A Strategic, Timely and Often Valuable Decision.
We live in uncertain times. The now over-played post/pre BREXIT scenario; preservation of our environment; climate change; a fragile Middle East and early evidence of the more aggressive aspects of nationalism taking hold are leading issues.
Strategic decisions, most especially those driving investment in regional business development, partnerships or technical knowledge transfer, become an even greater challenge when the information or business intelligence on which they are based changes daily.
A decision to enter or reinforce a campaign into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region must be a considered one, based on the following (amidst many other) key facts:
- There are no quick or easy wins (3-5 years remains the average); the ‘low hanging fruit’ is plucked by established, local companies
- Relationships and friendship dictate success; these can only be developed and proven through many visits and meetings
- Technical partnership (driving local employment through knowledge transfer) are the future; such legal agreements can take 6-9 months to establish
- New advanced sales, qualification and tendering procedures, driven by new Government agencies are taking effect; the days of the previous ‘agent network’ are numbered
- The lunar calendar, the environment and climate cannot be overcome by technology; no matter how advanced your product, you or your services will be expected to operate in 40C (+) for 3-5 months/year
In this environment, iCP, applying 30 years of regional commercial, diplomatic and military experience, is the ally or advisor you seek.
Being Prepared to Say ‘No’
Business risk management was perhaps not an early iCP ambition, but this experience has taught us an unexpected value of our support …
“Thank you. This has been an enlightening introduction and made us realise that we do not have the time, the assets or the finances to sustain the long-term campaign you have described. You have saved us a fortune; we are not ready now, but we will be. When we are, you will be the first person we call.”
On reflection, a well-informed ‘No’ is indeed a timely, strategic decision. It has a client value on numerous scales: the financial (company budget, capital and revenue); the personal (company sales team) and perhaps most important, a value for ‘UK plc’ avoiding a lost Tender or subsequent inability to deliver.
For iCP the lesson is learned:
- Misinformation by repute, the media and negative embellishments have done much damage
- Honest facts based on experience count; tell the tale as it was
- The MENA campaign is complicated (30 years’ experience cannot be compressed)
- Regional success or failure is binary (there is no ‘in-between’)
- Building relationships, business friendships and trust (a natural skill in the East) has become a science to be relearned in the West
Ultimately, iCP’s aim is a successful MENA campaign. If, on that journey, we add value in mitigating risk or saving time and investment, we have also succeeded.
Matching Our Services to Your Needs
iCP’s proven campaign approach begins with the critical cultural understanding offered by iCP Gold.
In our experience, fears are only allayed when lack of cultural understanding ceases to fuel mistrust. After iCP Gold, we can progress rapidly to the more technical, procedural aspects of the Middle East campaign with iCP Frankincense.
iCP Frankincense addresses the technicalities of the campaign – time, cost, investment and procurement process become hard realities. Building competencies through workshops and scenarios which bring the campaign to life and establish the key principles.
To learn more about the 3 stages of iCP services, please visit Our Services.