International expansion is an increasingly important issue to associations, the needs of members for their associations to help them embrace globalization, and opportunities to reach new markets and revenue sources outside the U.S. International success requires global maturity in strategy and operational execution to expand and thrive.
To address this reality, ASAE Foundation and MCI, along with technical support from Rockbridge Associates, developed a scientific Global Maturity Assessment Tool that associations can use to assess their own level of maturity, diagnose areas for improvement, and in the process, garner insights on how to succeed when deploying in international markets.
One outcome of this effort is the assessment tool, available to ASAE members, that includes a comprehensive list of 47 attributes on which leaders can rate their associations. These attributes are found from seven critical areas of focus:
Strategic and Business Planning
Management and Organizational Culture
Product Relevance: Value Proposition and Engagement Model
Global Organization, Roles and Support
Local Operations and Service Delivery Capacity
Another outcome consists of the findings of the benchmark survey, which tells a story about the state of U.S. associations in their international efforts.
The average level of association global maturity is 44 out of 100, which equates to being in the early stage of Developing/Functional. As shown in the figure above, slightly more than a fourth (27%) of associations are Fully Mature/Effective and another quarter (24%) are Developing/Functional. Only 14 percent are classified as having “No Readiness,” indicating they are at the onset of international expansion or have failed to take the steps necessary to succeed.
The maturity level matters because it correlates closely with other measures of success. More mature associations (based on the assessment questions in the survey) have: more satisfied international members/customers, higher satisfaction among leadership with their success in operating/entering international markets, growth rates that are more likely to meet or exceed expectations, and fewer problems.
Learn behaviors and processes that lead to global success and advance association goals, and gain access and insights into the self-diagnostic tool that rates overall global maturity and shows areas for improvement.
Work with colleagues in an interactive exercise to generate fresh thinking toward improving global strategy and operational planning.
This is a project from the continuing Global Management Series by the ASAE Foundation and MCI Group dedicated to helping associations grow globally and operate effectively outside of the U.S.
As MCI's Senior Advisor, Global Development Strategy, I help associations build and execute global growth strategies. Over the past 30 years I have served three associations (ASAE, MPI and IEEE Computer Society) as a leader of business, product and partnership development.