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Where’s the Innovation?

Where’s the Innovation? September 8, 2022

With the passing of labor day and our children and grandchildren returning to school, our thoughts turn to the coming year. In my case, my planning process begins about this time of year, with my annual “walkabout.” During this multi-day event, I head out to drive the countryside and clear my head. I experience some things that I might not normally. In years past, I’ve hiked to mountain tops and kayaked rivers. I’ve floated for miles in an inner tube and enjoyed museums and art galleries. I do this alone. Without the normal distractions one has in our lives. This process opens space for the creativity to come; thinking “outside the box” is an important element of my annual planning process.

Another event of September is Vision Expo West. Since my first tradeshow in 1974, I’ve attended virtually every major conference and have missed but two vision expos over these many years. My tradeshow operating pattern is to schedule meetings in advance with business associates, friends and, of course, clients. I also keep at least fifty percent of my time available to just walk the show floor. I seek to dialogue with industry leaders to learn what they see on the horizon. But the most important aspect of my show experience is to seek out and learn about new technologies and innovation.

That’s also why, at least once a year, I attend a tradeshow for other than the eyecare industry. I’ve learned that other industries are often significantly further along in their development of new ideas than ours. I’ve attended technology shows, training shows, business development conferences and the like. I always learn something.

One experience that I’ve had is that, often, new technologies crop up in the back aisles of a tradeshow. New companies often don’t have the budget to make huge splashes with $500,000 booths and marketing extravaganza. You’ll find them with a tiny booth, sometimes with less than perfect marketing stories. Over the years, I’ve uncovered numerous opportunities for our clients in the hinterlands of trade shows.

Our partners in Cleinman Performance Network have enjoyed the fruits of these excursions. And at our upcoming meeting in November, they’ll once again be exposed to innovations that have helped propel our partner practices to the forefront of eyecare. Early adoption of new technologies, processes and programs are one very important reason that our partner practices outperform the average optometry practice on a scale of 4 to 1.

Ours is a growth industry that’s advancing rapidly. The speed of change is almost overwhelming. It’s at these gatherings that new business relationships form, new ideas germinate, and new technologies seek their toehold. While securing your annual CE requirement is mission-critical, that shouldn’t be the only reason to attend a conference and is certainly not why you should attend a Cleinman Performance Network meeting. Hearing the out-of-box thinking of our presenters and being exposed to innovation is what keeps our clients ahead of the pack and prepared for the inevitable changes ahead.

This November, at the Gaylord in Nashville, some of optometry’s most successful practice owners will gather to be introduced to innovation, share ideas, and solve challenges. In addition to our partner practices, we have opportunity for 15 qualified owners to participate in this unique experience, the investment for which is fully covered by industry sponsors. Will you be one of them?

If you’re a million-dollar practice owner or want to be one, perhaps we’ve an opportunity for you. Want to learn more, reach out to us today?

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