A True Leader in Dentistry

Feature Friday with Practices Made Perfect's, Nicki Rowland

When Lock-down hit the UK and Dental Practices started to temporarily close, our recruitment services were put on an immediate hold. I knew there were ways in which Diamond Dental Staff could still support our clients and candidates and one way we did this was by hosting some free webinars on Mindset, Planning and Autism Awareness.

A free download of our planning webinar is available here. We are all about encouraging a sense of community. It was so nice to have so many join onto the events and hear how it had helped them. I took some inspiration from this and launched The DDS Coffee Club. a virtual coffee

club that is held every Friday at 10am.

All are welcome to join us for this and it is a great opportunity to meet other dental professionals in a relaxed and friendly way. We have had some fantastic groups join on and always leave the call feeling inspired and uplifted.

In the midst of all the webinars and online events, I had been invited to be part of a panel for a Covid-19 Support Group, hosted by Marama Millar, Director of Dental Nurse Network. This is where I had first met the other guest speakers on the panel, Nicki Rowland and Stephanie Carter. The support calls took place every Monday evening during lock-down, then moved to fortnightly and are now run monthly.

These support groups have seen all members of the dental team join, as well as dental tutors and practice owners. We had approximate guests of around 75 dental professionals listening in to questions that had been shared for us to provide answers to, as well as the honest sharing and updates from individuals, dental hubs, what challenges our guests were facing and it has honestly been so nice to be included in this as I too have felt better from the kind words of encouragement and support from all involved.

The support calls are something I look forward to as Marama, Nicki and Stephanie are true professionals and incredibly passionate in their fields and towards helping and supporting others.

I am so grateful to have been introduced to Nicki, as she is just wonderful. Nicki has been someone that has really taken this strange time by the horns and used the uncertainty to fuel the fire in her belly to find answers or at least, collect as many experts as possible to share their thoughts, experiences and advice to offer some insight and encouragement for her newly found, growing audience that she is attracting due to all of her efforts. It has been fantastic getting to know Nicki and I am delighted to introduce her to you too.

So who is Nicki Rowland?

Nicki has lived and breathed practice management since opening Perfect 32 Dental Practice in East Yorkshire in 2005. For over 10 years, Nicki nurtured her team to achieve exemplary standards in both clinical and customer service based areas of work and as a result the practice won countless awards. These include The National Training Awards for Yorkshire and Humber in 2010, as well as being a national finalist in the SME category. In 2011, Perfect 32 won The Training Business of the Year Award at the local Chambers of Commerce Awards and Nicki herself was awarded Practice Manager of the Year by the UK’s Association of Dental Administrators and Managers (ADAM) in 2012.

In 2014, Nicki set up her own business, Practices Made Perfect, which is a business, compliance and leadership consultancy and training company predominantly in the dental world.

Nicki has also recently co-founded The Exceptional Leadership Academy, an inspiring on-line training platform that is fun, engaging and will host entrepreneurial material from a broad array of trainers.

Nicki is a keynote speaker at dental conferences and exhibitions and writes regularly for dental magazines. She is also in the process of publishing a children’s oral health book called ‘The Magic Dentist’ which will be available in 2021.

Nicki’s Areas of Specialisms:

Strategic Business Development; Leadership and Management; Change Management; Dental Compliance, including CQC and GDPR requirements; Complaints Handling; Staff Development; Recruitment in Practice; Exemplary Customer Service.

Nicki has a wealth of experience! As someone that I have been personally inspired by during the last 5 months, it is my pleasure to share our Q&A with the Diamond Dental Staff Community.

What made you start a career in dentistry?

I qualified as a state registered, chartered physiotherapist in 1992 and had a special interest in head and neck oncology patients. Coincidentally, my friend who went to dental school introduced me to a friend of hers and I eventually married him (and dentistry)! We set up Perfect 32 DP in Beverley E. Yorks in 2005 just after I had our second daughter. Let’s say I was thrown in at the deep end.

How have you supported your clients during Covid-19?

I have always said to my clients that they can call me for advice at any point. What I did not realise was the quantity of queries and questions that would come flooding in to which I did not always have the answer. I have a fantastic network of dental professionals and experts so I was tapping into them for the answers and feeding them back to my clients. One day, I sat and thought that there must be thousands of dental professionals needing these answers so I set up my FB group, Leadership in Dentistry, to share the advice and knowledge of my expert network. On writing, I currently have 4,500 members and the group is still growing. I do regular podcasts with experts to get the answers at the grassroots level. I also have a YouTube channel coming soon called ELA TV so watch out for that.

What is the ELA and why did you set it up?

The ELA is the Exceptional Leadership Academy and literally established 2 months ago. CQC published their findings recently stating that the majority of failings is within the well-led KLOE (leadership, management and good governance) and that there is a demonstrable link with the safe KLOE. Covid-19 has magnified the leadership issues that practices are facing. I hear horror stories of what is happening with regards to change management, generating commitment from the team, HR issues and much more. The ELA is a training platform where myself and business partner as well as a whole host of dental entrepreneurs will be publishing interactive, engaging and innovative courses and training material to coach dental professionals to be great leaders and a better version of themselves. There are so many CPD platforms out there that are run of the mill and we wanted to create something fun, funky and a little bit sexy.

Our first programme is called ‘The 5 Rs of Recovery’ and we handhold you to Regroup your team , Resolve internal issues in your practice, Rebuild your business, Retrain your team and ensure that your team and business are Resilient. During August, we are offering a 40% discount on the programme making the investment only £299.

The programme offers 7 hours of verifiable CPD and once registered you have access to the programme at anytime, anywhere and forever.

You can dip in and out at your convenience and take as much time as you like to work through the lessons and achieve your certificate. If you are interested, enter the discount code august20 on registration to apply the discount.

Who inspires you? / Who has been influential in your career?

I am inspired by anyone who is a great leader or has left a legacy in the world. I am also inspired by people who have overcome adversity, faced challenges in their lives and made changes for the greater good. I think this encapsulates all our dental colleagues right now who deserve all respect in my book. I am inspired to do what I do every day when I see how Covid has and is still impacting on our industry. I have been influenced by many people. Tony Robbins, Linzi Boyd of BoB fame, Richard Branson, Jessica Cox, JK Rowling, Elon Musk and many, many more.

Where do you see the future of Dentistry?

I very much feel that we generally see the darker side of Covid because of the financial, economic and political impact it is having on us right now. However, I think what has happened during the crisis is that it has stripped us back to basics…… fundamentally back to simple human beings with feelings, needs and wants. The dental coffers are pretty empty for many at the moment so I feel the way that dental practices will survive is by building on the human element. I talk about the ‘Emotion-led patient journey’ and ‘injecting life back into our teams’. I envisage that if we can really get to know each team member and tap into their emotional responses, we can generate trust, commitment and accountability internally. Cohesive teams create a positive vortex in practice which is tangible to patients. Patients will really feel an emotional connection with a team that is highly motivated and delivering a service that meets their human needs but also exceeds their dental expectations. These patients will do the marketing for you through words of mouth referrals. Reward your patients and new footfall will organically grow.

What would your advice be for practice owners/managers?

Don’t rush back into practice all guns blazing. Reconnect with each team member over a cup of coffee and find out how they are feeling. In this way, your team will feel needed, wanted and appreciated. Tailor your support to each individual and you will get the best out of them to drive the practice forwards. Be open and transparent and allow yourself to display some vulnerability. No leader is invincible and needs to rally the troops to pull together at times of adversity. Plan for the future and share your vision to your team. Take them on a journey with you. Instil values that everyone in the practice will live and breathe to inject life back into your practice. Put the iron rod away and lead by example. Create the ‘pull’ in your practice that will sustain your business and build resilience within your team.

Why is; building the right team / culture / In house training so important?

Two words come to mind….resilience and sustainability. The right team culture is crucial to both. What underpins a great culture is great communication. Great leaders need to be great communicators. Regardless of whether they’re talking about business, politics, sports or the military, the best leaders are first-rate communicators. Their values are clear and solid, and what they say promotes their values and purpose. Likewise, if we want your teams to respect you and follow your lead, you need to shore up your communication skills and create team engagement. For our practices to reach new heights of achievement and standards of performance, we must master the art of clear communication and employee engagement. To drive continuous growth in your practice, I would highly recommend back to work interviews, morning huddles, end of day debriefs, regular team meetings, one to ones and a general open door policy across the board.

Free DDS download: Back To Work Form Following a Pandemic

Nicki Rowland is someone that Diamond Dental Staff would confidently introduce to any of our clients requiring her professional services. If you have a question for Nicki, feel free to contact her on the details below. Nicki and I have a network of experts and professionals on our speed dial! So if there is anything we can assist you with, or if there is anything you are unsure of, give us a call as we will at least be able to point you in the right direction.

On behalf of the Diamond Dental Staff Community, we would like to thank Nicki for another great Q&A for this weeks Feature Friday!

Contact Details

Nicki Rowland

Practices Made Perfect / The Exceptional Leadership Academy


Facebook: Leadership In Dentistry

Visit: www.pmp-consulting.co.uk

Emma Anastasi

Founding Director

Diamond Dental Staff



Facebook: Diamond Dental Staff


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