The sun is setting over the Irrawaddy River and that toxic yet intoxicating smell that is part grass burning and part trash fires cuts through one’s senses like a sharp knife. It is the end of the day in Central Myanmar and the smell indicates that we are getting close to Mandalay. The sites and smells, as anyone who has traveled the developing world knows, are unmistakable and indicates that around the corner awaits uncertainty, chaos, grit and most importantly, adventure.
I feel the same about the start of the International Business Group (IBG). This has been a four year odyssey to get to this date. This includes several attempts at the software and website, many many meetings with attorneys (easily the most valuable and important part of developing the business model) and meetings with others who share similar passions.
These passions include, first and foremost, a deep desire to have access to information and the facts from those on the ground – from those who know best – all around the world. While there are some truly great periodicals and news outlets, we still want to have access to and speak with those in the know – first hand and unfiltered.
Second, those of us who started IBG enjoy being around and working with individuals that are smarter and more accomplished than we are. These individuals will, by definition, also want to be around people smarter than they. Thus begets the nature of IBG. By focusing on those we perceive or know to be better than we are, as a defining principle, we hope to create a trusted network of truly extraordinary people. The software, at the end of the day, is merely a platform for these individuals and groups to collaborate.
Third, we know the value of genuine subject matter experts and we would like to be able to find, contract and work with such experts when needed. We spent many months working through how to accomplish this both with the platform and with the legal agreements. While I am sure we will learn and need make changes, we are finally at a stage where we can become operational. As of today, when agreeing to the terms and conditions of the the International Business Group, you will have also agreed to the Master terms and conditions that govern your working relationship with other members of the International Business Group (associates or leaders). At this point, the only thing that one needs to do to contract with another IBG member is to complete a Statement of Work, which is what they would need to do anyway. IBG even provides a template for that as well. We’ve hopefully simplified this process such that it is quick and easy for any member to spin-up a project or organization with another member.
Fourth and finally, if you are an independent consultant or an operating business (large or small), we know how important it is to maintain “ownership” of your customers. Recognizing this, we set up the International Business Group such that IBG does not own the customer – you do. As a Leader or Associate, when you work through IBG, your customer contract remains directly between you and your customer. Should you elect to contract other IBG members to assist with the effort, there is no fee to you and there is never a need to contract that customer through IBG.
Like any adventure, there are sure to be some amazing experiences, there will most certainly be setbacks, and hopefully some spectacular vistas. However, the most meaningful thing to me, as with my travels and work abroad, is to meet and work with some amazing people and to, along the way, make the world a little better place to work, explore and live. We can’t wait to get started, to meet and to work with the world’s best.