Business moves in cycles, and fashion follows trends that eventually return upon themselves…but with a twist, leaving them similar yet slightly different than where they started. Case in point is this issue’s “That ’70s Look.”
Every end is a beginning, with one season’s styles making way for the next or a product concluding its useful life only to be repurposed for another. For example, this issue’s “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” (page 31). Also, VCPN’s companion publication, Optical Lab Products, features an article on an initiative to recycle tons of toxic polycarbonate waste.
It is in this moment of change–when the pendulum swings back upon its own arc, when the tide begins reversing its flow-it is then when the energy of change possesses its greatest potential, gathering strength from its own momentum.
That is the time to catch the wave. That is the time to invest in new trends. That is the time to exploit the greatest potential of change, at the cusp of its renewal, when it is all energy and all potential, its greatest rewards yet to be realized.
Right now, the optical industry is in the midst of dynamic and disruptive changes-online refractions, e-commerce, corporate consolidation, 3-D eyewear printing, the list goes on. Aphorisms about change abound, so ubiquitous and entrenched in both our personal and business psyches (“the only constant is change”) that one might wonder how anyone could resist change . . . yet they do.
For example, instead of exploring the convenience and affordability remote refractions provide, we dismiss out of hand that “it will never work.” And yes, while an in-person exam and refraction are likely to always be better than any remote system that can ever be developed, isn’t it worth exploring the technology to better serve the hundreds of millions the Vision Impact Institute estimates have unrefracted error worldwide who could be left institutionalized only for the need of a refraction and a pair of glasses?
Pursuing that alone will not only serve the immediate purpose of bringing eyecare to a developing world, but it will also contribute to the development of the technology itself, allowing it to possibly becoming the prevalent rather than the disruptive technology.
Many years ago, New York City had a seemingly insurmountable problem. Horses filling the streets were literally filling the streets! Then along came an unforeseen solution, the car.
Currrently, ECPs might resist the benefits that could result from remote refractions, e-commerce, and 3D printing, but maybe the silver lining is the opportunity to devote more time to providing medical care.
If we don’t resist change perhaps we’ll find that the next disruption will last as long as when the Snellen chart first disrupted eyecare about 150 years ago.
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