Optometrists are generally a conservative bunch. You don’t like to rock the boat. You have the lowest divorce rate of almost any profession (not a bad stat). You seek a balanced life and camaraderie among your team. You do business with folks with whom you are NOT strategically aligned because change comes hard. The majority of you accept that which comes your way; whether a debilitating schedule, abysmal reimbursements or killer competition. You invest the vast majority of your time looking out for the welfare of your patients. You do so, often, at personal expense.
As we launched the latest round of meetings of Cleinman Performance Network, we focused our attention on forces at work over the next decade that will rock our client’s world. Technology will (not “may”) profoundly change the optometry landscape. People (your staff, your patients) are changing their expectations. Disruptive market forces are at work with an objective of commoditizing you and making your products and services redundant. For private practice optometry to survive and thrive in the next decade, you’re going to have to learn how to handle systemic and foundational change at a speed at which you’re not generally well-equipped. Those that can’t adapt will simply not survive.
In the words of Bob Dylan:
“Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.”
The times they are a-changin’! And the fundamental question is “are you and your team prepared?”
In my new book, A Different Perspective: Observations on Optometry, Business and Life, I outline some of the secrets to high performance in an environment of rapid change.
What’s it going to take to thrive in an environment of on-line eye exams, artificial intelligence delivery of medical diagnosis from kiosks, overnight delivery of eyewear by vision plans, drugs that eliminate presbyopia or stem-cell correction of AMD?
You might be surprised at my conclusions.