Recently, a new member came to me and expressed her concern that she might lose her job if she could not get enough clients to satisfy her quotas.
She joined CCA several months ago. There was some degree of participation, on her part, of the affairs of CCA – in the sense that she helped out in certain events organized by CCA. She did not have a job then but subsequently obtained a job which required her to lobby or cold-call clients. She had a probation period to demonstrate her salesmanship. She turned to members of CCA and her approach was that as fellow members, we should help her to satisfy her quotas and hence, secure her job.
Before I go further, perhaps I should print out one of the objectives of CCA:
“To provide facilities for social intercourse between Members of the Association and their families and friends and to afford them all or any of the usual privileges, advantages, conveniences and accommodation of a club.”
In the past, I have eye-witnessed how members, through participation of CCA’s affairs, have developed to become associates of a business, or through co-operation, enhance each other’s business developments. These relationships do not come merely because they are members of CCA; they come because CCA provides our members, especially executive committee members, a forum to work together as a team and through such associations, develop friendship, understanding and trust of each other.
I have grave reservation whether these successful examples can be successful at all, if, from the very beginning, similar approach was taken by these members as the one referred to at the beginning of this article.
By the nature of our Association, it is all encompassing. It is not an association of a trade or alumni of a school or university so that each member will have similar backgrounds. Our members are from all walks of life. It is exactly the diversity of the backgrounds of our members that gives us the strength, that is, if we can mobilize them to work towards a goal. It is also the harmonious nature of our cultural background that gives us the uniqueness and an easy-to-mix element in our membership. Such ingredient is a strong catalyst to spark business relationship and friendship.
Recent years, there were calls for the formation of a “Biz Club” in CCA. The idea, as I understand it, was essentially to form a club within a club so as, allegedly, to create better business opportunities for our members.
I find the approach puzzling and unnecessarily put us in direct conflict with the Chamber; the latter is, as I understand it, a business center to promote Canadian businesses between Canada, Hong Kong and China.
Hong Kong is a business center. I have no qualms against anyone to take every opportunity to promote business. But, at CCA, we do it in a more subtle manner and as a member nicely puts it – it is a “by-product” of our membership to CCA. By providing a focal point for our members, we socialize and build up friendships and only then, the business networking will flow as a by-product.
In my view, the subtle approach may well be, in this part of the world, a better one to promote business, if it is your desire to do so.