Getting buy-in from other users

One of the biggest challenges associations face when implementing a new association management system is staff buy-in. How do you get the staff to adopt the new system and make it their own?

In a phrase: rational self-interest.

In order to get any staff person to use the system, you have to determine how using that system will serve their rational self-interest. That is, you have to answer the question from the staff’s perspective: “How will using this system make my life better?”

For some, just telling them “You have to use this system because your job requires you to” is enough. Their greatest self-interest is remaining employed.

But for many, that’s not good enough. You have to help them understand how adopting the system will make their life better, or easier, or yes, even more fun!

For each user, the answer is going to be different. It will take some work to identify why each staff person would benefit from using the new system. But once you do that, you’ll greatly improve your odds of more staff buying-in.

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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