Our Vision brought us here
Written by Stylianos Filopoulos, Director Wine in Moderation
A joint international purpose (often expressed as a vision) is what brings interested parties together to cooperate and invest resources (time, effort and money) in an association. The founding members may consider that cooperating with actors from different countries in an international association scheme is more impactful than not cooperating at all; founding the association to realise the common vision is therefore worth the investment.
But the understanding of the vision is relative.
What constitutes a “common vision” can be subject to cultural interpretation and asymmetry of information and can therefore easily be misunderstood. Especially, the cultural interpretation can be amplified by linguistic barriers and misinterpretation of terms and expressions.
In parallel, the perception of the vision can change during the lifespan of an association. Over time several changes take place within the international association, and in its microenvironment (members, partners, competitors, etc.) and macroenvironment (political, technological, sociocultural changes, etc.) will affect the perception of the common “vision” and the actual need for cooperation.
Even though international associations are rather a safe working environment, the people that form an association both the “secretariat” and the members (representatives) rotate over time, with the new ones bringing a fresh look over what is the common purpose. While those who stay with the association, they may also change their point of views; simply because that’s is life, people change.
Each international association is unique and a rather complicated ecosystem. The people that are organised in international associations represent different cultures, insights and interests and can also represent different types and sizes of legal entities. As such each association is like a melting pot.
In this ever changing environment, being able to react as an ecosystem takes more than a northern star to set our course. It needs a set of shared values to define who we really are and how we walk through good and bad times, to make both the destination and the travel worth the effort.