Mistakes will be made

One of my favorite comic strips was “Life in Hell” and one of my favorite strips from that series was this one:

Image © Matt Groening

When I work with clients on a system implementation, I often start with the following caveat: “Understand that we will make decisions with the best information we have available at the time. Later on, as we learn more about the system, we may find that the decision we made was wrong. That’s OK.”

The key to making mistakes is not the mistake but what you do AFTER you’ve determined you’ve made a mistake. If you sit around fretting about why it happened or who is to blame, you won’t make much progress. But if you admit it was a mistake and find a better solution to deal with the issue going forward, then you can continue to make progress.

So understand: Mistakes will be made. How you deal with them is what matters.

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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