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…
“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