A proposal from InSight in the face of the new reality generated by social movements, expressed through marches, protests and strikes.

Regardless of political tendencies and the different interpretations of the social movement and its consequences, one thing is certain for everyone: the need and the clamour of the people to be heard, to feel included and to have their needs, perspectives, visions and projects for the future integrated into society.

How has this reality affected industries?

The impacts of social protest on organisations, specifically in the industrial sector, have been reflected in various ways:

Firstly, by affecting operations and productivity, and by increasing the prices of logistics and raw materials.

On the other hand, violent acts have harmed the security of the companies and their employees, generating a hostile environment for the operation and for initiating or continuing relations with the community, due to the prevailing fear and mistrust between the parties.

In addition, the demands and expectations of the communities towards the commitment of the companies have increased; it is no longer enough to make social investment, as the needs go beyond any specific project.

Keys to connect in 3, 2, 1:

When we talk about 3, 2, 1, we talk about different ways of seeing, understanding and approaching communities.

In 3, we speak of the third person, often taken as the other or that, distant, chaotic, changeable, difficult to understand and sometimes threatening.

In 1, we talk about the first person, the self, my interests and what I want to achieve.

In 2, we speak of the we, of that common, shared field, where we connect and tune in, where we find similarities in the midst of so many differences, where we find consensus. And it is precisely to build this 2 that our keys go so that the relationship is strengthened in order to achieve a win-win situation.

In our previous blogs "The evolution of social performance in 3, 2, 1" and "Social performance from the we, tuning and connecting", you can find our expanded reflections on this.

Now we want to talk about the keys to connect in concrete actions:


Keys to action in 1:

  1. Decision: Businesses have several options in the face of today's reality: on the one hand, they can ignore it, resist or deny that they have a place in the situation; or, on the other hand, they can decide to connect and tune in to the clamour of society, and take an active place in the situation. This decision for us involves planning, strategy, availability of different teams and resources, and most importantly, support and backing from business leaders. In short, the Decision is a commitment from all levels of the organisation.
  1. Take advantage of all available tools and knowledge: We usually have at our disposal tools such as socio-economic baseline information, censuses, statistics, databases and stakeholder analysis. We also have an elaborate package of policies, procedures and standards. However, in crisis situations we go into reactive mode, we tend to look for quick ways out to put out the fire, and we forget to articulate information, spaces and standards, because we don't really have time to think outside the box. That is why it is important that this articulation and integration of tools is done in the calmer times. It has happened to me, as a leader of social teams, that at some point I have done and paid for the same baseline twice; and as a consultant, I have been called to do the same study that I had already done, because sometimes we have that information only as a requirement for licensing, but we do not keep it in mind as an input for the corporate strategy.
  1. A social team prepared to embrace and contain chaos: Ensure that relationships within the social team, and with other teams, are healthy, coordinated and multidisciplinary. To have a clear purpose that is the pillar and the permanent point of reference. Crises frighten us, we feel threatened as an organisation and as individuals, relationships with people in the community become tense and we are under stress. However, we must help our teams to be prepared for contradictions, paradoxes and even absurdity and incoherence, and process them in such a way that they quickly become a tool for interpreting the situation and dealing with it assertively. Generate space in the teams to discharge the intensity of the crisis and conflict, and to recharge energies. This is achieved through coaching, training, and facilitating spaces for reflection, to process the chaos inside and outside the company.


Act in 2:

  1. Harnessing the potential of conflict: As human beings we tend to avoid conflict. In business we seek to prevent it and respond reactively when it arises, to prevent it from escalating to uncontrollable points. However, there is wisdom in conflict, for it is a signal that something is not sitting right, that there is dissatisfaction and that the difference - which is normal - is escalating to a point of increased tension. This tension and the scenario that conflict creates, if it can be contained, managed and oriented, is very creative and solutions can be found in it that would probably not be found in calm situations. Quick solutions to conflicts tend not to be sustainable over time, generating responses that produce perverse effects for the organisation. Giving in to immediate grievances can end up encouraging the generation of conflicts when one of the parties wants to win something quickly. On the contrary, exploring the conflict, its causes, its manifestations and its core, helps to generate solutions that go to the root and address the real need, which sometimes is not on the surface.
  1. Cultivating empathy: this involves important challenges, such as making tensions, power and superior/inferior relationships between the company and communities visible; bringing difference to the surface; raising awareness of privilege; and willingness to make the relationship with the community beyond the boundaries of the business purpose, and a human relationship.

Empathy involves working on similarities, commonalities and the ability to put ourselves in the other person's shoes, to understand their perspective and see them as a legitimate other. How many times have we not had a conflict with communities, which even becomes personal and hurts us? Or how many times have we not come out of a tense and tough meeting, but in the end we shake hands because we know it is not personal, just business? It is therefore about cultivating empathy in all our interactions.

  1. Create spaces for listening that are not just about business. Creating spaces to express oneself, to listen and even to let off steam is vital to lower tensions, to take advantage of conflict and to cultivate empathy. Devote full attention to what people have to say, without having to give a corporate, immediate response, simply giving the other person the legitimate space to express themselves and to feel listened to and included.

The expected outcome: to be catalysts for development. One of the big complaints of communities is that operations in their region have not brought development but, in many cases, destruction. Economic and other benefits are reaped by a few, but development is not seen. At this point, I believe that the industry in general, and especially the mining and oil industry, is entering a moment in which it must rethink its place, without losing the core of the business, which is profit generation. The place of companies is increasingly on the other side of the grid, outside their facilities, as a catalyst for development. The reality is that companies have greater management capacity than local communities (they have greater financial and human resources, infrastructure, contacts with government and other bodies, etc.). Under the enclave model, where the operation is there to do its job and that's it, these resources are not used to their full capacity, and the results are not distributed to the community. But under a catalyst or platform model of development, the place of the company is to be the point of connection between the community and the bodies to which it has access, using the information about the people and the environment at its disposal, to generate movement in the region that is not just on the back of a company, but that mobilises the sector.

There are surely more keys, but we are convinced that the 6 presented here will help enormously to connect and respond to the clamour to be heard, which will also be reflected in better relations with communities, especially in times of crisis.

InSight accompanies its clients through this approach, that of tuning in and connecting, to generate effective and sustainable, forceful, long-term results.

Our services cover different areas that contribute to social performance with an integral vision:

  • Perspective: to understand the environment. This covers due diligence, socio-political analysis, risk and impact analysis, socio-economic baseline, socio-economic characterisation, among others.
  • Integration: Design of policies, procedures and strategic plans in line with high standards for social performance. It also includes team training and coaching. As well as mechanisms for integrating social into business planning and decision-making processes.
  • Understanding: We accompany and facilitate processes of community relations, conflict management, implementation of citizen participation mechanisms, prior consultation and other processes that seek understanding between the company and the community.

We know the difficulties or administrative delays that can occur in large companies, so we offer the possibility of having InSight at one Click, a service that you can access through our website to book the time you need with us, if you require the services immediately, paying the package you require.

We are here to make life easier for our customers and communities.

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