Monday, November 12, 2012

Trust and Confidence with your neighbour (

The passage below is an excerpt from a piece written in over the weekend.  There has been increasing awareness of and attention paid to 'social licence', and this piece focuses on the who, how, why in granting social licence.  This particular reference is mostly discussing the energy business, and particularly pipeline and energy development processes - from an investment manager's perspective.

This article touches on two important themes from my perspective.  First, process for the sake of process.  Once a process has lost focus of the intent and purpose, then the process needs to be adjusted if it is to be functional.  Just as Enbridge received a staggering 4500+ interventions that were to be heard over an 18 month period.  That is no longer a functional process serving the intended purpose.  A timeout and rethink of the process was necessary - it might be too late at this stage.

Second, trust and confidence.  As I have noted in numerous other posts ~ trust and confidence is a foundation ~ without it, there is little to stand on.  We place trust and confidence in our children's teachers, in the motorists we share the road with, and in the shopkeepers we give our business to.  Without basic trust and confidence, modern society needs a full-stop re-think.  

From bankers to police, from politicians to labourers, people are misusing their power and authority, and the privilege granted them.  Social licence needs to be earned, just like trust and confidence, with your children, your employer, your spouse, all those you interact with > everyone.
Obtaining social licence is about building, earning and maintaining trust with people. But if there is one factor confirmed by my trip, it's that the oil and gas industry has done a dismal job of building relationships, countering disinformation and earning trust in communities. The issue extends far beyond British Columbia, and is getting worse. That's what happens when organizations and institutions focus on rubber-stamp processes rather than building long-term trust at ground level.

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