Collaboration without Fear
Associations worldwide strategically collaborate with other Associations of National or International stature, to foster cross-functional activities, and better market reach. But collaboration remains a challenge, as the founding phase of any collaboration requires competitive strategy, honest desire and motivation. Threats in the environment can also stimulate collaboration as a way of ensuring mutual protection, legitimacy or preservation of resources. Thus, collaboration takes center stage as it helps to create an environment in which people want to stand together without fear.
Beyond Membership Fees
For any business or operation to sustain, it needs to diversify its revenue streams and the same goes for the associations worldwide. While membership dues continue to be the main source of revenue, this share has been shrinking over the past few years. According to a report, an association’s membership fees represent less than 30-40% of the total income. The other major income comes from non-dues revenues through training and certification, publications, sponsorship, monetizing data, events, fundraising and from several other sources. So, associations at this juncture should seriously focus on non-dues revenue more aggressively than relying on membership based revenue model.
Conflicts of Interest and Professional Medical Associations
Professional medical associations (PMAs) have a pivotal role in the health care system, representing medical specialties from as small as a few hundred practitioners to as large as the Indian Medical Association (IMA), with 30,000 members; the Federation of Obstetric & Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI),with 36,000 members; and the Indian Dental Association (IDA), with more than 75,000 members. The roles of PMAs are diverse and include serving as a key source of medical education, supervising and approving practice guidelines, and publishing influential medical journals. PMAs are also tasked with representing the financial interests of their members, and doing so often involves political lobbying and other efforts to influence health care policy, including physician reimbursement. The sensitive nature of these roles require PMAs to maintain a high degree of academic independence and scientific integrity by avoiding inappropriate influence from commercial interests.
Communication between Association and Government
Associations involved in government advocacy and policy intervention need to work very closely with the government. Also associations, its stakeholders and government should be transparent in their mutual approach. For an association that chooses to engage in government relations, public policy, or advocacy, their organizational policy should be in place. Organizational policy provides direction to the Association executives, what they can and can’t do on behalf of the association and create a transparent process for how the organization’s position statements are determined and disseminated.
Data: Essential for Association Innovation
Data is the new capital of the global economy, and as associations seek renewed growth, stronger performance and more meaningful member engagement, the pressure to exploit data is immense. As associations continually look for new and better ways to serve their members, data is becoming fuel for the innovation engine. A strong data strategy and foundation can lead directly to new event revenue streams, personalized event and learning experiences, and deeper member engagement. The data driven economy is broader than we realize and is growing in impact.
Cooperation not Protectionism
Protectionism means the practice of shielding a country’s domestic industry from foreign competition by putting different type of trade barriers, imposing regulatory restrictions etc. In the long run, this actually ruins the economy. The need for global cooperation for common development has long been a consensual understanding among the international community. This makes it absolutely necessary for all the countries that want to maintain the multilateral international business system to cooperate largely but logically. In todays’ perspective, progressed and progressive countries need to concentrate in to the global market, where everyone can be in a win-win situation.
Cross Cultural Concerns
In today’s increasingly competitive business environment, in order to be successful, communication is one of the most significant functions for all kinds of associations to master, and it is particularly essential for the ones doing business internationally. As it is known, the world is becoming nowadays a global village, in the sense that the technological achievements of this modern time have brought people closer together. This also means that people from different parts of the world and with different cultural backgrounds are working and communicating together. This fact is in a way interesting but dealing with people from different cultures requires knowledge of cultural diversities.