Rebecca Johnson: Status Quo

Management advice from Rebecca Johnson

Are you too close to where you got in?

This article originally appeared in the October 2016 edition of INVISION.

I love the story about the little boy who fell out of bed in the the night. Hearing his screams, the mother ran in and asked, “What happened?” Through tears the little guy replied, “I guess I stayed too close to where I got in.”

I liken the little’s boy’s answer to something that many optometrists tend to do: stay too close to where they got in. In other words, status quo and business as usual becomes a safe spot to hang out in. Yes, change is difficult; however, change must happen for a practice to keep from becoming irrelevant.

Let’s try a quiz to determine if you are staying too close to where you got in.

1. When was the last time you remodeled all or a part of your practice?

a. Within the last year (3 points) b. Between two and four years (2 points) c. Over four years (1 point) d. I love my mauve and blue décor and silk flowers from the ’90s! (0 points)

2. How often do you move your frame collections?

a. Monthly (3 points)
b. Quarterly (2 points)
c. Yearly (1 point)
d. How would I find anything if I moved my frame collections? (0 points)

3. How often do you post on social media?

a. Regularly on Facebook and Instagram (3 points)
b. Regularly on Facebook (2 points)
c. Monthly on Facebook (1 point)
d. My patients don’t use social media. (0 points)

4. What’s up with your dispensary technology?

a. We use digital measuring technology with every patient and promote it as a wow factor. (3 points)
b. We use digital measuring technology with every patient, but do not discuss it as a wow factor. (2 points)
c. We have access to digital measuring technology, but the opticians complain that it takes too long to use, so it is not used much. (1 point)
d. We take measurements by hand and a Sharpie. (0 points)

5. How often do you hold staff meetings?

a. Weekly, plus stand up meetings every morning (3 points)
b. Weekly (2 points)
c. Monthly (1 point)
d. We don’t have time for staff meetings. (0 points)

How’d you do?

15 points: You have got it going on and your bank account shows it!
10-14 points: You are average, and who wants to be average?
5-9 points: You are opening a wide door for your competition.
0-4 points: You might as well get back into bed.

So how’d you do? If you scored less than 14 points, then review the quiz. It is full of simple ideas to refresh your practice. Here’s a hint: If it has a value of three points, you should probably be doing it. Staying in the status quo may feel safe and easy, but you are at risk of your competition pulling the sheets out from under you.

REBECCA JOHNSON is an enthusiastic and motivational ophthalmic staff trainer, a nationally recognized speaker and author, and executive director of GPN. Her honors include the AOA Paraoptometric Special Service Award and VisionMonday’s “Most Influential Women in Optical.” Contact her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..