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Mivision Issue 124 June 2017

mivision | 29 May 2017
They say succession – or exit – planning is essential for business continuity and that practice owners should put plans in place to exit their business well in advance of any intention to step aside.

Recently I spoke to Professor Kovin Naidoo, Chief Executive Officer of Brien Holden Vision Institute. It was interesting to hear that Professor Holden had started working on his succession plan just two months before his unexpected death in July 2015. Although nothing had been set in stone, a plan had been put in place for Professor Naidoo to take the helm. Numerous management discussions had taken place about strategies for the future and Professor Naidoo had been given the title of CEO Elect just so that everyone knew the intention. Professor Naidoo was shadowing Professor Holden and taking on some of his tasks as well.

Just days after Professor Holden’s death, a spreadsheet was pulled out of the draw detailing everything that he, Professor Naidoo and the management team had discussed. There was a clear plan in place and the Institute transitioned to its new leadership team smoothly. Although devastated, members of the Institute moved forward, content in the knowledge that the direction they were taking was the one Professor Holden had intended.

We’ll have more on the current direction of Brien Holden Vision Institute next month, but in the meantime, our main story this issue looks closely at the concept of succession planning. With input from leaders from right across the profession, we explore the practical steps that optometrists should take to prepare their practice for sale, the conversations that should be had with staff and potential practice owners, and the options for stepping back.

We also look at alternatives for young optometrists exploring their potential to  buy into a practice, including availability of finance.

Our feature this issue is one that will stir your emotions and probably inspire you to do even more for the global community. We tell the story of Khyber Alam who came to Australia as a refugee when he was a young teen. Just ten years on, Khyber runs a Luxottica practice in Glenorchy, Tasmania. Earlier this year his careful diagnosis and quick thinking saved a patient’s life. Later this year he plans to begin building an orphanage in his home country of Afghanistan, one that will give kids there the childhood he never experienced.

We have two important education articles this month, tackling very different areas of eye health. Clin. Assoc. Prof. Nitin Verma AM and Dr. Swetha Jeganathan have written on diabetes mellitus. As one of the leading causes of blindness and visual impairment in the working age group, optometrists have an important role to play in educating patients and managing this condition. Dr. Rick Wolfe has written an education article on the options for customised corneal refractive surgery. Our ophthalmology column, written by Dr. Ravi Singh, focusses on the potential for corneal inlays to surgically correct presbyopia.

Elsewhere in the issue we’ve revealed some of the equipment you can expect to find on show at ODMA in July; Alan Saks has taken a look at lenses for myopia control and we’ve showcased frames designed to meet the discerning, and often picky teen market. For our fashion profile we spoke to Massimo De Rigo, head of design and operations at his Italian family run company, De Rigo.

Melanie Kell,