Chris Barrow, from 7 Connections, is giving the key note introductory lecture at Clinical Innovations 2015. Ahead of the conference, Healthcare Learning Chief Executive Mash Seriki caught up with Chris, where they talked about innovations for the future and bringing things to a better place, and had a lot of fun doing so.
Mash: Do you know what Clinical Innovations is?
Chris: I haven’t got a clue!
Mash: You haven’t got a clue? Clinical Innovations is actually, I think, the best dentistry show that there is. A real boutique one, around 400 people, lots of innovative stuff. You’re going to be talking at it, I think. Are you going to talk at it?
Chris: I am! I’m going to do a key note open session. I’ll be the first speaker on the Friday morning.
Mash: You’re going to open the big show?
Chris: Oh yeah, open the big show!
Mash: Thank you.
Chris: You’re welcome. Looking forward to it!
Mash: We’ve been looking for a big name, and we’re still looking [Both laugh].
Chris: The other thing I’m going to do is I’m going to do another concurrent session in the afternoon. You know a breakout session; if there’s anybody that enjoys the first session, they might come to the second session.
Mash: And so rumour tells me that you are the guy who goes around helping practices become better practices, you help them organise their marketing, you help them organise their structure, am I on the right line?
Chris: You’re in the right place. You know, I always like to describe what I do for a living as Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares in your dental practice, with slightly less swearing. It’s 22 years this year that I’ve been going in to dental practices and with a completely free brief to say “Okay, Chris, take a look at what we’re doing in terms of our overall strategy and the direction we’re heading in and also take a look at, tactically, day-to-day inside the practice. If we’ve got a leaky ship, tell us where the leaks are. Tell us what we can do fix the leaks and tell us how we can move forward.”
Mash: I know that our team is so pleased that you’re coming. I know that they’ve tried very hard to get you. I think one of the team was like “You’re a bit like a slippery eel to pin down” because you’re all over the place. You’re easy to find on social media though, it’s easier than finding you in person. So this is an honour that you’re sitting here with me and I’m not just reading a tweet that you have tweeted [Chris laughs] and, also, I’m not a twit because somebody said that “If you follow someone on twitter, you must be a twit” but I’m not one of your twits. But I can see your twittering… so it’s really cool that you’re here.
I’m so pleased that you’re opening our show. I know the team are delighted that you are one of the guys on this programme because I’ve sort of known you from afar and one of the things that I know about you is that you drag things to a better place. And our Clinical Innovations programme is about taking things to a better place. Everyone on this programme, who is contributing, exhibiting, attending and organising is all about dragging things to a better place. I know that’s going to be great. Really looking forward to it!
Chris: Just to say something about the Key Note. I was thinking very, very carefully. Well you know you’ve got a Clinical Innovations Conference, and you’ve been asked to open it so what the hell are you going to talk about? So I decided, actually, that what I wanted to do was to take a look into the future, so I’ve set myself a challenge. And the challenge is to be able to give a presentation on what I believe dentistry will look like as a profession, and as a business, in the year 2025. We’re going to go 10 years into the future. We’re going to share possibly some scary news, possibly some bad news but once we’ve got that out of the way we’re going to share some good news. My belief system says there’s good and bad in that there’s good and bad in all things.
So what I want to do is I want to focus on why we can be excited about the next 10 years, and where it’s heading. Why can I say that if I have a career in dentistry which has got a time horizon 10 years and beyond that it’s worth showing up? There’s something worth turning up for. And, because I’ve had this in my mind for a few months now since we first started speaking about this, I’ve been looking. I’ve been looking around the UK, but I’ve also been looking around the world and I’ve been asking myself the question “Where is the innovation? What does it look like? What messages are the innovators giving out right now? And if we could paint a picture of what the profession and the business will look like 10 years from now, what would it look like?” So that’s my challenge for that first session. And to get everyone coming out of that first session, thinking “Holy crap, I want to be there in the next 10 years because this looks like the best place to go.”
Mash: Fantastic! Do you know what else I wanted to say about it is when you deliver some of that knowledge, you may share that in our MBA perhaps?
Mash: But we won’t tell anybody about that yet. It’s a secret.
Chris [gestures to big sign for MBA in Healthcare, makes shushing motion]
Mash: It’s a big secret, actually. We’re looking forward to that.
Chris: [gesturing to sign for MBA], It’s so big a secret it’s about six foot high
Mash: Well, excellent!
Chris: Look forward to it, Mash. See you then!