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Change management is no longer a specialised skill, it is one every leader needs.

Change is a necessary and essential part of life, but it can make people uneasy and even unstable. With every change, there are embracers, resisters, and indifferent supporters. This is why a large percentage of change initiatives fail.

Research from McKinsey and Company shows that 70% of all organisational changes fail.

This tells us, combined with the fact that the way we deliver eye care in the community continues to change at increasing rates, an essential leadership skill in today’s world is the ability to create a shared understanding of why and where an organisation or team is going, and how it is going to get there.

Time to Adapt

Practices must adapt and transform, or risk dying.

They must change the way they structure and manage their business and the way they organise, lead, and manage employees. They must reinvent themselves not only once a generation but once every five to six years.

Bernie Zacharia, practice manager at Zacharia Naumann Optometrists (ZNO), working with a ProVision business coach, has developed essential skills for leading change.

As a result, the practice as a whole has experienced transformational changes that have fundamentally altered the way it operates internally and relates to its customers.

They may have re-engineered and introduced new technology, but Bernie believes “it isn’t organisations that change, it’s that the people do. But before they can change, they must trust the organisation’s leaders, buy into their reason for change, and be included in planning the change. In short, how you lead and manage change, and support those around you through the change process, greatly affects its success.”

The Impact of New Systems

In 2018, ZNO decided to make a commitment to get the whole team onboard a revitalised system with lens first dispensing, and to roll out a defined patient journey where a patient will value the quality and fully appreciate their investment and the warranty programme that supports it.

ProVision Business Coach Joanne Scott-Dostine believes, “to initiate a new order, you need a well-developed package of skills and personal credibility. Even with the best technology integrated into the patient journey, and the best strategy, processes, and products in the country, without learning change management, the practice risked going backwards.”

To capture people’s hearts and minds, you must be credible and accountable.

Bernie attended a Gallup training course and became an accredited CliftonStrengths coach. The training highlighted her strength as a ‘developer’ – a person who recognises and cultivates the strengths in others. This became a springboard to helping her team not only grasp the need for change but to welcome it.

Bernie learnt the importance of investing time in building employee feedback into the change process, seeking people’s ideas and input from the start, and in sharing the good news and the bad, the pressures, the problems, and the concerns.

Walking the bridge to change together

Bernie places high importance on her relationship with her business coach, “to be absolutely honest, we wouldn’t have gotten the impetus we’ve had if I didn’t have Jo as a business coach. Jo knows people. Jo knows systems. Jo knows customer service, Jo knows optics. She is a one-stop-shop. That’s how I feel about her as the business coach.”

ZNO successfully rolled out lens first consulting. Then in 2019 established a defined patient journey with check-in, more developed lens conversations and higher involvement dispensing in a more defined area. Lifestyle considerations and lens options are now discussed comprehensively all before you enter the frame area.

The investment in and value of a fully customised lens is now fully appreciated by ZNO’s patients as a result of an optimal patient journey, delivered by a team who walked the bridge to change together.

Provision Member Events

ProVision is running face-to-face member networking events in NSW, QLD, and WA at the end of the month. A component of day two is the employee experience where we highlight the importance of the role of leaders and managers.

Find out more about ProVision membership to discover how ProVision can help your business.

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Acknowledgement of Country

In the spirit of reconciliation Optometry Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.