Members are (95% dentists) who own multi-doctor or multi-location dental offices. Spark has been designed to provide this particular executive with the tools, processes, and strategy to address dental practice challenges, solve organizational problems, and grow quickly.
Our members describe the dental network as the perfect mix of coaching, masterminding, instructional presentations, education, and high-level peer support. Spark has been engineered to improve both your personal and professional life by quickly delivering solutions to your dental organization challenges. The Spark Dental Network meets four times a year on a quarterly basis.
The words "coaching" and "masterminding" have become common buzzwords in the world of consulting, and can be used to describe a variety of services and professional settings.
So, here's a breakdown of how the dental network operates and exactly how Spark helps organizations reach specific financial and operational goals.
In his timeless classic “Think and Grow Rich," Napoleon Hill emphasizes that to accomplish great things, you must intentionally seek out the company of people who influence you to think and act on building the life you desire.
Perhaps now more than ever, the dental industry is evolving at an incredible pace and it’s essential to surround yourself with credible mentors, coaches, and peers. The unique thing about Spark is it creates an environment for owners and leaders of group dental practices to come together and share in a way that is safe, inspiring and humbling.
There’s a myth that being a pioneer (an innovator, first mover, and first to market) is the best business position to take.
But, if you do a little research, you’ll likely discover that only a tiny percentage of these people succeed. Figuring out things for yourself often causes you to crash and burn. Or, as the adage goes, "pioneers often end up with arrows in their backs".
Quite simply, the fastest and most precise path to your goals comes by treading on an already paved path. Following and duplicating the actions of those who have already accomplished what you want to do. At Spark, we call these people "first followers” because they build their practice by first following proven methods.
Carving a new path through a wilderness of rocks and warriors may work for a few, but why risk that? A much smarter way is to take advantage of the guidance and collaboration of peers that have walked the path before you. Build first on that solid foundation, then add in your own innovations to create differentiation in the marketplace.
Having a leader or a group of peers who are willing to share their mistakes will prove to be incredibly valuable in your growth. When you can avoid wasting time making unnecessary mistakes along the way, you actually maximize the time you spend doing what works.
We all need smart, constructive feedback because we all have blind spots. Surrounding yourself with experts who want to see you succeed and are willing to give you honest feedback will help spark your growth. Recruiting the help of people who have years of experience operating, buying, and selling organizations like yours can help shift your thinking into an enterprise mindset and break down any barriers to growth.
Growing a large dental enterprise requires a very specific skill set. You can choose to build that set of skills on your own, or you can accelerate your results by connecting with people who already excel in this area.
What if you could cherry-pick the very best dental strategies across the country? By aligning yourself with the right people and the right resources, you get access to the very best ideas and can simply choose what to implement for your specific organization. Essentially, it's a "shortcut" to reaching your goals. You don't have to learn the business from scratch, you can simply apply what is proven to work.
It's hard to advance to the next level in your career unless you surround yourself with people who are already there. Being in the room and having conversations with those more advanced than you can accelerate your success and allow you to reach your goals much easier.
That's the Spark atmosphere - a room filled with top executives in the dental industry. It's a carefully curated group of leaders who work together to solve problems and grow their organizations quickly.
Click below to hear from our members, learn more about the Spark environment, and see the remarkable results that dental executives have achieved in Spark.
Spark meets four times a year on a quarterly basis. Each Spark meeting spans two full days, and there is an option to stay for a third, bonus day. Bonus days are deep dives into specific topics and are engineered based on the majority interests of Spark members.
A typical two-day meeting has a theme that is decided in advance. Themes come from what we call the Enterprise Value Matrix, (pictured below) which are the main value drivers for dental group practices.
After successfully working with and owning multiple dental practices, we have identified the specific drivers for profitable growth. We created Spark, a coaching program that provides a structured, high-achiever peer environment to focus on implementing and improving your capabilities around these 4 strategic drivers: Culture, Finance, Personnel, and Process.
Our quarterly Spark meetings are designed to help dental organizations bring this Enterprise Value Matrix to life.
Day One of a Spark meeting begins by creating a theme-based expectation around what you, the Spark members, want. The next two days are spent fulfilling that. The first activity is a teaching presentation, geared to help you think about your business at a higher level, or at a bigger size than it is now.
You’ll be guided through the presentation using a specific tool that we custom create for the meeting. This tool will help you streamline your thought processes and give you clarity on what the next steps that need to be taken are.
We generally have one expert come in to talk to the group about a specific subject within the four quadrants of the Enterprise Value Matrix. We choose a subject that we know the members are missing and that will follow the general, overall theme. So, for example, if it’s an operations person, they will talk about a system or a mechanism of monitoring that dental practices need in order to get to the next level.
Spark meetings include "hot seats", where we take a member’s practice and dig deep into whatever issues are plaguing them.
Anyone can undergo a hot seat. They are one of the best things about the Spark group, because you get to share what’s working and what you’re excited about. It’s also common to share failures, where things aren’t working, how that feels, and how to deal with it, both from a business perspective and an emotional perspective.
People who are new to the group are always surprised by this. They always say it is the coolest thing ever because there’s a lot of very deep sharing and they have never been in a place where people are real – and that is exactly what Spark is about.
In fact, the discovery that other people are having similar issues as well often becomes a great point of learning that everyone takes advantage of. Members start to have more realistic expectations of not only themselves, but their teams as well.
Members have often said that they learn as much or more when they aren't in the hot seat as the people who are.
When you can peel apart the pieces of the problem that you are wrestling with, by looking at it from an outside vantage point, you can map out a course or courses of action that will deal with the reality. This is incredibly beneficial because often when we are really stuck on a problem, it’s because we don’t know how to get outside of ourselves to think about the a solution, and we will avoid a whatever we don’t feel we can make progress on.
Finding the real obstacle and then identifying a way to either strategically bypass it or solve it … this is why the hot seats are a vitally important component of each session.
A Strategy Sprint is where we split the group up into random teams and then each team gets to work on some particular dental business problem. We give you the metrics, the problem, and a chance to ask questions. Then you must come up with solutions to the problem.
This is a great experience because in many cases people don’t understand how to read the data and they come up with a solution that will actually make the problem worse. This is super helpful in learning what the data is, how to read the data, and how to create a strategy from what you see in the data.
Occasionally we’ll throw in a red herring to make sure it isn’t easy. After all, running a practice is tough, and the best strategy sprints are the ones where everybody does the wrong thing because they’re super eye-opening.
It’s a pure learning experience without the financial pain. If one of the practices has had a major breakthrough, we’ll have them do a presentation on what their breakthrough was.
At the end of each day, you won’t run back to you room.
There’s a lot of value in the meeting outside the meeting, whether that’s in the hallways, at dinner in the evening, or while having a beer at the bar. There’s a lot of value in people just discussing their ideas in an informal setting. That’s why we always have some kind of social function that allows you to have the opportunity to do that. To enjoy some completely unguided networking where you get to meet new people.
Another very valuable thing is when people in various company roles meet people in that same role in another company, because now they have a network. They have someone who’s in their spot, at the same kind of company that they can connect with to problem-solve if they’re confused or frustrated about a particular issue.
Learn more about the atmosphere inside the Spark Dental Network and hear from members about how they've grown their organizations and increased in value in just a short amount of time.
We have two executive groups at Spark. Learn about each of the 2 tiers below and where your organization fits within the network.
This is where 95% of the group practices that come to us fit. The Spark Mastermind is a group environment where owners and leaders of group dental practices come together and learn, share and get hands on guidance to overcome obstacles in a way that is safe, inspiring and humbling.
In Spark you and/or your team will learn from those who have walked the path before you and save yourself years of “guess work” by learning from those who have accomplished what you are trying to accomplish.
There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Spark has a proven, flawless track record of accelerating the growth of group practices and minimizing the frustration, complexity and potential capital they’ve needed to reach their goals.
About 5% of the group practices that contact us are candidate for this – without first availing themselves of the growth that comes from membership in Spark. Accelerate is an individual, customized consulting program, based on your specific business needs, aspirations, and our knowledge of the underpinnings of all successful, fast-paced, expanding dental businesses.
Accelerate includes hands-on, done-for-you, C-Level services that include strategy, operations, accounting, finance development, etc. Accelerate is generally applicable for groups who need a solution to an identifiable sticking point.
Accelerate is for owners who want more hands-on guidance to fast track the growth potential of their business in order to enjoy their business life while having more time and money. We guide the behavioral and system changes that are necessary to elevate the performance of a growing dental enterprise. Our approach provides a simple, practical way to deal with issues facing your expanding business and the personal side effects.
Our clients are ambitious practice owners who are motivated and focused on accomplishing the growth potential of their business to reach their personal and professional goals.
Not everyone is ready for Spark. Although there are no income or geographic specifics, you must be an owner or key leader who is willing to “give as much as you get.” We have members in the roles of President, CEO, COO, CFO, Director of Operations, Regional Directors of Operations, Practice Development, etc. The real key is that you must be committed to continuous improvement and growth.
If you own a small to mid-sized dental practice group or DSO with an annual revenue in the range of $5-$25M, we encourage you to set up a Discovery Call with a member of the Spark team to find out more about your goals and determine if Spark is right for you.
Dr. Meis is a fourth-generation dentist, bestselling author, co-founder of the Team Training Institute, and trusted mentor to over 4439 dental practitioners.
Meis helps practices achieve a greater piece of mind and guides them to becoming more productive and more profitable. He’s a “tribe leader” in the industry, serving large dental practices with revenues of $5M to $20M and has participated in nearly 100 dental practice M&A. He was also president of a DSO with 120 locations and 180 doctors.
His best-selling book, “The Ultimate Guide to Doubling and Tripling Your Dental Practice Production” reveals how to make a practice more productive and profitable.
Heather Driscoll is the Director of Consulting for Spark and has been a leader in the dental community since the early 2000’s. At the end of 2017, she followed her entrepreneurial spirit and co-founded Smart Choice Dentistry with Dr. John Meis, a small Dental Service Organization (DSO).
Previously, she served as the Vice President of Operations for Mortenson Dental Partners. She was responsible for the daily operations and leadership development in 120+ practices throughout the United States and was responsible for over $175 M annual patient care revenue.
Heather has supported over 50 practices throughout the US and Canada with personalized business coaching, leadership and team development.