The complexity of the economic and geopolitical scenarios, the instability of global markets, the challenges of innovation, and the expanded access to information impose two major guiding principles of change on large energy players: internally, vision and adaptability, the sharing of the best experiences, and knowledge of stakeholder expectations; externally, the will to compete, to be competitive, and to assert themselves as authoritative and recognizable interlocutors.
In effect, the Enel Group’s achievement of leadership in the energy industry necessarily depends on its reputation: a strong and recognizable brand, a responsible partnership with the local communities and areas that host power plants and other components of its business, authoritativeness in its relations with the governments and authorities of the countries in which it does business, as well as in multilateral situations. A good reputation is based on a stable, continual, and integrated relationship with the different stakeholders, and in particular with society, based on trust and respect for shared values. This is a strategic relationship, considering that in the coming years energy companies will be increasingly close to consumers through smart grids and meters, electric cars, distributed generation, and other products and services that will bring energy closer and closer to end customers.
This is the background of Enel’s commitment to an open and transparent dialogue attentive to the needs of the communities in which it lives and works. Think globally, act locally. The word “glocal” sums up the way in which Enel constructs every day its relationship with its stakeholders, creating a network of relations distinctive of an energy multinational present in 40 countries on four continents, which communicates and discusses with communities differing in culture, language, and social and economic situation.
The search for a language that can communicate effectively to local communities, while at the same time using a supra-natural language, is also necessary in the light of the difficult global social and economic situation and the particular trends of the countries in which Enel operates. In effect, the global crisis has boosted protectionism and, in several cases, nationalistic policies. Self-government leanings are increasing, even in Europe, and flare-ups of ethnic pride are common in many countries. In this difficult situation, Enel has to consolidate its new image as a multinational and find common ground for dialogue with the institutions of the different countries in which it operates.
At present, such dialogue is dialectic and often harsh. It requires deep knowledge of institutional and political dynamics the legislative system, and procedures. Strengthening institutional relations takes teamwork among the Rome, Brussels, and Washington offices, as well as the use of new instruments: country analysis with a risk-based approach and bilateral advocacy to defend interests in the countries, with Enel and Endesa working in synergy to have more weight and voice in multilateral negotiations and international organizations. The goal is to develop an international institutional network and enhancing geopolitical analysis and risk mapping in the different countries.
Through careful analysis of the contexts in which it acts and a method for obtaining thorough knowledge about its stakeholders, Enel has initiated a proactive and quantifiable relational model to optimize its community engagement, centrally sharing several strategic guidelines and adapting to the different local situations. These innovative methods and communication instruments often require rethinking how we work from the point of view of integration and multiculturalism.