Management gurus offer the adage, “If you don’t manage change, change will manage you”. However, change for the meek is frightening while change for those satisfied with the status quo is threatening; but, change for the motivated is opportunity. Change is the only constant in life, yet how we deal with change may determine or influence multiple aspects of our being. Stature and comfort in one’s own shoes may reflect the philosophy of an individual and how he/she perceives and manages change which occurs in the process of normal life-spans. Change in management is inevitable, both in government and in professional association affairs.
Governance models are numerous and usually in an educated civilized world reflect the desires of those being governed. Theologically, the Holy Bible provides a rule and guide by which many model their lives. Similarly, the Constitution of the United States of America provides a framework for the governance of our Nation. Social and civil societies do not remain constant; however, how does one maintain consistency without these rudders and steering frameworks to maintain direction through inherent changes of a lifetime? History is the best reflection on the trials of successful and failed governance models. How can one know where they are going if they don’t know where they have been?
In recognizing history, a group of men once penned, “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate but equal station, for which the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God entitle them. A decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they declare the causes which impel the separation”. This introduction to the Declaration of Independence pronounces a point where certain ideologies are consistent within a combined populace. However, changes occurring within the process of daily living often reflect a divergence of ideologies within the same populace. Hence, the Founders, through the expertise of Jefferson and Madison, created a governing document which by law erected a wall separating theologically-based personal and social aspects of life from those civil aspects of life required with human cohabitation. Any intermingling of personal and social ideologies with those required in civil affairs necessarily undermines the continuity of the whole Nation.
A liberal mindset is one which removes responsibility from the individual and relinquishes social, personal, and civil responsibilities to a central being. Conservatism reflects an attitude where individual liberty and personal sovereignty maintain an individual’s personal responsibility for all affairs which affect their lives. The progression of free-society often reveals over time a widening continuum of ideologies within a given population. Longevity of a governance model in these free societies reflects the success of delineating personal and social affairs from those of a civil nature. Historically, the two cannot co-exist! Enter the dilemmas in our national society today.
Professional associations often experience identical situations where once a homogeneous membership becomes more diverse over time. A growing diversity of practice scenarios requiring different knowledge and skill sets may evolve to a point where basic licensure cannot extend a particular scope of practice. Specialty and sub-specialties may require unique and individualized abilities which reflect diverse education and training. As the continuum of sub-specialties grows, the basic level of licensure becomes remote. Example: plastic surgeons are board certified in general surgery; however, after five years of plastic surgery, would you want to have a colon resection performed by a plastic surgeon? Regulatory requirements for a one size fits all basic level of practice may suffice for initial licensure; however, should such requirements be required for sub-specialties after initial certification?
The extent to which a professional association’s governance model reflects the will of the basic membership can be defined by by-laws, etc. However, when the governing body extends its influence beyond the basic level of practice which is the common denominator of the association, a certain amount of push-back should be expected. A liberal or progressive governance model may very well infringe upon the individual and personal practice rights of members in the profession who do not desire nor request a specific opinion from their professional association.
“When in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another………….that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it…”.
History, my friend; it’s all about History!