, use company or team meetings for this process. This method can embarrass the team member who made the mistake and make them feel targeted, which ruins collaboration and makes other team members fear what will happen if they make mistakes.
SAE handles missed opportunities one-on-one to view them as learning experiences, not as inquisitions. Coordinators meet with team members individually, troubleshoot the mistake and review customer service practices. Leaders encourage team members to seek out solutions so they have ownership of improved customer care. Constant and never-ending improvement at work.