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The Law of Cause and Effect


The Law of Cause and Effect- by Ken Runkle – America’s Profitability Expert™

If you don't like the effect, find the cause and change it.


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The Law of Cause and Effect

by Ken Runkle – America’s Profitability Expert™

If you don't like the effect, find the cause and change it.

Dr. William James is considered the father of American psychology. He was a sickly child and faced many challenges throughout his youth and adulthood. Though passionate about art, he wasn't good at it. He tried medical school only to discover he hated it. A research trip to the Amazon brought smallpox and almost killed him. When he returned to his hometown of Boston, he made plans to take his own life. Before carrying out his plans, he discovered the Law of Cause and Effect while reading Aristotle, the father of modern science. 

For every cause there is an effect. Though that may seem simple to us, for Dr. James it was a profound realization that caused him to postpone his suicide for a year.

Over the next year, he would study this law in his life. Maybe the big struggles in his life weren't just bad luck. Maybe he had control over the outcomes. Maybe if he could find the cause of an effect, he could change the effect. During that time he discovered that fixing a cause fixed the effect. He wasn't meant to be a failure after all. Not only did he not end his life, Dr. James went on to become the father of American psychology.

You have control over the effects in your life and your practice.

The problem is we rarely take the journey to find the cause producing the effect. If a dental practice has a good year, we celebrate the victory. If the same practice has a bad year, rather than digging in to find the cause, we conveniently latch onto excuses and shift blame.

Find the cause if you want to change the effect.

Let's say profits have dropped because of low hygiene retention. We begin the investigation. We quickly rule out low new patient numbers, which leads us to rule out faulty marketing strategies. We begin to look at our hygienists. Are they doing a good job and building patient relationships? Patients offer good reviews. Are we open at the right times? Yes, we have convenient hours. Our front office begins to consistently ask patients why they are cancelling appointments. Soon the answer becomes clear. A significant percentage of patients have been forgetting their appointments. The cause has been found.

Now we work on a solution to fix the effect of low hygiene retention. After developing a systematic and automated approach to appointment reminders, your hygiene retention numbers are better than ever.

See the bad effect. Find the cause. Fix the cause. Enjoy the good effect.

If you don't fix causes, you'll be experiencing the same effect five or ten years from now. You'll be five or ten years older and five or ten years more frustrated, exhausted, and burned out from the effect because you never fixed the cause. 

The Law of Cause and Effect can be proactive in your life as well. What effects do you want in life? If you want the effect of financial independence in your life, what cause will make that happen? A growing practice. What cause will give you a growing practice? Investing in marketing, management, technology, or a new building? Adding an associate?

Don't complain about an effect if you are unwilling to change the cause. Find the cause and fix it.


Go for it!

– Ken Runkle, America’s Profitability Expert™, is the founder and president of Paragon Management, Inc. and has been helping dental practices reach peak profitability for twenty-five years.


Paragon is the leading dental practice management and dental consulting firm for today's dentist. Over 25 years of service have established us as the industry experts when it comes to growing your practice and achieving the success that you deserve. Paragon is America's Profitability Experts.


Paragon Management Associates Inc. is celebrating 31 years in helping dental practices to achieve Growth, Profitability and Financial Independence!
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