How Do Pop Culture and Office Culture Affect Business?

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By Andrea Spridgen

As you picked up this issue of The O&P EDGE, you may have been surprised to see the words zombie apocalypse on the cover. What could this movie/tv/novella genre have to do with the business of O&P? Pop culture is often a window into the collective psyche of the society from which it arises, and the popularity of the zombie genre is no exception. I haven't watched any of the recent series in this vein, but I was intrigued by the notion that the story conventions might illustrate something about the strategies O&P professionals use to survive amidst an uncertain healthcare landscape. The parallels and insight that a study of the zombie genre can reveal about the mindset of people within the profession runs even deeper than I expected, as John T. Brinkmann, MA, CPO/L, FAAOP(D), describes in the cover feature. The representation of a small group fighting against attacks by a mindless, soulless mob may be an apt description of the anxiety many O&P professionals feel as they confront the shifting reimbursement policies and changes in healthcare policy.

Other articles in this issue take a more conventional, but no less insightful, approach to the business of O&P practice. In "Sculpting Progressive Practices in the Business of Upper-limb Prosthetics", we learn how an international collaboration of six organizations, the Strategic Consortium for Upper Limb Prosthetic Technologies, has been working to share best practices to improve upper-limb prosthetic care and determine the most effective outcome measures to document the effectiveness of interventions and justify reimbursement.

Peter W. Thomas, JD, and Jill O'Brien, in their article "Sixty Rehabilitation and Disability Organizations Host Successful Congressional Briefing on the Value of Rehabilitation and Habilitation Services and Devices", share how a variety of rehabilitation professions have come together to advocate for protection against changes that can spark the anxieties manifested in Brinkmann's "How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse."

Turning our attention to daily business management and office culture, Erin Cammarata urges business owners to examine their workforce to ensure that they are putting employees in positions appropriate for their strengths. Chris Field, MBA, winds up his four-part series on developing an action plan for your business with tips on how to execute your plan, including ensuring your employees share your vision.

I hope you enjoy this issue focusing on the business side of O&P. If you are at the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association World Congress in Las Vegas, I encourage you to stop by booth #641 and say hello to the EDGE staff.

Happy reading.