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Not every decision made will be correct
21 February 2008, by , in Data Management, 2 comments

When working with associations on implementation of their databases, there are points throughout the process where we will have to make a decision, whether it's about how to set up a particular part of the database, whether or not to convert or collect certain data, or deciding which processes to keep and which to change.

When making these decisions, it's important for all staff involved to acknowledge and understand that some decisions made now will turn out to be incorrect later. That is, not every decision made will be the correct one.

What we have to keep in mind is that making the correct decision every time is not what's most important (after all, it's impossible to make the correct decision every time). What's important is how we react and adjust to decisions we made some time ago that ultimately turn out to be the wrong decision.

There is a tendency to become paralyzed when faced with making a decision. My suggestion is that you make a decision and move forward, watching how the decision affects what we need to do, and making adjustments as needed. This is true of databases, new products, and decisions in our personal lives.

Not every decision will be the correct decision, but how you react and adjust to an incorrect decision will be the difference between success and failure.

About author:
  • Wes, just want to thank you for this post, since innovation, creativity and forward-thinking leadership requires courage and risk-taking, including not always being right. Advancing knowledge is not for the faint of heart. Fail fast, fail forward! Many thanks.

  • Virgil, glad you liked it. “Fail forward” is a great phrase!

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Testimonials

“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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