Digitalization as a concept of enterprise infrastructure and methods is not new. This wave of changes started in the last decade and meant that many companies were going through major changes in the way they operate. One classic example is moving to cloud computing instead of managing onsite servers that required maintenance, oversight and often led to downtime and increased costs.
Many small organizations, in particular professional associations are slow but willing to implement such changes, while others are opposed to that change.
The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic forced most companies to implement drastic changes in a matter of days or weeks, which would otherwise have taken years. Those laggards went from looking at digitalization as a threat, to looking at it as a business saving opportunity. COVID meant do or die for many.
Most institutions didn’t wait for COVID to move into the modern world. This is the case for higher education organizations which for years have offered online lectures, because it was easier for their students to commit and integrate academics into a busy professional or family life. Many of the legacy colleges and universities took longer to implement that change because it was looked at as a sub-par education by historical well renowned institutions.
Yet, today many institutions are faced with the same problem. Some are stuck in their archaic way of doing things.
The current pandemic is changing that. Today, refusing or being unable to adapt often means putting others in danger by exposing them to a virus although it can be prevented using modern technology.
Nealberg is now offering consulting services for those institutions who do not have internal capabilities to conduct those changes in a smooth and efficient manner. For instance Nealberg is currently working on the implementation of virtual continuing education lectures for Florida optometrists.
The Florida Board of Optometry is a government body responsible for oversight of the practice of optometry in the state of Florida.
Part of its mission is oversight of continuing education requirements for doctors. The board has rules in place to ensure that providers are attending quality, worthy lectures. One of the criteria used is that lectures must be attended in person. (https://floridasoptometry.gov/renewals/optometrist/#tab-ce)
Of note, there is a whole economic ecosystem that feeds on that legal requirement: continuing education providers sell their services to a live audience.
State professional associations are being funded in large part by selling attendance to those continuing education meetings. Surprisingly, the Florida Optometric Association (https://www.floridaeyes.org) is maintaining its annual convention mid July in a state that is breaking records of COVID-19 reported cases daily. (https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article243841152.html)
Refusing to step into the modern world means putting lives at risk. Forcing attendees, doctors who are potentially exposed to infected patients, to travel and gather inside a lecture hall is raising concerns because there is a high probability of contamination in any large crowd gathering, and upon return those providers may infect their patients, many of which are in a high risk age group for that particular pathogen.
Florida optometrists started an online petition to voice their concern:
Fortunately, other professional groups understood that. For instance, the Florida Medical Association moved their July convention fully online as a virtual event.
Digitalization and virtualization should not be scary. It can be done in an efficient manner. Outcomes whether economical or educational are not inferior to historical means. Refusing to move into the future puts lives at risk and those who don’t will face ethical, legal and financial responsibilities. Worse, they lose all credibility.
Thanks to its new service, Nealberg Consulting Group, with years of experience in change management and higher education, stands ready to assist those who face difficulties changing and staying relevant.
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