Earlier this year, our GrowGlobally readers responded to a survey on the topics of most importance to them. Our first response to GrowGlobally reader survey preferences will be on partnering in China.
As the results from the recent ASAE Foundation Study sponsored by MCI has shown, it isn’t that associations are not partnering. The vast majority are. Unfortunately, not all partnership deals are good ones for various reasons from over expectation to poor partner selection due diligence to a lack of appreciation of the different types of partnerships.
One such example is the over reliance on local national societies to carry the weight to help US associations expand their business interests. It is unwise to depend on such local societies especially those located in emerging markets or less developed countries. Many of these associations struggle to manage their own activities with smaller budgets, smaller volunteer networks, fewer staff, and do not possess the core competencies to support the growth of business commercially.
However, local societies do act well as “multipliers” in their ability to connect you to end users (customers, member prospects, local subject matter experts).
MCI would like to offer some suggestions as you evaluate local national societies in your efforts to partner locally around the world. Use the following criteria to determine a potential client’s capabilities to serve your interests.
- Market Knowledge – ability to see changes in the local perception of industry or academia resulting in better participation, interest in your brand or to identify and remedy dissent?
- Management – possibility of leadership changes in their ranks that could weaken or hinder your activities?
- Infrastructure – strength of its local network to provide needed expertise at the point of need?
- Competency – business expertise to perform required responsibilities?
- Commitment –interest of the existing political and administration leaders to provide ongoing infrastructure and financial support?
- Politics – changing attitudes among core local leadership that could retard or undermine support or relations?
- Culture – degree to which bureaucratic culture stifles performance?
- Scalability – ability to transfer your success to other markets within the country?
MCI China’s Maria Tong was recently in Washington DC and we took the opportunity to interview her on the role of partnerships in China.
This interview is the first of three podcasts which will appear this summer on GrowGlobally.