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New resolutions

With the start of a New Year comes new resolutions. But, to achieve those goals, teamwork is required, explains the AOP’s chief executive


Elite performance is celebrated in all walks of life, from the Olympics and the Oscars through to our own AOP Awards, which are every bit as important for the optical sector and to those who win them.

The AOP Awards winners showcased in this edition of OT display similar defining characteristics as found in all elite performance – dedication, innovation, teamwork and going the extra mile.

In a past life I worked with an Olympic sports team, and the principles of leading a winning team or a running a first class practice are the same. Both require strong leadership and a clearly understood purpose. And within the team, there needs to be high levels of trust and mutual commitment from all those involved, whether you play the lead role or as part of the support team. Although winning individuals often have a single vision and focus, they also need a degree of humility in recognising that their achievement could only have been possible as a result of the team.

The AOP Awards celebrate the achievements of practice teams and individuals, and culminate in the Lifetime Achievement Award, awarded to Dr Maggie Woodhouse in 2015. What is so noticeable about this award is the recognition that the achiever gives to those who have supported and helped their endeavours in enabling them to carry out the outstanding work they do.

"Although winning individuals often have a single vision and focus, they also need a degree of humility in recognising that their achievement could only be possible as a result of the team"

I’m delighted that the AOP has been shortlisted for two coveted awards itself in the Association Excellence Awards 2016: Overall Best UK Association and Best Association Website. The awards will be announced on 26 February 2016 and we’ll be sure to inform members of the outcome.

A New Year is always particularly exciting – if not an opportunity for a clean slate, a line drawn and the chance to engage in new projects, new resolutions and greater achievements both personally and for the organisation or team you work with. We all spend a huge amount of our waking hours at work, and therefore it pays to make it as good as it can be, for yourself, your colleagues and your patients.

The AOP sets its strategic objectives at the end of each year under three key pillars. The membership services pillar relates to our plans to build on the expert services already provided and in developing additional tailored membership packages. Within the policy and politics pillar we have plans to represent members more effectively both in the media and to government and actively promote the role of the optometrist in eye health to the public. And our third financial pillar ensures that we maximise our revenue and contain costs in order to deliver at the highest level for members.

We are fortunate in having a committed AOP team, working with a common purpose through the Board, Council and staff – 2016 looks set to be another high performing year.