When I’m working with a new client on a project, for example, selection of a new AMS, they’ll often ask me “Who should be involved in this project? Which staff should I include?”
Along with including all the people who are the subject matter experts that need to be included, and the senior staff who need to be involved to make decisions and set priorities, I also always recommend the following:
“Include anyone you think will actively work against the success of this project.”
That usually makes my clients stop and think. Many will ask “Why would we include those who don’t want this project to succeed?”
My response is that it’s always better to have your detractors “inside” where you can keep them up to date than “outside” where they can wreak large amounts of havoc. This may seem counter-intuitive, but having your detractors close by will allow you to keep an eye on them and may even help you to persuade them to support the project!
So if you’re working on a project and know of active detractors, invite them in to work on the project.
“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.”
“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.”
Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
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