Enel has put a 205MW project on hold in Colombia after long-running protests, and it is not the only company facing such unrest. We look at whether the government can improve consultation before it's too late.
A Mea Culpa
Saying sorry isn’t easy. It’s an admission of fault. And it can be pretty humbling too.
However, in recent weeks, that hasn’t stopped politicians stepping forwards and professing mea culpa. Something that when positioned properly, can win votes and curry favour.
Shrewd? Yes. Genuine? Who knows. Whatever the case, for the politician backed into a corner, it’s an effective way in which to call a halt to the scrutiny and to wipe the slate clean.
If only things were that easy within the energy markets. A place where an apology is the exception as opposed to the rule.
Take Trafigura for instance. A multinational oil trader that only apologised for the dumping of toxic waste in West Africa after a damaging report came to light.
Or take BP, a firm that took a painfully long time to finally hold its hand up and apologise after the Gulf of Mexico spill a couple of years back.
However, just because big business – particularly within the more traditional energy markets – continues to take such a cautionary approach to saying sorry, it doesn’t mean everyone else has to follow suit. Wind included.
Let’s make this a little more specific.
In the past fourteen days, a major Chinese manufacturer has struggled to hold its hand up, communicate and empathise following yet another tragic loss of life.
While on the other side of the planet in Northern Europe, an established manufacturer faced similar communication challenges following revelations that its former CFO has lost the firm anywhere between €4m and €18m. Ouch.
Neither scenario is pretty. After all, who really wants to be the bearer of bad news? Particularly when talking to shareholders, partners, prospects and peers.
Nevertheless, the message has to be shared. And the way in which it’s shared says more about a business, its ethos, ambitions and goals, than you’d think.
As we have consistently argued, effective positioning is critical for aspirational businesses operating within the wind energy market. In fact, it’s fundamental to any firm seeking to establish credibility and commercial relevance.
Make no mistake, saying sorry isn’t easy. However, as ambitious businesses within the wind energy market look to expand overseas and make their mark, they’d do well to take heed.
And in doing so, they’d uncover the hidden benefits and opportunities associated with that very human touch.