Some great strategic partnerships were created to weather tough times. COVID-19 was an especially difficult time, impacting profits, workers, families, and the U.S. economy. Most writing on strategic partnerships focuses on how companies have combined their strengths and mitigated their weaknesses to expand customer bases and achieve far more together than they could separately. However, there are more prodigious, inclusive, and ambitious types of strategic partnerships—the sort that change the game for entire industries. These take shape between industries and their trade associations.
Trade associations are more ready than ever to help their industries overcome challenges and build consequential partnerships. 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. These partnerships include strategic thinking, business acumen, focus on data and analytics, defined outcomes, effectiveness measures, key performance indicators (KPIs), constructive governance and leadership, and process.
As noted in an article in the publication In Business Phoenix, the Recreational Boating Industry and National Marine Manufacturers Association changed the game when the economy went into lockdown.
There are numerous examples of how modern trade associations are strategic partners helping to move the needle, five of which are outlined in the book Reimagining Industry Growth. The Airports Council–North America led by Kevin Burke, president and CEO. Before, during, and after the pandemic Mr. Burke and his team have driven strategic partnerships to new levels. Because member-centricity is outside-in, achieving the necessary Cares Act funding kept airports solvent—a vital resource in shaping regulations—and provided vital virtual online training for professionals Airports valued their trade association’s rapid response.
Trade associations can and do operate as strategic partners with the industries they represent; they can and do serve as the face of their industries, and they can and do help entire industries to achieve extraordinary growth even in the toughest times. Simply stated, Strategic Partnerships Change the Game for Industries.
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.