“In life, it takes a short period of time to think you know it all, and a long period of time to realise just how little you actually do know,” writes author Mick Mooney.
We’ve all been there. As we get older we realise there is still so much we don’t know. So much more than we thought we did. We realize we’re not always right, we make mistakes… and then we learn, hopefully, to be flexible enough to make adjustments. This flexibility is also key to building a successful business – the ability to change to meet shifting demands from customers, skills of colleagues, or the arrival of new competition.
Paul Keating pushed us to become more flexible in the 80s when he dismantled our protectionist economic framework and opened Australia up to greater international trade. Then came the arrival of international superstores with mass advertising campaigns and cut prices, followed quickly by online selling that enabled consumers to buy direct from manufacturers and retailers anywhere in the world – without leaving home. These changes have continually forced local manufacturers and retailers to become more competitive – either by reducing operating costs or by finding ways to differentiate their product or service and brand.
We can try and hold off change but would we really want to? Would we want to slip into a world where mediocrity rules – where we pay above market rates for low quality product and services, just to keep inefficient operators in business? Or would we prefer to expose ourselves to all the learnings and advantages of an increasingly global economy? With this in mind, in this issue, we look at change and the way optometrists and ophthalmologists have had to become more flexible in their approach to working together for the benefit of patients and their own professional satisfaction. It’s a timely discussion – media attention has recently focused on long waiting lists for surgery – and eye surgery in particular.
Dr. Andrew McDonald, NSW Shadow Minister for Health, said the wait (in NSW it can be as much as four and half years) was “a joke” and that it is time “for a statewide review into eye services”. There looks to be a change afoot.
Elsewhere in this issue, our business writers look at how optometrists can develop empathy in an effort to more effectively relate to customers, and how systems and services should evolve to offer the highest level of customer care. We also chat with designer Bruno Palmegiani, who always wanted to be a rock star, but chose optometry instead then fused the two, to create the iconic Police brand. Palmegiani understands the need to be flexible and he understands the need to change. He sums it up brilliantly. “It’s important to understand that change upsets a little bit… I’m always looking for brand new things, (but) it is important to know how to take them in doses.” Step by step…
See you at ODMA 2013.
mifeature: World is a Wonder: Glaucoma Photo Competition: A moody shot of winter trees, standing stark against the skyline, has won the major prize in Glaucoma Australia’s ‘World is a Wonder’ photo competition. Read more…
mieyecare: (CPD):Soft Torics Stability Beyond the Chair: Is the stability of a soft toric contact lens experienced by an astigmat while they’re being fitted a true reflection of what happens when that same person with the same lens ventures into the real world? Read more…