As MCI USA continues to grow, we are excited to welcome new partners to help us deliver solutions to our association clients – either as a full-service agreement or as a project-based or consultative opportunity. The most recent company to join our fold is Network Media Partners, a company that focuses on strategic, integrated sales for associations – a clear fit as we continue to develop our means to increase our clients’ non dues revenue.
Merging reminds me a little bit of meeting your significant other’s family. The first few occasions, you wear a fabulous outfit, bring a dish to celebrate a festive occasion, and revel in the joy that new relationships bring. Inevitably, the time comes where they see you in day-old yoga pants, eating Doritos right from the bag – and that is when you know you are family.
The same goes with working with a new team – and after our own merger with MCI Group more than two years ago, it is incredibly evident how things will click and proceed from almost the beginning. And our corporate experience with mergers plays directly into some of the consultative work we do with nonprofits and associations who may merge due to industry consolidation, shifts in economic models, or technological efficiencies.
We knew our merger with the Network team was a great fit – but it was proven when they sent us photos of the pink drinks, balloons, and other festive ways that they celebrated the announcement. Similarly, when we welcome new clients, we know the partnership will be successful when a board dinner goes on for hours, as our team is able to have in-depth conversations with the volunteers that lead the organizations.
One of the better summaries of how elements of culture can impact overall results is in this article from Deloitte. Not only does it do a smart job defining a term that I know I struggle with – beyond knowing it when I see it – but there is a matrix on the second page that discusses how opposing cultural elements may impact things like decision making, productivity, and talent turnover. As some of the associations we serve consider opportunities inherent in merging with other groups, we always want to spend significant time in structured conversations around merging – because we all want to be more like Sirius XM (or Disney and Pixar) and avoid being perceived like the ill-fated match between eBay and Skype.
Erin Fuller leads MCI USA’s association management and consulting division, and still mourns the loss of the quirky Snapple lady after Quaker Oats bought them and got rid of their ad campaign years ago.