Optometry Australia is working to support members with services that are relevant and helpful to practice growth.
For an Association, having members is a lot like having friends – if you don’t make time to keep in touch, you can drift apart without even realising it.
Optometry NSW/ACT will put a lot of effort into keeping in touch with members this coming year (and beyond).
We’ll have the courage to unsettle inertia through ambitious plans for our conferences and the Federation more broadly
Following on from the success of joint optometry/GP/pharmacy evenings in three regional centres in 2017, we’ll expand these sessions into more regional centres during 2018.
In Sydney, we’ll diversify the locations of our COE evenings and expand our range of webinar events, so members can access a variety of quality Association CPD wherever they are located. Our colleagues at Centre for Eye Health continue to build a world-class library of education and information, and as a member of Optometry NSW/ACT you have ready access to this at heavily discounted rates.
Finally on CPD, don’t miss our flagship event – Super Sunday at Luna Park on Sunday 11 March. Luna Park lends itself to a great weekend of family fun – head over to www.optometry.org.au/nsw for details.
We recently ran an outstanding evening for members wanting to get into their own practices. Our speakers presented across areas from “are you the right sort of person to run your own business” to “how do I finance this without risking my parents’ house?”
The number one question was essentially, “How do I get started?”
That famous quote “every great journey starts with a single step” is absolutely true – but you need to know which step to take!
So my new year challenge to you: identify that ‘thing’ that you have really wanted to do/achieve/resolve – whatever the verb – and work out your first step! Then figure out how to take it – and take it!
Over the last couple of years we’ve expanded our member services to unprecedented levels in Victoria. We’re proud of that.
In 2018, business as usual items will continue. We’ll lead members through sector changes; work to facilitate greater access to optometry, and work with Optometry Australia to uphold and promote professional standards. Through events, communications and committees we will promote collegiality and cohesion in membership. We’ll continue to work with government and universities to promote the profession and the Association’s work… and we’ll streamline our operations and governance processes.
It all sounds lofty and good, right? Certainly those items I’ve mentioned are excellent and the service we provide in Victoria is well-received. However, in my view business as usual will no longer sustain us. Organisations that can’t consistently offer something that’s unique and distinctive eventually disappear. While our members almost universally tell us they are satisfied with our services, I don’t think it’s enough anymore for us just to satisfy. We need to delight or surprise.
How? To start, we’ll know what part of our offering members actually want. We’ll know the difference between marketing services to members and genuine member service. We’ll have the courage to unsettle inertia through ambitious plans for our conferences and the Federation more broadly.
The Board and I know the only strategy that matters is informed by our members’ perspective. We need to build our plans for the coming years from the outside in rather than from the inside out. This might sound a bit confusing. What I mean is if a member watched one of our meetings, what percentage of our discussions would genuinely be relevant to them and how would our work help them?
Our performance in 2018 and beyond depends on us fundamentally understanding and addressing this question.