Are You Listening?
Regardless of size or number, every industry has those few exceptional individuals who have become a voice for the profession. You know who they are. They are the ones who pack a lecture hall to standing room only; whose words of insight and wisdom resonate whether you agree or disagree. They are the ones who have the ability to view the industry from the macro level and unselfishly offer their perspectives on the direction the profession is heading and what the future may look like so that you can prepare your business for change and share in the success.
They, like you, care deeply for the profession and have dedicated their lives to elevating the field and making a lasting imprint. They understand the business of dental technology because they share your same technical knowledge and skill level and began their careers in much the same fashion as you with a porcelain furnace and ceramic brush in hand. They are one of you and are with you in meeting the challenges that lie ahead and openly share their successes, failures, and vision so that you can learn from them and not repeat what didn’t, doesn’t, and won’t work.
What separates them from the rest and what draws others to listen is that they have successfully risen above the limitations and conventions that attempt to define and confine an industry and set upon a bold visionary path to redefine their businesses to meet new realities. In doing so, they have become moving forces that lead an entire industry to new levels, helping to reshape its structure and to break ground for the believers.
There is a point, however, at which the revolutionary changes sweeping and reshaping a profession begin to take on a life of their own and to evolve on an unstoppable continuum, transforming the industry into a nearly unrecognizable form. The forceful voices of those who have led and forewarned of the transformation begin to quiet. They can do no more to convince the inconvincible to take heed and embrace a digital future. And the farsighted vision that moved their followers to this point begins to fade because the changes of tomorrow defy imagination and recognition. It is time, they believe, to cede their stewardship to the next generation of voices, voices that will attempt to lead those who want to stay in the profession to the next phase of industrial maturity.
In the most recent issue of Lab Perspectives magazine, Jim Glidewell, one of the most iconic and respected voices of this industry, announced in his Publisher’s Letter that Glidewell Laboratories would no longer publish this magazine for the laboratory industry. The future course set for dental technology has moved so far left of analog that Glidewell says, “I no longer have any secrets to share or wisdom to impart. … New gurus will appear to extol the virtues of automated, robot-operated production systems. They won’t have CDTs but instead MBAs.” And with those parting words, his wisdom once again projects the future landscape for this industry. Will you listen now?