Post Midterms: Apply Strategic Partnership Strategies

President & CEO


Undoubtedly, this recent election and every election has consequences, sometimes severe in nature. New leaders in Washington, DC and in state capitols exert influence over policies and regulations that most definitely affect the way in which industries conduct business. And newly elected officials from members of congress to state legislatures in many instances may fund new and shifting priorities. There will always be changes in political power and in economic cycles. Now that Midterm elections are over, business executives must pivot and think in broader terms based more on fundamental human characteristics than on the shifts in cultural or political winds. Now is the time to apply strategic partnership strategies between your Industry and your Trade Association.

Industries applying a more long term focus through Strategic Partnership strategies are making an impact. Think back to the start of the global pandemic; the baking industry (American Bakers Association) and the food and beverage issues alliance effectively leveraged their ecosystem to keep plants operating, to protect their workers, and to keep the American people fed. Or think about their vast Industry ecosystem’s efforts to protect the industry when the state of New Jersey wanted to shut down independent distributors. Also think about the Frozen Food Industry (American Frozen Food Institute), how they utilized their ecosystem to achieve historic growth pre pandemic and explosive growth during and post pandemic. Alison Bodor, President & CEO, notes “We saw that growth extend by over 20 percent during the pandemic. We brought new consumers to the category. And we also increased our interaction, our engagement with the consumer across all meal solutions. AFFI Both industries functioned in different political environments both at the federal and state levels of government.

The strategic partner strategy with your industry trade association can work as it has in other industries. In moving forward, your industry can become more fluid and flexible in its approaches and still be able to have the broadest impact in shaping the external environment. Industry strategic partnerships with Trade Associations can help every Industry not miss a beat. In every industry, these partnerships can build ecosystems that provide them the range and the reach to innovate, become more efficient as an industry, and make effective cases to regulators and legislators, as necessary. In a dramatic period of uncertainty, this is an approach worth pursuing for every Industry.

It is the strategic partnerships that fuel opportunities to Reimagine Industry Growth. Fully engaged, the partnerships deliver quantifiable and accretive business solutions for the industries they serve. It seems clear that strategic partnerships of all varieties are increasingly necessary, and desirable in the modern global economy. This important factor is not apparently clear to most industry executives. It is one particular venue where strategic partnerships are vastly superior, both quantitatively and qualitatively, to all others, yet they are underutilized. And for every imaginable industry, that venue is already in place, and in a huge number of cases it has been for a very long time.

Trade Associations are more ready than ever to help their industries overcome challenges and build consequential partnerships. Since the start of COVID-19, they are migrating rapidly from an inward-looking posture to an outward looking focus. In multiple cases, trade associations are far more focused on how they can aid their members in moving the needle for the entire industry.

A recent example of a leading outward looking association comes from the Global Business Alliance (GBA), a Washington, DC-based trade association that represents 200 of the largest international companies that operate in the United States. GBA president and CEO Nancy McLernon and her team established a wholly owned subsidiary, GBA Sentinel. The new product managed through the subsidiary, according to Ms. McLernon, “will give global companies access to the cutting-edge tools they need to efficiently audit and monitor their supply chains and digital assets. We believe this initiative will help rapidly advance our nation’s effort to prevent future attacks and underscores how seriously world-class companies take protecting America’s supply chains.”

From a supply chain perspective these types of partnerships can be invaluable. There is a way forward on developing industry fail-safe options to where and how to store excess parts and goods in the next national emergency. Industries and suppliers seeking to reshore production can leverage their strategic partnerships to build cooperative local government relationships. For example, they can work with state and regional transportation authorities and advocate to secure the necessary transportation or rail infrastructure to ship goods.

Your Industry call to action is here and your moment is now. The bell rings loudly for industry executives from all Industries and trade associations. This is the time to Reimagine Industry Growth. For executives who already engage with an Industry Trade Association, explore how your industry association could evolve into an essential strategic partner. The door is open, and the opportunities can be limitless. As the midterm elections rest in the rearview mirror, now is the time to apply strategic partnership strategies between your industry and Trade Association.

Book Dan Varroney as a speaker for your meeting, conference or group and learn how to tap into the potential of strategic partnerships with industry associations from the author of the groundbreaking new book, Reimagining Industry Growth.