Bonding with the social environment in companies dedicated to the exploitation of natural resources, a great challenge in times of social change.
For no one is new the fact that the world has changed on a vertiginous way on the last decades and sometimes these changes are so fast that we feel that we cannot even give us the luxury of blinking without taking the risk of ending up out of date making it harder to understand the world around us. Is known today we live in the communication and the handling of the information era, being the globalization an inherent condition of humanity, where information is the most coveted resource since there are no limits and no borders for the handling of it.
We live in a society where the insurgent "millennials" are beginning to be opaque by the creative and mobilizer power of the incipient "generation Z" whom recognizes that the only limits that could restrict their development are the self-imposed. At the same time, the current generation and the incoming one show an interest much more active for the environment and for the rights and duties of companies and workers. Is from this situation plus the reality about the information management that give us platforms like the social networks, that it has giving a place phenomena as the "citizen complaint", which takes as fundamental components or "ingredients" an unsatisfactory sensation or frustration with the reality and the access to a social networking or communication platform.
With all the information that we handle today in relation to the social behavior worldwide, we can point out in a truthfully way that in the upcoming years will trigger a series of crisis between companies that are dedicated to the exploitation of natural resources and the social environment where they are immersed. This imminent crisis in general terms not has been really dimensioned since in many cases we do not have considered the generational and cultural factors of the actors that will be involved. On the other hand is important to understand that the incoming conflicts are not evitable but they can be manageable, understanding that the companies have to take an active role in the broadcasting of the information and in the welcome of the demands and interest of the communities.
For the management of the conflicts we have to consider two dimensions, the first one corresponds to the idiosyncratic features of the society, and the second one to the nature of the companies dedicates to the exploitation of natural resources, whether they are publics or privates.
In relation to the cultural features of today society and the generation that shall adopt greater power in the next decade, we have to understand the phenomenon of generational change. Many communication and social linkage companies have built-in the figure of "community Manager" (social network manager) believing that with this they will cover changes in the communication field that they are facing today, however this is a big error since the solution for this adaption problem is focusing in the form but not in the background. To mode of contextualization, it arise that the dominant generation of today is call "Millennials" which one correspond to the people born between 1975 and 1995. As designates the magazine "The Harris Poll" this people have the feature of been born in the globalization era by which they question the geographic limits in the personal development in addition of feeling involved in social problems that could be seen as distant and alien, also they has permanent disposition of sharing information in the community in which they operate. However this generation maintains certain features of their parents' generation (Baby Boomers) which is a generation more individualist that search for the personal success by which involvement in social problems is limited by the grade in which these can affect to his personal well been. But as we pointed out previously, in the next five years generation Z (born between 1995 and 2015) will take a leading role worldwide, given that many of them will be developing professionally and will be active agents inside social organizations and business. This generation does not understand of a world not globalized and the social network is part of their life not only personally but also in their labour. To difference of the previous generations, they do not limit themselves with share content but they look forward creating thoughtful ideas to better the quality of life of people or report any situation that harm it. Is a generation less individualistic and has not fear to the personal detriment if they feel they are fighting for a common good, they are not afraid of losing their job because they are much more independent and they see themselves able to function in any job or even they are looking constantly to develop an autonomous work, also this generation looks for mobility because they do not see themselves for more than five or six years in the same work and to be in an organization their all life is not an option since they do not look for stability but challenges. On the other hand, they have an environmental and ecological sense much more developed at the same time they look forward to fight for principles more than convenience, in this way they are willing to pay a big price by ensuring for a better world for the next generations. There is a permanent interest of looking for information and understand it, by which things like the calculation of the "Carbon Footprint" is a tool that many persons of this generation handle as usual. An article of the New York Times published in march of 2015, arises that is a generation based in a principle of justice, being a feature phrase "paying your dues", reason why they are much more confrontational and they demand that things are done the way they "should be done", fighting impunity and they will not doubt in using all the resources that they have to achieve it.
The other factor to consider to dimension the future bonding crisis with the social medium, is the nature of the companies of exploitation of natural resources. When we talk about large companies like fishing, mining, forestry or oil companies, in the same way as would say the ex-presidential candidate of the United States and Nobel Prize Al Gore, we are in front of an inconvenient truth. That because no company is safe or harmless for the environment, since its nature lies in the physical alteration of it. Is for this reason that we coined the concept of "Environmentally Friendly" industry, which makes references to the policies and industrial process that look forward to try to do less damage possible to the environment (controlled damage). This situation invites us to put in the mat the way in which this companies plan their communication and bonding strategies with the medium front to this important generation change with a society more mobilized, contestational and informed, where as I pointed out previously concepts as "carbon footprint" are part of the usual lexicon. Then, the questions that arises are; are we prepared to stablish a constructive relation with the social environment? Do we count with the management resources to confront the upcoming crisis and their impact both inside as outside of the company? Do we count with mediators trained to be the nexus with the community? How is our actual relation with the environmentalist organizations and how do we project that relation in the time? Examples as "Razón Pública" in Colombia, "Chile Sustentable" in Chile or "Friends of the Earth" in USA, are only a few examples of organizations that have achieve position as important social agents with which the assertive and communicative is vital for the future of the company and for above all for the good of all.
It is for all the previous that is fundamental that the companies or bonding units with the social medium would be able to meet and understand the social behavior in addition of havening the capacity of anticipate the conflicts and crisis that could arise between the companies and the social environment. This implies to understand the management of the communication as a relational process more than the unidirectional broadcasting of the information or even only the compliance of the laws or social responsibility policies that are imposed by the governments.
A proper and efficient bonding with the social medium implies to anticipate the conflicts since they are absolutely predictable if it makes a compressive and constantly study of the medium in which we are. Not to do this is not only to generate an important rupture in the relation with the community but also strong conflicts inside the industry even with their workers, and in the worst case scenario, this can generate a violent response if this trigger a frustration feeling in the community. It is important to understand that the environments extra and intra-organizational are not independent and isolated, but they live in permanent interaction. In this sense, there are different strategies to manage the crisis with the social medium, starting from the base that the crisis are not evitable since responds to the evolution of a social system. One of this strategies is the "controlled explosion" of the conflict. This is similar to the systemic process that is performed on a context of a familiar therapy in psychology, in where the therapist can observe explicit conflicts (problems that family brings to a therapy) and latent conflicts (whom correspond to those that are apparently invisible but they are the base to the current problems or even they constitutes as problems that do not cause a crisis yet but they are in the process of doing it) in these cases the therapist work is to anticipate to a chaotic situation making visible the problem making it "exploit" in a controlled manner (in the same way police unit do when they have to turn off an explosive artefact). Further is essential that the units or companies dedicated to the social medium linkage will be skilled in the communication of attitudes and dispositions, in a way that the community can see their intentions and concerns of the company about important issues, so the people that conform this community achieve to empathize with the interests and positions of the company, in the same way that their intentions to achieve a greater good. But for above all mentioned previously, the most important is the responsive work of the speech and social movement, understanding the community as a complement of the company and not as enemy.
Another important aspect about this issue, from a practical and strategical point of view, it is always recommended that the bonding agencies with the social medium has an external character to the company, since this deliver a point of objectivity in the analysis of the situation, in addition to foster the credibility and trust by the part of the social agents and communities. This also locate us in a better position in the moment of mediate in the conflicts that could arise, since are precisely these institutions the ones called to guide the mediation process since their objective by essence is to ensure good relations between the company and their external and internal environment, favoring always a well common.
Up to this moment, we have talk mainly of affairs associated to environmental topics, however this same social situation and relational process applies to those labour matters as hours of work or the general unhappiness of the workers, this because the generational change not only will affect the external medium of the organization, but the internal too, this is a very important reason for what ensure for our efficient adaptation to the social and cultural changes.At last, is important to take awareness of the fact that the crisis with the medium is something that will occur inexorably, maybe we do not know when but we know it will happen. However the idea is not to be afraid of the crisis since as well as its define says, is an inevitable change in the development of an entity, which allows us to adapt to the changing environment, in this way our work has to be focus to adapt of an efficient way to the future, achieving to grow and strengthen of a such way to conquest our objectives in a ambience of mutual construction and collaboration with the community.