It's all about expectations

A couple of weeks ago I had to go to the DMV to turn in some license plates and possibly get a refund on my registration stickers. Even though I was going to the “express” DMV, based on previous experience, I expected to be there about half an hour and was hoping I might get a $50 refund. But what actually happened was that I was in line for only five minutes, the transaction took less than five minutes, and my refund was over $100! I was ecstatic.

But why was I so happy? Because my expectations were so low (based on real experience). And that’s the lesson. Everything comes down to expectations.

When implementing a new AMS with a client, one of the first things I say is “We will make decisions during this process that will seem correct now but will turn out to be wrong sometime in the future.” What I’m doing is setting expectations for a process that will NOT be perfect.

It’s all about managing expectations.

About Wes Trochlil

For over 30 years, 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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