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Perfection kills
30 June 2014, by , in Executive, No comments

Some 25 years ago, I published a printed directory for the association I worked for which ultimately won an ASAE Gold Circle award. I learned two things from that experience:

  1. Putting together a 400 page printed directory is incredibly tedious work.
  2. There was an old aphorism in the directory printing world that said “A printed directory is out of date the minute it hits the street.”

Even today, when directories are online and driven directly from the database, thus reflecting the most up-to-data we have, our online directories are still out of date the minute they hit the website. Because data is always changing.

The idea that our data can be perfect is a myth. The idea that our database management will be perfect is a myth. This is why perfection kills. Believing we can do something perfectly will keep us from ever trying anything.

If we set perfection as the level that we aspire to, not only will we fail, but we’ll also become frustrated and quickly learn not to try. Instead, set the level to which we aspire to be success, as we define it.

And that directory that won the Gold Circle Award? It had several errors in it (and MAN did I hear about it from my members!). But it was better than not releasing the directory at all. Don’t let perfection keep you from being successful.

 

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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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