What's the Worst That Could Happen?

While it may sound flippant, when helping a client make a decision I’ll often ask “What’s the worst that can happen?” Because the reality is, for many decisions, the worst thing that can happen is really not that bad, and making no decision at all can actually be worse (i.e., maintaining the status quo).

For example, I’ve seen associations agonize over the number or types of addresses they have in their AMS. Some of my clients use only one address, while others use multiple. But in any case, making a decision, moving forward, and modifying as needed in the future is almost always better than agonizing over what the “right” decision is. What’s the worst that can happen if we don’t have enough different address types? We add a new one as needed, that’s what. Not so bad, huh? The reality is that luckily, almost all decisions we are making are NOT life-threatening! We’re not doing brain surgery or launching military attacks.

So the next time you’re stuck making a decision, just ask yourself “What’s the worst that could happen if we choose to do X?” Usually it’s not that bad…

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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