Don’t you just love it when you can go onto a company’s website and see the faces and bios of the people who make that company run? People-centered “pages” help give me a sense of the essence of the operation and sometimes might even persuade me to choose one company’s products over another.
If you’ve spent some time trolling the internet, you might have noticed that people-oriented pages are popular among dental laboratory websites. Obviously, it pleases me to see this. Though we have always been a community focused on people, 30 years ago that focus was somewhat different than it is today. We’ve come a long way.
The focus back then was on ceramists. They were a lab’s stars and lab owners were often conflicted about how to showcase them. On one hand, the skill of the ceramist often determined the type of dentist-client—and fee—the lab could procure. On the other hand, the more it bolstered the importance of its ceramist(s) the greater its risk of losing them to another lab or having a ceramist start his/her own laboratory.
Though some of these issues still exist, for the most part these days, the focus is on “the team.” Star power comes not from a single technician but from the cohesive energy created by a group of people who, when working well together, build a company presence that becomes a selling point to clients.
On my recent Road Trip, for example, I visited many laboratories that were particularly proud of their team. Staff members are a team in every sense of the word: they are one another’s dog sitters, house watchers, fishing buddies and life-long friends; their relationships characterize their thriving operations.
The stories about how lab teams were built go something like this: “We’re a family of dental technicians”; “I married his sister and now we all work together”; “He was my mentor and encouraged me to become a technician”; “I brought her in and she brought him in”; “I started as a driver but watched how they made…”; “I wanted to see what my friend did and went to his lab. I was fascinated and the rest is history.”
Fascination, passion and a willingness to become immersed in the field drives our community and, in every pocket of the country, there are laboratories with star power in team form.
It is the same at LMT. We, too, are only as good as our people . . . and our people are good. Make no mistake: we had to kiss a lot of frogs before we found our princes (okay, princesses in our case). But if you take a look at our timeline, you’ll see many staff members have been the voice and face of LMT for a long, long time.
I feel connected to you by this shared appreciation for our respective teams and how lucky we are to be doing what we do together.
* From People, a song written by Jule Styne (composer) and Bob Merrill (lyricist) sung by Barbra Streisand starring in the 1964 Broadway musical, Funny Girl.
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