Thursday Buzz: Unforced Errors Hurt the Most

Don't beat yourself with unnecessary screw-ups. Also: Treat your member database like a garden.

Like most folks, Idea Architects’ Jeffrey Cufaude doesn’t like wasting his time, and when he recently ran into a 404 error while attempting to take advantage of a hotel chain discount, he was a little miffed.

But he found a lesson in the situation: Don’t commit unforced errors.

Cufaude shared the story in a recent blog post. The hotel chain, which he didn’t name, sent him a postcard highlighting the promotion but failed to make clear that the discount didn’t take effect until April 1, days after he received the postcard. That, Cufaude says, was a huge missed opportunity.

“The hotel chain committed a major unforced error by inviting us to join a promotion not yet open,” he wrote. “Perhaps the bulk rate postcard mailing arrived sooner than planned, but smart organizations anticipate unforced errors and act to avoid them.”

That lesson, he added, should resonate with organizational leaders and others who don’t like screwing up.

“I hate to lose. But I really hate losing when I essentially beat myself because of unforced errors,” Cufaude wrote. “We want to make other people beat us, losing because we encountered an opponent with superior skill.”

Pull the Weeds

Looking to improve your database? Approach the task like gardening, Abila’s Erika May McNichol suggests in a post summarizing a session at the company’s recent user conference.

In his session “How Database Management Is Like Gardening,” fusionSpan’s Justin Burniske explained that planning, planting, nurturing, and harvesting are all essential to  effective database management.

The nurturing process, in particular, is often forgotten, McNichol noted.

“Nurturing the data through regular and repeated protocols and hygiene processes is easy to let fall by the wayside, especially during busy times of year,” she wrote. “Carve out small increments of time for you and your team to attend to your database and prune it to maintain optimum health.”

Other Links of Note

You’ve got two job offers on the table? Lucky you. But how do you decide? The investment company Fidelity has a useful online tool to evaluate different jobs. Lifehacker explains how it works.

An intriguing controversy in the association space is the push by the music industry to update the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Startups are critical of the move, but does the industry have a point? Pitchfork‘s Marc Hogan ponders the issue, adding new wrinkles along the way.

If you’re looking to add something extra to your digital advocacy campaigns, Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog suggests a bunch of options to look into.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!