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Thread: Demographics of Optiboard

  1. #1
    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    Steve, is there any way to take a survey of optobiarders to find out how many belong to the various organizations and how many opticians contribute from licensed states.

    While I see that many have strong ideas about the 3O's, I wonder how many have contributed over 5 or 10 consecutive years of service / membership to a state or national organization.

    Maybe the OptiBoard will evolve into a different kind of board??


  2. #2
    Forever Liz's Dad Steve Machol's Avatar
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    Actually there will be a way to do this in the near future. Stay tuned! :D

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    OptiBoard Administrator

  3. #3
    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    Part of the reason for the original questions was that your presentation, Steve, stated that the State & National organizations forum was the least visited. That, by itself says something. Either the optiboarders are not members or don't want to be or have given up hope or just don't give a rip.


  4. #4
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    Homer,
    I don't think the lack of participation in the State Association Forum necessarily means there aren't many state society members on the board.

    If you look at the two busiest boards (General and Conversation), they are also the boards that appeal to the broadest cross section of OptiBoarders. I think the rest of the boards appeal to niche groups.

    That said, participation by Opticians in their state societies is quite dismal (spoken by someone who needs to join the Florida association). This is probably due to the fact that so many states aren't licensed/regulated. Unfortunately, it probably also has to do with the fact that most Opticians view our national organizations pessimistically.

    I give ODs credit for realizing that strength comes from numbers (and education, and of course- money!). Opticians can't seem to figure that one out.

    One thing that might help the State Association Forum is if the different state societies would actively communicate to their membership through the board. I get emails regarding the status of Opticianry legislation in Florida all the time... I've mentioned to POF a couple of times that it would be a good idea to post such updates on OptiBoard as well.

    Pete

  5. #5
    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Speaking as an association member and one who has been involved in 3 different unlicensed states since 1975 and president in on state twice, I appreciate your comments.

    I am really interested in why people are members and why not. If all the noisy people would join their association with their ideas, we might get somewhere. If we just keep on saying that somebody should do something and do nothing ourselves, we end up with the problem that exists today.

    I agree that this forum would be, could be and yet at the same time is a great place to exchange ideas. Ideas such as some that started other posts.

    We need more people to propose positive ideas rather than give long explaniations about why an idea won't work.

    Thanks for the positive response, Pete.



    [This message has been edited by Homer (edited 04-26-2001).]

  6. #6
    Master OptiBoarder Alan W's Avatar
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    My personal desire is to affiliate with a marketing based organization that will penetrate the marketplace with a message. I have no interest in affiliating with an organization that is legislatively based.
    Before anyone perceives me as having my head up my butt, please give me a little credit. After working with three state organizations, and two major corporations, I can see where opticians are utilized. States organizations work to enhance the lot of opticianry and I have no problem with that. On the other hand, optical corporations could care less about state organizations. They utilize them for profit in the marketplace far more succesfully. I do have a problem with that because it p - - - - s me off to see my brothers exploted that way.
    Solution in my mind . . . become a marketing based organization who's mission is the advancement of the role the optician plays using marketing techniques to do it. Since we are too cheap to shell out 10% of our pay checks, I doubt the money spent thus far has put an additional nickel in the pockets of our colleagues and has permitted corporate opticianry to use the same people to do the same job based on their exploitative payroll guidelines. It makesd me sick to see physical therepists drive around in nice new cars, get respect from the medical profession, get top drawer education, while we don't and haven't, yet we are one of the oldest professions in the country.

    Optiboard can do it. If we agree to use the net with its technology all the way. But, yearly board meetings don't make it any more.
    We can have board meetings 7 days a week, live, and get things done right now, if we would get used to the idea that we can do it.

    I sincerely believe Steve Machol is the best kept secret we've got. He has supported us incredibly without as much as a squeek when we were out of line. But, where we are right now is the right place to be. Let's just do it and not talk about it.

    PS My nasty attitude comes from being exposed to Procter and Gamble thinking 15 years ago. It disturbs me greatly that all too many of us resent that corporate genre instead of steal its concepts and run like hell with them.

    It's OK. It's OK. We can go on the way we have while someone else eats or lunch! Maybe Sam Walton will wave our banner. You think so?


  7. #7
    Master OptiBoarder Alan W's Avatar
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    I've looked at the postings of all of us over several weeks and several different headings. Much to my surprise, we actually have created solutions to many of the issues regarding the future of opticianry. It appears that we all agree that education and promotion of opticianry need to be brought to the marketplace. There is so much valuable discussion and debate already posted that we have to jump from one heading to another to catch the essence of it all. If we copied and pasted all of it into one header we'd have a startling amount of quality discussion and debate. Further, if we went from debate (which is going on right now as we speak on the Optiboard) to action we have already moved light years ahead than the conventional method of monthly meetings on the local level to yearly meetings that end up dead ending. Steve has already taken a consensus and brought it to a meeting. Obviously, that was a shock to the traditional way of doing things. What I see happening next is going to need some organizing on the net/Optiboard. But, what I feel happening next is funneling down the issues to workable action. So, here is a possibility of an organization plan after we have the consensus divided into action topics. Each action topic becomes a workgroup that can develop a net based plan of action. Workgroups can meet on the net in "hidden chat rooms" Steve can set up. Possible action topics are and not in order or prioritized:

    1, agreement on specialties for certification
    2, development of a training board to develope the criteria for a curriculum leading to a certificate of specialty (going backwards from the job to the training to create the job).
    3, ways and means (working with each action team to determine its money needs, set up sources of funding (dues, donations, federal grants, affinity sources, etc interested in funding internet organizations)
    4,marketing team who will interview and communicate with professionals in internet marketing and professionals in media marketing in order to get a budget and plan put together.

    Finally, an executive chat room for team leaders to present progress on a regular basis with deadlines and accountability, open to viewing by all of us, but dialog limited to team leaders, possibility with general membership input at the end or something.

    The hard part of this is to get used to the idea that not one foot touches the ground. It is all cyberorganized and managed. New rules, new cyberplaces, new everything. But, one thing I do know is that everyone in earshot of this posting already is internet savvy.Learning how to use chat rooms, Netmeeting, so on and so forth will be exciting, challenging, and very do-able, even if all the members are sitting there in their skivveys (sp?). It still gets done.

    With all due respect. And the fact that you guys have heard much to much from my big mouth lately. I have copied and pasted this posting on another couple forums and headers in an effort to help facilitate organization. After this, I promise to keep my mouth shut and wait until called upon. I am commited to you all to help and hope I don't make myself a pain in the somethingorother in the process. Thanks for the opportunity to sub,it this crude and poorly constructed proposal.

  8. #8
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    Having been a member of the NAO and OAA for a few years, I'd say the biggest disappointment I have is the lack of opportunity to "get involved." When you initially send in your membership info and dues, there's a card that asks what areas you're willing to help out in. I diligently thought about each area and checked three that I was really interested in... no response.

    I believe that people are more likely to be interested in a cause or society in which they have involvement. I know there are a lot of people who are too busy or uninterested to get involved, but for those who are willing, the opportunity must be there.

    As you know, one of the other areas of interest involves the church. I have a suspicion that what is happening in optical societies is similar to what happens in the typical church. Most churches have the "leadership"- who are by in large very committed to the organization.

    However, these leaders are only familiar with a few individuals who they've learned they can "count on" to get things done. So, when a problem or event arises, they turn right to their "go to" people. Strangely enough, these "go to" folks are usually kinda stressed out (because they're always being gone to ;) ).

    What I would encourage is finding ways to ask the general populations of state and national societies to "help out." Reach out to discover new "go to" people. Don't just ask for money, which gets rather boring, but give specific actions by which one can contribute. What projects does your state society have on the table right now? Get on the phone to your members and ask each of them if they can do it. Sure, you might have to make a few calls before you find someone- but when you do, that person will have a greater interest in the society from this day forward.

    OAA, give me a project to run, a letter to write; NAO, hook me up with a student who wants help writing a Master's paper, someone who would like tutoring as they attend distance learning classes. State society, give me specific info on people I can write or go meet, give me something to do at a local meeting. Just utilize me, and I'll be so much more committed to the cause- because I'll be a part of it.

    Now, unfortunately, optical societies probably have one more thing in common with the typical church- namely, 10% of the people do 90% of the work because no one else is willing to do it when asked. If that's the case, I guess I understand the frustration of the leadership of the various organizations.
    I suspect, however, that there are a lot of people out there who would be more than willing to contribute- if they were given an avenue to do so.

    Sorry for the simplistic nature of my observations. That's just how I see it from where I am.

    Pete

  9. #9
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    Come on down the price is right! We have been waiting for this in our state association. In fact we gobbled up a wonderful young man as a director for my regional chapter which expressed interest in serving. Ta Dah! He is now a director with potential future. My association is open.

    Check out the OD bill that was introduced in PA on 4/26. One more way to control. I feel that this is another group who is thristy for expansion of scope of practice with not every one on board. Go to Pennsylvania State Legislature Bill and move until you reach Session Bills. Type in hb1453.

    I want to know why I should trust some one with diagnosing, treating diseases, invasive procedures without medical school and residency. Again an unsuspecting public and because an OD is not behind your name you are practicing optometry for recommending lenses and low vision magnifiers and filters if practicing privately.

    I have many friends who are optoms that don't think this is the way.


    [This message has been edited by Bev Heishman (edited 05-01-2001).]

    [This message has been edited by Bev Heishman (edited 05-01-2001).]

  10. #10
    since 1964 Homer's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    So Pete, do I hear you saying that you want to be used? Explointed? :)

    I heard a preacher once say that we should "exploit" the gifts of the others in the congergation, ie.; If one is a teacher force him to teach ....."

    I agree, there is great talent out there just waiting to be asked, looking up at the leadership, longingly and asking to be noticed. Too often leaderships is so caught up in being what it is that if forgets who and what it is leading.

    On the other hand,.......... (Oh, for one armed people who could not say, "on the other hand") people who are designed to teach, encourage, admonish, correct and direct will often be quite obvious and we need to start in our own back yard. Strong state societies will deliver the leadership to the national organizations.
    Maybe we have been looking up for a mericale and one is developing beside us?

    Our hope lies in the encouragement of each other to be more than we thought we could be; the higher-self as some might call it.

    Keep up the good work, Pete :)

  11. #11
    Master OptiBoarder Alan W's Avatar
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    Am I fantasizing or is there anyone else out there who believes we need to reengineer our selves?

  12. #12
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    Yes, we must redevelop ourselves but reality says we can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink.

    A strong state society may say to hell with the way it always was and move in a different direction than a national organization may plan or want you to think. Only the state organization from playing hard ball for so long can change the way it throws a pitch. You feel the heartbeat. It needs to listen to its members (all of them)but reason that only money can make anything happen in some states along with governmental leadership changes. Think before you vote!

  13. #13
    sub specie aeternitatis Pete Hanlin's Avatar
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    Hi Bev!

    You should see what's happening to Optometry here in Florida! The MDs have gotten together and have a bill that's flying through both houses that would effectively keep ODs from co-managing surgery (cataract, LASIK, etc)!

    Of course, you can't find a single MD that "really supports" the bill, but their organization seems to have its passage in the bag nevertheless.

    Oddly enough, this comes at the same time a local MD is being investigated by Medicare, the FBI, and State Medicaid agencies for fraud. This Ophthalmologist was unique in that he never allowed anyone to do follow up for him. Now we know why- seems he's been performing cataract surgery on 20/20 eyes. Oh, and when he has LASIK seminars, he bills the attendees' third party payors for a "consulting" visit. Pretty slick, huh?

    Guess this fella read one too many of the medical journal articles on how to bill agressively...

    Pete

  14. #14
    Master OptiBoarder Alan W's Avatar
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    Bev
    I am now convinced that I am NOT fantasizing. Long before I struck the first key, I researched and asked organizational development professionals their opinion. I believe the legislative effort that is in play is one leg of a three legged stool. And, there is a conspicuous absence of "the marketing" leg. But, for some silly reason I can't get away from those voices of the status quo. It is territorial, it is political, it is cliqueish, it is all too myopic, and, yes, it definitely needs reengineering. And, no, things ain't gonna change as long as the myopia remains uncorrected. Continue trying to work the legislature? Yes. Work the internet? Darn tootin! You know what I think? I think the "old guard" is afraid its going to be upstaged. Wrong, Keemosobby! Take the message to the people.

  15. #15
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    Lightbulb

    Count me in!

    I believe that we must educate to legislate and I mean all facets of the industry and the public!

    Alan, we all must decide what our strategy is. It can not cross this board but be formulated in private. I know I have lobbied opticianry issues and others dear to the heart. The rule is don't show your hand before its time.

    Meet you and others interested in this new forum's cyber space at appropriate time!:D :D

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