Monthly Archive: November 2010


Global MegaTrends Part 2 – Tech, Health Care and Global Business Cravings

Night lights and the spread of economic growth.

This is part 2 of longer overview of the 12 leading global business & economic megatrends effecting US associations prepared by MCI’s Global Association Management & Consulting Practice. Part 1 of of this article can be found here. Using the latest research findings from leading global institutions, MCI assembled these megatrends to help with client 2011 strategy and planning.  Here then is a short excerpt from this more in-depth client analysis covering trends.

Megatrend #4 – Tech Explosion Meets Population Explosion

Forecasts predict that Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia will be the sources of the most dynamic growth in digital consumption.  Already more than 610 million residents in these countries are regular Internet users and are expected to grow to 1.2 billion by 2015.  Over 60% of these users are under the age of 35 years old. As they earn even higher incomes as the middle class continues to expand, they will require more complex needs that will offer massive business potential of consumer electronics, Internet, and mobile communication.

Online usage in emerging markets is different than in developed countries and varies by age demographic segment than economic status although Brazil and Russia are far more advanced in usage sophistication than India or Indonesia. While China is far beyond them all with Internet and mobile phone usage deeply embedded in the lives of hundreds of millions of Chinese.

But by far the online device of choice is and will continue to be – the smartphone.  PC’s are and will remain a platform with smaller adoption outside businesses.

Megatrend #5 – Health Care Offers Challenges & Opportunities for All

Innovation & Demand Soar in Emerging Markets - Spending on health care will continue to rise in line with economic growth and key markets will become big opportunities for health care companies. Yet serving them will require new models that can adapt to local needs. Demand for treatments for traditionally “Western” diseases will soar in these countries.

Greater Incidents of Global Pandemics – The world has become more sophisticated at coping with potential pandemics, but urban sprawl, population growth, global travel, and rudimentary delivery systems in poor countries ensure that global pandemics will remain a serious threat.

Environmental Quality Erodes Health – The effects of poor water and air quality, pathogens in food supply, and urban sprawl and congestion will cause dramatic health care challenges for decades to come.

Medical Tourism Goes Mainstream – The allure of good care at much lower prices will cause increasing numbers of people to go abroad for cheaper treatment. Americans traveling abroad for treatment will soar to more than 1.6 million in 2012.

Megatrend #6 – Acceleration of Demand for Generally Accepted Practices, Standards and Codes

As globalization affects industry and professions, its impact on a profession is felt through the definition and acceptance by industry of job roles, levels of skill mastery and principles of practice.  They become the means by which to standardize knowledge transfer from one part of the globe to the other and make managing complicated projects easier.

A recent management study by a US and UK business school identified that one important explanation for the large differences in productivity between firms and countries is variations in management practices. Their work suggests that implementing new practices may be easier when the workforce is more knowledgeable.  So more basic business education could help improve management in many nations, especially in developing nations.

And given emerging markets are only becoming aware of non-formal education (what we call professional development offered by associations) outside of university systems in recent times, the potential for certifications, accreditation and professional training that has generally accepted status outside their homemarkets have unique opportunities to tackle this new demand.

Emerging market governments want a good local supply of 21st Century workers to help their domestic companies compete.

Next up in Part 3 (found here) – Governments Get Intrusive, Massive Global Labor Shortages, & Massive Population Growth at Either End of the Pyramid


ASAE CRS Lunch Virtual Session – “International Expansion”

We just wrapped up an good session with 30 folks just prior to US Thanksgiving Holidays.  As promised, I am posting the slide deck to make it easier for others to locate.  Thanks for joining us.

If you have questions, please contact me at [email protected] or go here to read the more indepth article on content discussed today go to this article entitled “Secrets to Market Share and Product Sales Growth”.

Happy Thanksgiving.


European View of Member ROI – Trade Associations

In Europe, having a strong proactive public affairs outreach program is now more critical than ever as private and public communities face huge resource and financial pressures along with the focus on the impact of sustainability on  businesses and society, according to a senior panel during an American Chamber of Commerce Belgium workshop hosted at MCI Brussels.

The session featured contributions from:

  • Charles Laroche, Senior Advisor, Tällberg Foundation, former VP European External Affairs at Unilever, Board Member of such associations as CEFIC, COLIPA, as well as former President of A.I.S.E.
  • Dave Deruytter, Senior Manager Expatriates & Non-Residents ING, Board Member at Association of Belgian Relocation Companies
  • Roberto Zangrandi, Head of European Institutional Relations at Enel S.p.A.
  • Jef de Clercq, Managing Director at Engineering Services & Consultancy, Volunteer Leader at International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering)
  • Nikki Walker, VP Global Association Management and Consulting, MCI Group

Just like in the US, Europe faces a sharp decrease in public trust in the political and financial systems in member countries following the recent debt crises and the fast pace of technological change which is leading companies to operate increasingly globally and regionally while trying to ensure public and employee behavior and opinion can keep pace.

Too many European associations are ill-equipped to tackle these challenges.  Today, many are still struggling to address the  current European political reality.

Presenters offered the following tips for constructing more proactive PA programs:

  1. Influence – build strong partnerships through an interactive and well coordinated network; invest in strategic intelligence; and gain a position as a recognized authority representing your industry.
  2. Effectiveness – agree on key priorities, focus on strategic, long-term ‘must win’ (not nice to have) issues; simplify  structures through alignment and teamwork; put the right qualified people in the right places; and implement effective financial management organized by projects.
  3. Leadership – agree on a strategy inspired by the Board of Directors’ vision; ensure the engagement of company top executives (not necessarily members of the Board); empower the association staff; and have excellent internal communication processes.
  4. Trust – establish one’s reputation overtime based on competence, credibility and indisputable transparency.

Associations have to take a proactive approach to the issues facing their sector if they are to maintain their relevance to members and get their continued buy-in.


Anticipate emerging expectations through strong partnerships and mutual understanding with all stakeholders in order to best position the association as a trusted source for solutions to difficult issues through smarter regulatory policy.

Continuously develop and promote voluntary industry initiatives and bring added value to the membership and Society at large.  By being ahead of the regulatory curve, you can openly acknowledge and deliver solutions to difficult environmental or other issues affecting your industry.

Promote a strong leadership network through an interactive communication process that engages and involves all members.

Will the membership model of today still be here in 2015?

The panel seemed to think we’ll see a more customized approach with a move away from a flat membership fee to one tailored based on usage of services.   We’ll need to start reconsidering the membership structure and the value of the previously untouchable traditional ways of things.

The concluding question raised by Susanne Zänker, Director-General of AISE served as an excellent reminder to the assembled executives.  She said she was currently trying to integrate a network of nine multinational companies, 35 national associations (approximately 900 companies) and asked how a company feels its view/specific issue is being listened to through a trade association which has to represent the whole sector?

Associations must move from reacting to anticipating emerging stakeholder problems. The future of our associations will depend on our capacity to deliver appropriate content and the strategic industry overview to help policy-makers. Some associations may not be able to demonstrate such value and slowly disappear.

Focus on what is strategically important.  Be clear about what you can offer but recognizing the need for synergy with other associations to create alliances on cross-cutting issues.

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