Yes! Make it easier to join!

I was very pleased to read this recent article in Associations Now by Joe Rominiecki about the Society of Hospital Medicine’s efforts to make their online join process easier. From the article: Last year, [SHM] reduced its membership application from 64 data...

Seek first to understand

One of the most important skills I’ve learned in my 15 years as a consultant is the ability to listen. And one of the best ways to ensure that you are listening is simply this: when you’re in a conversation where you’re trying to learn something, let the other person...

Re-keying data is never acceptable

One of my data management commandments is that data should never have to be re-keyed. That is, once data has been entered into a system (e.g., the customer has completed a form online, or staff has entered data into a spreadsheet), that data should never have to be...

How far we’ve come

I’ve written before about the amazing advances in technology that I’ve seen in my lifetime (and I like to think I’m not that old!). But the other day I was reminded that, as a child some 40 years ago, the mailing list that was used for monthly mailings of the...

Get a Systems Tune Up

One of the more important services I provide my clients is what I call a systems audit. The purpose of the audit is quite simple: to determine what is working, and what is not working, when it comes to the systems in use and how data is being managed. (With today’s...

Maintain regular contact with your vendor

When I help associations seek out and select new association management systems, one of the first questions I ask them is: “What’s your relationship like with your current AMS vendor?” (Assuming they are using a vendor.) Too often the response is something along the...

“It’s a religious issue”

I first heard this phrase 20 years ago from my then IT director at a small association I was working for. We were having a discussion about how to manage a certain set of data, and as we debated the pros and cons of a decision we were making, he finally said...

Getting buy-in from other users

One of the biggest challenges associations face when implementing a new association management system is staff buy-in. How do you get the staff to adopt the new system and make it their own? In a phrase: rational self-interest. In order to get any staff person to use...
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