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Do Your Business Rules HINDER Success?

I was reading this article about the introduction of IBM's Thinkpad laptop and was struck by these two thoughts:

  1. At the time, black PCs were not allowed in Europe because it was believed that anything other than off-white put too much strain on the eyes. So IBM put a sticker on the laptop that read "Not for Office Use."
  2. IBM had a longstanding rule that forbade the use of red on anything other than the emergency power switch on mainframes, so they said the little trackpoint button was "magenta."

What struck me about this was how incredibly stupid these rules are, but more importantly, how stupid rules like that could have hindered the introduction of a great product, if not for the creativity of the inventors to work around the rules.

So ask yourself: How many rules does your organization have in place that hinders, rather than helps, you manage your database? And if there are rules like this, ask yourself why? Too often, the answer is "Because we've always done it that way." (Hmmm, sounds familiar…)

Don't let outdated, unused, or just plain bad business rules hinder your success. If you have a rule that can't be justified, trash it. You'll be happy you did.

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“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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