Go to the AOA’s InfantSee website (www.infantsee.org) and you’ll hear former president Jimmy Carter tell the public that "two of my grandchildren suffer from vision problems that could have been prevented had they been given an eye exam as infants." He appeals to consumers to take their babies to an optometrist so that the most common handicapping condition of children can be prevented.
It’s interesting to note that President Carter doesn’t suggest that patients ask their friends, relatives, pediatricians or teachers to provide eyecare advice…he recommends an Optometrist. Why? Because Optometrists (that means you) are specifically trained and have the experience to detect vision problems early. And solve problems early. And provide for better lives.
Hold that thought.
I’m in the middle of a ten-day trip visiting clients and solving some significant relationship issues. This particular trip has been somewhat frustrating as it involves a number of situations that could have been prevented. In several instances, my clients have been caught in traps because they attempted to design transactions themselves. In one instance, our client significantly overpaid for a practice and is suffering near bankruptcy conditions as a result. In another, an important associate is leaving the practice to pursue another opportunity. In still a third, partners are figuratively at war due to inequities in compensation. Millions of dollars of capital investment and future earnings are at stake. Good relationships end up soured…or worse. These situations repeat themselves dozens of times a year. The sad truth is that each could have been prevented.
InfantSee is designed to identify vision problems early, when they can be treated and, hopefully, cured. Relationship design is like that early exam. So often, a big problem is the result of a design flaw that occurred early in the relationship. And just as parents, friends or non-qualified professionals don’t make for good vision diagnosticians, neither do most optometrists, friends and family make for good relationship designers. It’s about experience, not intent.
I urge you. No, I’m pleading with you. If you’re even thinking about bringing in an associate; negotiating or renegotiating a deal; buying; selling; merging; leasing; or entering into any other type of relationship…please…please…please…call us first. Call us early in the game, so time is on your side.
This is not a selfish appeal just as InfantSee isn’t a selfish program. The reason for making the call is simple. As with InfantSee, it costs nothing for the exam (our assessment calls are always at no fee). As with InfantSee, an early intervention might well prevent a significant problem downstream.
As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."