Got Purpose?

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By Karen Henry
Karen Henry

If you live in a major metropolitan area (and perhaps even if you don't), I'm sure you've seen the current fad in merchant marketing-the dancing sign-holder. What surely started as one person with a novel idea about how to attract more customers seems to have morphed into a daily street-corner battle in one-upmanship. I'll see your hip-hopper and raise you two break dancers. You get the idea.

Initially, I was drawn in by their funk and groove. But the other day, as I watched a neon-clad dancing sign-holder attempt to boogie customers into one of the various cell phone stores in the area, I found myself feeling somewhat put off.

I wondered why I felt this way. Duplication run amok? Probably, but was that all? I didn't feel this way as I watched the amputee dancers rock 'n' roll across the catwalk at the Ossur booth in Leipzig. Quite the contrary-I felt energized, inspired. This is a variation of the same theme, so what's the difference?

On the surface, of course, the difference is glaringly apparent. But I think there is something more going on. In my mind, it's the difference between application for application's sake and application defined by purpose. The conference dancers were more engaging to me because their actions seemed to be driven by a deeper and more meaningful sense of purpose. They weren't just dancing; they were celebrating mobility and challenging the boundaries of possibility.

I'm fortunate to work with a team of editors, writers, and experts who understand this distinction. They're not just putting words on a page-they are writing because they share a common purpose that helps to define The O&P EDGE. They are keenly interested in the people, events, and issues that shape the O&P profession, and they want to help advance the profession through the written word.

To see what I mean, take a look at the impressive depth of Peter Thomas' description of Medicare's audit contractors and the auditing and appeals process, or Laura Hochnadel's and Morgan Stanfield's ability to infuse their subjects with curiosity and passion. Phil Stevens' ability to elucidate the available literature on a subject relevant to O&P is always enlightening. And let's not forget Séamus Kennedy's ability to broaden our understanding of foot biomechanics and pedorthic applications.

Please let me know if you agree. Send me an e-mail () and let me know if we're giving you the tools that you need to find solutions, help your patients, and build your practices. Thanks for reading.

Karen Henry