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[00:00:00] Hello everyone. Welcome to The Testing Psychologist podcast, the podcast where we talk all about the business and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment. I’m your host, Dr. Jeremy Sharp, licensed psychologist, group practice owner, and private practice coach.

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Hello all, and welcome back to The Testing Psychologist podcast.

Hey, today is another business episode and another segment of the EOS journey series. Today, I’m talking about implementing the principles that we [00:01:00] have learned so far. We have completed our initial 3-day onboarding with the EOS process, and now we have been turned loose in the practice to put these principles to work and see how it goes. As always, I will try to be transparent and upfront about my feelings and thoughts as we go through this journey.

If you haven’t listened to the rest of the episodes in the EOS series, I would encourage you to do that. They do build on one another chronologically and practically as well. It’s like math. You learn the basic stuff first and then move on to the more advanced concepts. So go back and check those out. I think these episodes are certainly helpful for group practice owners or those moving into more of a CEO role. And I think there’s plenty to take away from these episodes for [00:02:00] beginner practice owners as well. They’re just good business principles.

Real quick. Before I get to the episode, if you are interested in getting some group coaching and accountability as you build your practice, check out The Testing Psychologist Mastermind Groups. These are business-oriented coaching groups where no more than six psychologists come together. I facilitate each group. There are different levels depending on the development of your practice and we help one another reach goals. A lot of accountability, a lot of doing stuff, some emotions, some support, and wrestling with some hard decisions sometimes. So if you’re looking for a little less isolation and a little more accountability as you build your practice, you can go to thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting and schedule a pre-group call.

All right y’all, let’s talk about implementing these EOS principles.

[00:03:12] All right, y’all, let’s get into it.

I’m talking about how to implement the EOS principles that we’ve been learning about over the past 3 months or so. We’ve had 3 full-day trainings, so 24 hours of EOS education with some practice in between. But this was the time when we are turned away to go about our business on our own because our next EOS training day with our implementer is not going to be for about 3 months. We don’t have another one until early September. So we have 3 to 4 months [00:04:00] to run with it and see what we can do.

I don’t know if any of you had this experience, but when we had our first kid and our second kid, I felt like we put a lot of energy into the birth plan and what’s going to happen before we get to the hospital, when we get to the hospital, during the labor. Now, granted, all of that went out the window when it was actually happening, but that’s a different story, my point being, we put a lot of energy into having the baby. We didn’t put a lot of energy into thinking about what happens when we were to take the baby home.

That’s what this felt like. It felt like we put a lot of energy in upfront and then we got to our first L10 or leadership meeting after the last [00:05:00] EOS education day, and it was like, Oh my gosh, what do we do now? It’s like we took the baby home and just stood in the living room and we’re like, what now? There’s nobody here to support us. It wasn’t that bad, but it was a little bit like that feeling of, okay, what happens now? Are we really on our own to run this business?

The cool thing about EOS, a strength of EOS is laying a lot of groundwork. So we spent a lot of time in the previous 3 full days learning how to run an efficient, good, productive meeting. We had our leadership team dialed in and we knew what our priorities were. We spent a lot of time identifying our priorities or our rocks in EOS speak for the next few months.

We knew that we had the support of [00:06:00] our implementer in that whole process. And so, it wasn’t like totally being pushed out of the nest. Still, there was a little bit of that feeling of, oh my gosh, we’re going to do this for 3 or 4 months without checking in. I don’t want to mislead you though. Our implementer and I think most implementers are available for email consultation, and phone consultation should anything go off the rails. I should put that out there. But here we were. We’re ready to implement and see where that goes.

Implementing has largely been fun and exciting. As a leader who has shouldered a lot of responsibility, I would say poorly over all these years, this has been refreshing [00:07:00] and relieving for me. I’ve talked a lot about the trouble of being vulnerable with my team and not knowing if I can trust others, not wanting to share leadership responsibilities for fear that either, it’s both sides, others might not do it as well as I did it, or the way that I wanted them to do it, but then also that this opens up the possibility for some shame as well that others will now see behind the curtain and see, oh, I haven’t been doing that well over all these years. I am not as good of a leader as I would like to be.

So there was a lot of vulnerability and having a great leadership team has made such a difference. There has been not a single moment where I [00:08:00] felt any of those negative anticipatory feelings of shame or embarrassment or incompetence or anything like that. My team has been so supportive and really glad to be able to play a bigger role in the practice.

A big part of our job this quarter is to solve the right person, right seat issues. As I’ve said, EOS is very big on having a very clearly defined accountability chart with no overlap in roles. Something we’ve run into here at our practice is that people have been cross-trained to a degree. A lot of folks have held different roles in the practice and do a lot of different things.[00:09:00] There’s been some overlap in having multiple people doing the same job or being unclear of who’s supposed to take on what responsibilities.

And so, a big part of our job is clarifying that as much as possible. Our implementer uses the phrase One Throat to Choke, which is a pretty, I guess, violent way to describe the principle that only one person should be responsible for any given task, because if multiple people are responsible for any given task, then it becomes a muddy, really fast who is accountable to do that task.

This was a big problem in our practice in the past and something that we’re working a lot [00:10:00] on is it wasn’t super clear who was supposed to be doing any one thing. It was really up to me to delegate to different people. The roles just weren’t very well defined.

One huge thing that we have been working on and having a hard time with is transitioning. Our client care and finance lead was transitioning out. So we are transitioning in a new individual who is fantastic and new. So we’re building this accountability chart at the same time that two of our major leadership seats are in transition.

That has been somewhat challenging for probably some of the reasons that you could imagine. [00:11:00] The incoming client care and finance lead is new to our practice, and like I said, amazing. And I think that is challenging for our outgoing client care and finance lead who has been at the practice for a long time and is now being asked to hand over all this responsibility to a relatively new individual.

And so, I think the outgoing person is also wrestling with these questions of trust, whether things are going to work out, how they might be leaving our practice, and in what state. So, that’s been a little bit challenging to navigate. Also concerned about the well-being of our incoming person because she has ramped up quickly and has had to learn a lot as she steps into [00:12:00] these leadership roles. So, that’s one part of this process has been I would say relatively challenging is to make that transition as much as possible.

From a leadership perspective, I’ve been doing a lot more meetings with both of them, some separate, some together, and just trying to nurture those relationships and paying a little closer attention than I might otherwise would to their well-being, their emotional state, and what this transition might be like for them.

I’ll be honest. This is not, I would say a natural role for me to play typically like, Hey, let’s get this done. Let’s keep moving forward. I’m certainly guilty of not tending to emotions as much as probably should in my professional or personal life. And so, this [00:13:00] is a stretch for me and it is super important. I’ve tried to put a lot of energy into that and I think it has so far gone okay. It’s been okay.

So we’re on the tail end of that. Our outgoing person is physically not here anymore. They’ve moved. They’re doing a little bit of remote work, but we are mostly transitioned to our incoming person, which is great. So a little bit of that instability that we’ve been working with over the past two months with those positions is starting to settle down a bit.

Another huge task that we are in the process of accomplishing is completely overhauling the admin team. We ended up hiring two virtual assistants for reception and billing.

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All right, let’s get back to the podcast.

Lots of reflections here.

Hiring has been a completely different vibe with the accountability chart in place. I’ve talked before about the EOS principle of positions, not people. This made a huge difference. We weren’t trying to [00:15:00] create roles for existing employees. We knew what roles we needed to fill and we’re going out and we’re finding those people.

We did the former a lot in the practice because I like everybody. I like people. Once I hire someone, I want that person to stick around and especially when they’re doing a really good job, I keep thinking of what else they could do. I want to give them more responsibility and put them in a different position that would maybe utilize their skills a little better or cater to their happiness. I’ve said that a lot over the years. That’s a principle for our clinicians and our admin staff for better, or for worse. I’ve always said, I want you to do the things that you love doing. So let me know if you don’t love what you’re doing.

Now, that has been helpful. [00:16:00] I think it’s certainly helpful on the clinician side. Admin-wise, it led us into a little bit of trouble because I kept modifying and moving folks around in their positions so that they were doing what they loved. Sometimes that didn’t fit with what the agency needed. So this whole philosophy of creating the position and then going and finding the person has been a huge help.

And like I said, we created two positions, one receptionist and one billing assistant. I went to a VA company called My Mountain Mover. There’s a link in the show notes if anybody wants to check them out. They’ve been great. I was a little hesitant because they are overseas VAs from the Philippines.

And so for a receptionist position or any client-facing position, I was of course concerned about [00:17:00] English as a second language and what that might be like. I can say that all of those fears were put to rest. My Mountain Mover is a company that specializes in medical VAs. The folks that we’ve hired have been truly incredible.

Let’s see. So we hired for those positions and now our admin team, our billing team, our client care and finance teams are filled. They’re full. They’re robust. They can handle the growth that we’re planning for the next several months and years. That’s a huge task that we have been working on.

And this is a point too, where I want to reflect on another advantage, I would say, or positive point of [00:18:00] implementing EOS is now that there’s a leadership team and we’ve all agreed on the important rocks that we need to be working on, the priorities for our practice, it’s kept me from being able to avoid and waffle and put off important decisions.

So I would put this off forever because I don’t want to hire more folks. I don’t want to spend more money. I don’t want to increase payroll. I constantly wrongly assume that people should be able to do more than they’re doing which is born, I have high expectations for folks and that’s not fair.

And so, making this a rock and having the leadership team keep me accountable to do it and or offloading it to someone else to do has taken that out of my hands a bit and made it so that I can’t just [00:19:00] avoid these hard decisions just because I don’t think it’s necessary. Other people are saying, Hey, we got to do this.

One last component that we’ve been working on a lot is our compensation model. We have spent quite a bit of time over the last month or so working on a new salary rubric. This was a move to move in the direction of more equity in our practice. So we developed a completely transparent salary rubric that’s based on licensure, experience, tenure at the practice, certifications, education that sort of thing.

So there are maybe five points of consideration in the salary rubric that influence how much one might be paid and it’s completely transparent. Anyone can access the salary [00:20:00] rubric and figure out by checking a few boxes exactly what they should make, and what their coworkers are making.

This is to move in the direction of equity so that we don’t unconsciously reward those who are better at asking for raises or better at negotiating or even worse but also human, showing some implicit bias toward folks for any number of personal factors that might come into play, like demographic stuff, race, ethnicity, whatever else.

And so, we have a transparent salary rubric. We do not negotiate. Raises happen on a completely fixed schedule and it’s been huge. [00:21:00] Some folks did not like it because it takes away the possibility of getting a raise out of the blue or being able to negotiate for a higher rate of pay. But for the most part, it’s been a positive change in our practice and it’s consistent with our values of being active allies.

So those are the major projects. That’s what we’ve been implementing. Now, like I said, we have 3 to 4 months ahead of us of doing this on our own until we get to the next intensive day with our implementer. I’ll continue to update and share progress as we move along or lack of progress, if that’s the case.

All in all, things are going very well with EOS. I, of course, was cautious about spending such a significant amount of money to go down this road, [00:22:00] but thus far, it’s been completely worth it. We are, of course, still working on things and dialing in our ability to solve the problems that arise quickly and efficiently rather than just discussing them to death and not doing anything about it, but I think we’re doing well.

Above all, my leadership team is giving me feedback that clarity and accountability are so much higher than it used to be. Our staff is saying that it’s great to finally know where to go, and who to go to. Things are getting done quicker. I’m no longer a huge bottleneck in her practice. So all in all, it’s been a great experience. We’ll see if that holds true.

Thanks for tuning in. Like I said, this is likely most relevant for group practice owners, but [00:23:00] hopefully some of you beginner practice folks are taking away some points as well.

There are tons of EOS resources. The website is listed in the show notes, and it’s a great hub to find all the EOS books and tools that I’ve talked about. So definitely go and check those out if you would like.

All right. Thanks for listening.

All right. Y’all. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. Always grateful to have you here. I hope that you take away some information that you can implement in your practice and your life. Any resources that we mentioned during the episode will be listed in the show notes. So make sure to check those out.

If you like what you hear on the podcast, I would be so grateful if you left a review on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcast.

If you’re a practice owner or aspiring practice owner, I’d invite you to check out The Testing Psychologist mastermind groups. I have [00:24:00] mastermind groups at every stage of practice development, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. We have homework, we have accountability, we have support, we have resources. These groups are amazing. We do a lot of work and a lot of connecting. If that sounds interesting to you, you can check out the details at thetestingpsychologist.com/consulting. You can sign up for a pre-group phone call and we will chat and figure out if a group could be a good fit for you.

Thanks so much.

The information contained in this podcast and on The Testing Psychologist website are intended for informational and educational purposes only. Nothing in this podcast or on the [00:25:00] website is intended to be a substitute for professional, psychological, psychiatric, or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Please note that no doctor-patient relationship is formed here, and similarly, no supervisory or consultative relationship is formed between the host or guests of this podcast and listeners of this podcast. If you need the qualified advice of any mental health practitioner or medical provider, please seek one in your area. Similarly, if you need supervision on clinical matters, please find a supervisor with expertise that fits your needs.

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