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Speak Up!

One of the more frustrating aspects of consulting is running into staff who are unwilling to speak up when speaking up is warranted.

For example, during the implementation phase of a new AMS, many processes will be changed, either by design or by default. As processes change, staff needs to speak up and ask both “How?” and Why?” questions. How does this new process work and why are we implementing a new process.

And very often, it’s staff who have the best perspective or most knowledge that are not speaking up. I’ve been in many situations where issues someone who is “just” a mid-level staffer is the person with the most knowledge about the association and its business practices. Very often this person knows more than anyone else sitting at the table, but is the least likely to speak, either because s/he is not sure s/he should, or because the culture of the organization is such that lower level staff have learned not to speak unless spoken to.

But the absolute worst time to be silent is when significant processes are being changed. So speak up! And if you’re in leadership, make sure you ask all key staff involved for their opinion, in case they are to shy to speak up for themselves. You’ll be surprised by what you might learn.

 

 

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Testimonials

“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.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

“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.”

Jack Chiasson, CMP Executive Director
National Association of Life Brokerage Agencies

“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.”

Mary Pat Paris, Executive Director
International Registration Plan

Mary Pat Paris
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

Tim Wilson
Western Arts Alliance
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