"They ask, we deliver."

I was meeting with an association executive recently to discuss how I might help them with the selection of a new AMS. During the course of the conversation, the executive director explained that when the board asked for certain sets of data about the membership, it might sometimes take two days of staff work to produce that data.

I asked the executive director if the board had any idea it was this labor-intensive. The ED simply smiled and said, “No. They ask, we deliver.”

I run into this issue a lot. And having been on the staff side of the equation, I get the need to not burden the board with our internal problems. But sometimes it’s critical that the board understands just how weak our technology is.

So the next time the board asks for something that takes two days to produce, maybe a better answer is “Yes, we’ll do that. But please understand, given our current infrastructure, that this request will take two days of staff work to fulfill.”

Who knows, maybe it’ll get the board to invest some money in new technology!

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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