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Are you doing the work, or just talking about it?
2 November 2011, by , in Data Management, No comments

I’ve worked with well over 100 associations in my years as a consultant. In my experience, those of my clients that are most successful are those that don’t just talk about doing things, but actually do things.

I know this may sound obvious, but stick with me a minute.

When I work with my clients, very often I’m giving them all kinds of advice and ideas for how to improve their data management, how to get staff to use the system more effectively, how to save time and money with better technology, and so on. In any given engagement I might provide dozens of different ideas for improvement. And those of my clients who implement even a handful (two or three) of these ideas are by far the most successful. Why? Because they’re actually implementing the ideas, not just discussing them.

Tom Peters talked about a “bias for action” in Good to Great. I’ve always loved that phrase because I identify with it. I don’t want to talk about the great things we can do, I want to do them.

One of the greatest compliments I received from one of my clients went something like this: “Wes, you gave us six or seven actionable ideas, but your one idea for having weekly super-user meetings about the database easily paid for the whole engagement.”

I gave them six or seven ideas, but one was enough to pay for the whole thing. And it wasn’t because of the ideas I gave; it was because they took action on the idea. They actually implemented it.

So when you think about the challenges you are having with your data management, what one or two actionable ideas can you actually implement? And what’s keeping you from doing that right now?

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Testimonials

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“We came to Wes because we were very frustrated with our existing AMS and we wanted to improve our capabilities as soon as practicable. Wes very quickly helped us through a process of identifying our needs, identifying potential vendors, and selecting a new system that we’ll be able to move into very quickly. I especially appreciated Wes’s candor about our processes as well as the systems we were looking at. He was a great resource to have in a period of high anxiety for our organization. I would highly recommend Wes for any similar project.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“Wes was able to come in and offer tangible, relevant advice that made us more productive immediately. I value his understanding of databases but more so, his understanding of how nonprofits work. There was no lost time educating him about how membership organizations are “different.” Wes recommended changes in processes as well as tips and tricks that were easy to implement made an immediate positive impact.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
International Registration Plan

“This is the second database implementation we’ve done since I have been at Western Arts Alliance (WAA). The first I did on my own. This time we engaged Wes Trochlil as our database planning consultant. Let me tell you, this process is a whole lot easier having Wes on your team! For a small association like WAA, it’s tempting for board and EDs to question the justification and expense of a database planning consultant. But it’s the small associations that need Effective Database Management the most. Wes strengthened our planning process, clarified our needs requirements, helped us steer around solutions that couldn’t meet our objectives, and saved us money in the long haul.”

Tim Wilson, Executive Director
Western Arts Alliance

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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