August 20, 2012
In Kellen Company’s global consulting work, we’ve seen how little coordination of activities at global level there is between many trade associations representing the same industry in different regions of the world. It’s rare to see lean and transparent truly global association structures.
Industries that are very decentralized (with many small and medium size companies with national activities) often join only the associations that are relevant to them. When multiple associations in the same industry are working in silos and not coordinating their efforts, it can create redundancy, confusion and inefficiency.
We have found that for certain relatively concentrated industries, a global association landscape is a necessary solution for the industry’s problems. It increases effectiveness and enhances transparency, including of fund allocation. More than ever, companies are re-assessing their membership in the different trade associations that they belong to at a global level.
The clients that we’ve consulted on restructuring have been faced with the following factors:
- Industry comprised of multiple regional and national associations with little coordination
- Industry consist of a hand-full of global companies who pay for all associations
- Overlap of associations’ goals and lack of coordinated and unified industry-wide activities
- No hierarchy of associations and therefore not clear leadership at international level
- Multiple boards and committees with overlapping missions and duplication of activities and redundancy of meetings
These factors lead to lack of leadership and of unified voice of the industry at international level and to lack of unified associations’ goals and activities for the entire industry globally. Industries are more global than ever and trade associations representing these industries must consider either a strong coordination of goals/activities between the different regions or the creation of a global association structure, if they wish to continue being relevant for their global members.
Restructuring projects aim at developing and implementing a global rationalization plan to create a more coherent, unified and coordinated global framework for industry, with a global governance structure and funding mechanism, with coordinated global activities – mainly in area such as communication and regulatory affairs – but which enables maintaining regional and national presences and memberships. Regional and local projects are funded (in total or partially) by the global structure on the basis of projects submissions indicating goals, expected results and related costs based on measurable matrix.
Is your industry coordinating activities at a global level between the different trade associations representing their industries? Which industries have you come across that have successfully organized themselves into a global association structure?
If you have any questions about global restructuring or think your association might benefit from global consulting from Kellen Company, please contact Travis Rush at TRush@kellencompany.com.