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Focus on profound change, not incremental change
31 March 2011, by , in Executive, No comments

I wrote recently about being bold and taking risks. Focusing on profound change rather than incremental change is a related concept.

When you think about the work you’re doing every day, consider those activities that will be high impact versus those that will really just have incremental impact, and focus your energies on those that will create profound change.

For example, my clients will often tell me that they want to collect some new type of demographic data on their members, in the hopes of better targeting communications or marketing. This is good (and I encourage it!) but too often these types of demographic data collection activities focus on incremental change. The plan (it always seems) is to survey the members for this data. The problem is, the data we’re collecting will only affect a very small portion of our members, or we’ll only actually use the data infrequently.

In contrast, if the same association were to implement a systematic process for collecting inquiries from members and customers and categorizing these inquiries so that they could see trends forming over time, the potential for profound change is very high.

Do you see the difference between these two activities? One is an event (collecting demographic data) while the other is a process (collecting data over time, and with every interaction).

Incremental change produces incremental results. Profound changes produce profound results. Be bold, and be profound!

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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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