Saturday, March 26, 2011

Apollo 13, a "Successful Failure"

In 1970, Apollo 13 launched from Cape Canaveral on its way to the third moon landing. About 56 hours into the flight an oxygen tank exploded. The crew had no real idea what had happened, but they knew it was bad. They soon began to realize, the mission to the moon had transformed into a mission of survival. Through massive teamwork both on the spacecraft and here on the ground, and with clever ingenuity and courage, they returned safely to earth from the dark depths of space. The mission was termed a "Successful Failure". To this day this mission is probably the best remembered Apollo flight after the first Apollo 11 moon landing.

There were three crew members on Apollo 13, and I have been privileged to meet two of them. Most recently, I heard Fred Haise speak about his experience at the US Space and Rocket Center here in Huntsville. Also, several years ago I met Jim Lovell at a book signing for his book, "Lost Moon".

If you have never seen the movie, "Apollo 13" I highly recommend it. Mr. Haise did go over a few of the Hollywood alterations to the story, but mainly the movie is accurate and inspiring. Tom Hanks and Ron Howard visited the Marshall Space Flight Center and Space Camp here to get more information for the movie. Mr Hanks also sent his son through Space Camp.

Often in business or personal life, circumstances change unexpectedly. The original mission cannot be completed despite all the best laid plans. Still, experience, teamwork, flexibility and knowledge enables the fortunate and dedicated to change the plan, to adapt, innovate and succeed.

With medical and dental practices, which are businesses, things can happen. The recent economic distress has made patients cautious about committing to larger or longer term dental treatment, especially if it is seen as optional. Orthodontic practices in particular have been hurt in this recession. Innovative financial options, overhead reduction are some ways to help our patients obtain the services they need. However, you must keep the quality and customer service.

With a dedication to the patient, and good business decisions, we all can weather the storm. Adversity can bring opportunity. It can bring about needed change that otherwise would not have happened. So, when the mission abruptly changes, when the plan has changed from what you thought it would be, look on it as a opportunity. Turn adversity from failure into success.


Edward Logan said...

In the midst of the economic downturn, we are upgrading the equipment and digital x-ray system in our office. I agree with the article that there are opportunities to capitalize on negative situations and capture more of the selective patient population.

graceville dentist said...

I understand what you mean "successful failure". At least,we can learn something from previous unsuccessful tasks and make them better next time. Thanks

North Hollywood dentist said...

Great point Dr. In these days and times you have to make the most of the given situation. Competing for patronage is getting to be more challenging as the middle class are being diminished in recent years, we should take example from you and run an effective blog to help others. Kudos!

The Energy Producer said...

Cool blog! I love dentists that are online doing their thang! Here is a cool online seminar free for dentists just like you

Dentists in Surprise said...

I agree with Edward. We are upgrading the equipment in the office.

That was a great point!

Thank you,


Dentist Minneapolis said...

graceville dentist - "I understand what you mean "successful failure". At least,we can learn something from previous unsuccessful tasks and make them better next time. Thanks"

Thanks for answering. I was thinking of what's the meaning of the "Successful Failure" too. I came up with a different answer but I think yours is a better one. :)