The other day my two-year old daughter and I walked to our mailbox to mail a letter. The mailbox is about 50 yards from my house, and about halfway to the mailbox, my daughter took off running to the mailbox with the letter in her hand. I stopped and watched as she went to the mailbox, reached up on her tiptoes to open the mailbox, put the letter in, pushed the mailbox door closed, and went up on her tiptoes again to push the flag up. She turned to me, smiled, and ran back to where I was standing.
I was stunned. I had never seen that before and I began to wonder how she knew what to do. And then it struck me. Whenever we had mail to send, either my wife or I would walk down to the mailbox with her, and do exactly what she did. We had modeled the behavior for her, and now she was doing it on her own.
This is exactly what we need to be doing with our employees, whether it's for data management, or membership recruitment, or customer service. Far too often we believe that we can simply stick our employees in a training class and, voila, out comes a well-trained staffer who can do whatever it was we were training them to do. But can you imagine for one minute that my two-year old daughter could have done what she did if I had "trained" her to do it, rather than modeling the behavior.
Look around your organization. Are you simply training your employees, or are you modeling the behavior you expect from them?
“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.”
“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.”
Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
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