Single Parenting and Data Management

For the past four days I’ve been a single parent. My wife has been on a well-deserved trip (to the Bahamas!), which means it’s been my job to take care of, and shuttle around to activities, all four of my children.

Over the course of the past four days, I’ve had to take kids to school, to baseball games, soccer games, grandma’s house, scout events, the library, and all the while make sure they are fed and clothed. Who knew being a mom was such exhausting work? 😉

What I discovered along the way is that in order to be effective at managing four kids at once, it’s incredibly important to have a good support system in place. My neighbors have pitched in to haul some of my kids around to different activities. My in-laws have taken one or another of the kids for hours at a time. Had I tried to do this all by myself, I would have been less than successful (and probably would have had some very upset children on my hands).

It’s always tempting to think we can do it all ourselves. Sure, I could have gotten my kids around to everywhere they needed to be without the help of anyone else. But it would have been exhausting and I probably would have missed something (or many somethings). And the same is true for data management. For those organizations who try to put all of the data management into the hands of one person (and I see this a lot), the results are less than stellar. On the contrary, those who spread the management of data throughout the organization (and even out to the customer!) are far more successful.

Look around your organization. Are you taking advantage of everyone who can help out? Or are you concentrating the results into too few hands?

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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