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Micro-managing Kills Initiative
5 September 2007, by , in Data Management, No comments

Why aren't more of your staff comfortable with working in your association's database? One reason may be micro-management.

I've been working with a client and recently realized that a huge hurdle they face is that their executive director micro-manages everything they do. As a result, staff is fairly paralyzed and unable to make any decisions on their own. None of the staff takes any intiative to do anything, because they know the executive director will second-guess their decisions. Better to just wait to let him decide than make a decision and then be "slapped" for it.

This type of behavior can have a hugely negative impact on AMS usage. If staff perceives that everything they do within the database will be checked, double-checked, and second-guessed, they will quickly learn to not bother.

Yes, it's important to make sure staff knows what they are doing in the database. But micro-managing their use is not the answer. As a colleague of mine once said, "Tool 'em, train 'em, and trust 'em." This means you have to provide them with the tools to succeed, you have to train them how to use the tools, and then you have to trust them to do it right. Micro-managing kills that trust.

So…are you micro-managing your database users? Or are you training them and trusting them?

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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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