A Better Year in 90 Days with Kirk Behrendt & Jenni Poulos


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A Better Year in 90 Days

Episode #464 with Kirk Behrendt & Jenni Poulos

Having big goals may be exciting. But if you don't have a plan, you won't have progress! A 90-day plan is the best way to focus on your priorities, and Kirk Behrendt brings back Jenni Poulos, one of many amazing coaches at ACT, to share the best way to strategically organize your time. You can have a better year in just 90 days! To take your practice from good to great, listen to Episode 464 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

A better year can happen in 90-day segments.

Collective energy can only go for 90 days.

Don't only focus on what's broken.

Have less than five priorities.

Take time to celebrate.


“We have realized and really embraced a strategic planning cycle that we execute every 90 days. And by breaking our year into these chunks, we’re able to focus, give our best effort, to the things that matter now and make real progress, versus having this long, spread out plan that we never really complete because we lose steam, and we don't reevaluate. So, 90 days works for human nature, works for our brains, and it works for teams of two or 20.” (3:15—3:59)

“The great thing about this strategic planning every 90 days, first of all, you have to intentionally pause. When you go into this 90-day strategic planning cycle, you have to say, ‘We’re going to stop. We’re going to talk about what we did, the successes that we had, what do we need to keep doing, what are we changing, and build new plans.’ And it really helps team members reflect on what's working, reflect on what's not working, and continue to improve as we move forward.” (5:52—6:29)

“When we step back, sometimes we realize, ‘Hey, what we were focusing on, maybe it wasn't the most important thing. Maybe we need to shift it,’ and we build these executable plans with steps that everyone can get engaged in. When we build things over a year, it’s hard to say, ‘Hey, we’re going to do these steps over 365 days.’ Oh my gosh, you get so lost in that. But if I say, ‘Hey, I'm going to focus for six weeks on something,’ I can really give my attention to that for six weeks.” (6:30—7:03)

“One of the quickest ways that you can kill motivation for yourself and for your team members is to never complete things. And if you have these huge, huge, huge, huge tasks or huge goals that you say, ‘We’re going to do this, and we don't really have a set plan for it. We’re just going to start going,’ it becomes demoralizing to the team, eventually, because they feel like, ‘Oh my gosh, we just can't get anywhere.’” (10:19—10:54)

“If you have a bigger group, as a leadership team, say, ‘Hey, let's focus in on what's important. Then, let's bring it to the team. Let's get their input. Let's get them to weigh in so they will buy in. Then, we’re going to develop the 13-week plan, and we’re going to see success because it’s something that we can concentrate on and execute from start to finish, and then reevaluate.’” (11:17—11:43)

“I want to give you a good tip about the 13-week plan. When you establish your 13-week plan, I would like you to plan to finish it in 10 weeks.” (11:43—11:54)

“If I told you I can have you do this one thing that will reenergize your team every 13 weeks, would you not jump all over that?” (15:47—15:58)

“When we focus just on what's broken, we miss half or more of the picture and we miss the opportunity to look at things that are working and take them from good to great.” (16:22—16:34)

“Our brains are hard-wired to go to the negative. So, we have to be very intentional about celebrating and saying, ‘What's working, and how can we utilize the things that we’re doing really well in other areas? What can we learn from them? How can we grow and build upon the things that are working?’” (17:01—17:28)

“We spend so much time highlighting what's broken that that's also demoralizing. We have to learn from our celebrations.” (17:29—17:41)

“As a dentist, as a business owner, you can't do it all on your own. It’s impossible.” (19:04—19:10)

“Consensus can be a dangerous thing. What we’re looking for is collaboration. We’re looking for people to come together around a common goal, to share their thoughts, to share their beliefs.” (19:57—20:10)

“We’re looking for collaboration. You don't need everyone to be in consensus and say, ‘I 1,000% agree with everything.’ Because if you have that, you have what we call artificial harmony, and you don't have people voicing what they believe. But you really want them all buying in and contributing.” (20:50—21:08)

“When we say, ‘This is what we’re going to focus on,’ and we break it into tasks and we say, ‘This is how we’re going to get there,’ everyone can see the road ahead. Everyone can see where we’re going, and how we’re going to get there, and work together. When they can say, ‘I see what you're saying,’ you're going to get there.” (29:56—30:17)


0:00 Introduction.

1:50 Jenni’s background.

2:59 Why you should plan every 90 days.

5:28 Pause and reflect as a team.

8:38 How to plan the 90 days.

16:34 Why it’s important to first celebrate.

18:38 Get weigh-in for buy-in.

21:32 Have a planning day.

24:20 Don't coach your own team.

26:13 Summary of the 90-day plan.

29:24 Last thoughts.

Reach Out to Jenni:

Jenni’s email: jenni@actdental.com

Jenni’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jenni.poulos

Jenni’s social media: @actdental


Traction by Gino Wickman: https://benbellabooks.com/shop/traction/

Jenni Poulos Bio:

Jenni brings to dental teams a literal lifetime of experience in dentistry. As the daughter and sister of periodontists and a dental hygienist, she has been working in many facets of the dental world since she first held a summer job turning rooms and pouring models at the age of 12. Now, with over 10 years of experience in managing and leading a large periodontal practice, she has a firm grasp on what it takes to run a thriving business. Her passion for organizational health and culture has been a driving force behind her coaching career. She has witnessed firsthand how creating an aligned and engaged team will take a practice to levels of success that they never believed possible! 

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