The success of Team NZ last week winning the America’s Cup from the Goliath that is Oracle Team USA is a real inspiration to me. As the current President of the Southland Yachting Association, which represents the Yachting NZ affiliated sailing clubs at Te Anau, Riverton, Bluff and Queenstown, I would like to state just what an impressive result Team NZ achieved, and how their thinking and way of doing things in sailing, I would like to apply to how I think about eyecare.
Apart from the actual sailing there were lots of YouTube clips interviewing these world-class sailors, designers and builders about how they approached not only each day, but also how to manage a four-year project involving hundreds of people from dozens of disciplines. Two things stand out for me – being innovative and making good decisions at the right time under pressure.
The big decision that affects optometrists in NZ is whether to be an Independent, or whether to join up to a foreign-owned corporate. I chose Independent because when you’re trying to solve a patient’s problem you want full access to everything available on the market and the flexibility to use it. I also have more freedom to choose the equipment I need, set things up how I like to work as a clinician, and decorate my workplace how I want. It also enables access to frames and lenses from companies like HOYA, Nikon, Kodak and Zeiss that have a wide selection of great product to suit any need or budget supplied by NZ labs.
The Independent way has its challenges, and time will tell if we’ve made the “best” decision. Unlike the America’s Cup however there is no prize in Optometry for coming first, you just have to be honest with how you care for your patients, solve their problems as best you can, and have a clean conscience regarding your approach to work.