Your first answer may NOT be the right answer!

Your first answer may NOT be the right answer!

I'm a big believer in "go with your gut," especially if it's something that you have a lot of experience with. I'm in my 25th year of consulting with associations on all things data management, and my first response to most issues is usually correct.

But not always!

A case in point: Last week I had a conversation with a client on how to manage invoicing for their programs. Throughout the discussion I was certain that using their AMS for invoicing was the correct course of action. But the further we got into the discussion, the more obvious it became that using the AMS would create more problems than solutions. Ultimately we decided to use the financial management system to do the invoicing.

My gut said "Use the AMS," but in this case my gut was wrong.

The key takeaway here is to listen to your gut, but TEST your decision. Run it by other people. Have them shoot holes in it to make sure you've got it right. You will probably be right, but maybe not.

As they used to say back in the 80s, "Trust, but verify."

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