What do clients say?

The International Coach Federation (ICF)


I became aware of the work of Terrance Barkan CAE and GLOBALSTRAT through ASAE and learned about the quality work and thought leadership that they offered. 

The growth of the International Coach Federation (ICF) had been significant for many years but we had a problem focusing our efforts for the best long-term outcomes. As always, the opinions within leadership were plentiful and the possible directions that were considered were rather diverse. Our Board of Directors was certain that it was the time to engage a knowledgeable, experienced and unbiased party to help us to develop a plan.

GLOBALSTRAT was one of the several groups responding to our request. Based on the thoroughness of that proposal and a deep understanding of the issues we were facing, it was clear that they were the right partner in this endeavor.

Terrance and his team conducted a lot of research independently of the information we provided them. They were very attentive to the needs and desires of the staff and the Board for information, input or explanation. The plan they designed for us was very comprehensive and provided us with a detailed and specific roadmap on how to continue our growth globally. 

The plan called for some strong positions and necessary actions that by some may have been considered unpopular. GLOBALSTRAT was persistent. They used sound logic and business reasoning to support their recommendations. As a result, they managed to convince  the Board to pursue the plan. 

We are glad they did – three years later we are still observing an unprecedented growth worldwide, our retention rates continue to increase, even with an increase in membership dues, and the sharper focus of the organization seems to be attracting more professional and seasoned coaches as members.

GLOBALSTRAT, with their experience, expertise, industry insights and a track record of always staying current in the affairs of global associations is a proven resource for anybody who plans to grow internationally or for those that want to strengthen their international presence.



Professional Profile
Health Care and Science

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

International growth strategy case study 


The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has 275,000 members from more than 160 countries that are interested in human resource management issues and practices. 

SHRM has been active internationally for a number of years but in the last two years, these efforts have been paying off with increasing results. This is in large part due to a recent shift in strategy and approach. 

 Leading with solutions and services, instead of membership

As membership driven organizations, it is both normal and common for associations to lead with membership when targeting international markets. Membership, however, is often a bundle of several services and benefits that are not easily transferred to international markets. In addition, membership benefits often depend on a certain critical mass of members in a specific geographic region to deliver on the promise of networking and information exchange with their peers. 

For SHRM, the shift from promoting membership first and foremost to providing specific programs, events and solutions has resulted in better overall sales results, including increased membership as a positive by-product.

Distribution Models 

There are many ways for associations to actually engage with an international market; you can place your own staff and programs locally, work through a chapter structure or use third parties to help deliver your products and services. The right solution really depends on your particular association and situation. 

In the case of SHRM, a shift to a content licensing model allowed them to expand to more countries much more rapidly and with less direct investment than if they had tried to grow the markets using only their own resources. 

By authorizing specific partner organizations to obtain a license to use and resell SHRM content and programs, SHRM was able to a.) reach a much larger audience, b.) transfer a significant amount of risk to the third party partners and c.) build new revenue streams without dramatically increasing costs. 

With this new approach, SHRM is now working with delivery partners in Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Egypt, Ghana, Greece, Japan, S. Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, Turkey and several countries in the Gulf region, and cultivating new partnerships elsewhere around the globe. 

“International” Revenue

Revenues from international markets are a growing segment for many associations. It is important to remember that international revenues does not just refer to sales outside the U.S., it should also take into consideration the number of international attendees that participate in your U.S. based meetings and events. 

For example, SHRM most recently had nearly 1,100 attendees from 91 countries – an all-time high for global diversity --  at its Annual Conference in Orlando, more than 8% of all attendees. This is a result of promoting the annual event to their growing international membership base and through the network of delivery partner organizations. 

Of course, international sources of revenue count as well and SHRM is organizing local events in India, China and the UAE that have helped to grow overall international revenues to more than $5 million annually. 

Words of Advice

According to Howard A. Wallack, MSc, GPHR, HRMP, SHRM’s Vice President, Global Business Development, associations would benefit from following a few words of advice;

 1. If you want to grow international markets, you have to invest time, in person, in the markets you want to grow. International development is not a spectator sport. 

2. If you work through partners, you must have a solid system in place for due diligence when selecting partners and for execution. You can’t expect partners to just work without oversight or direction. 

3. You will need clear metrics and measurements to stay on top of your business. Tracking the most important data, (revenues, unit sales, registrations and attendees, etc.) in real time will help you spot problems early enough to take corrective action. 



In the past, SHRM was more passive regarding its international engagement, but they are now getting much better results with a proactive strategy and approach.  

A subtle strategic shift from primarily promoting membership to a focus on specific programs and benefits has increased revenues and membership for SHRM in targeted international markets. 

In addition, the use of a content licensing model has allowed SHRM to much more rapidly expand to more countries, with less risk, while keeping costs manageable.