Rodrigo Quintero, K2 Global Consulting
Globalization has brought huge and important benefits for the development of societies and their economies, but also brings great risks that must be addressed with appropriate prevention and mitigation mechanisms for enterprises, and have an interest in third countries or operations located exclusively at the national level. Gone are the days when an incident occurred in a distant part of the known world was delayed by the other party and ranked as isolated incidents, specific or local. Today, any significant relevant fact happened in any country has, or may have reflected immediately in third markets.
The conflict currently exists in some Arab-Muslim countries that began last December in Tunisia, is a true reflection of what we are aiming. The main reason that the conflict has expanded Tunisian fast is precisely the nature of joint identity that embraces most of these people that goes beyond the limits corporations.
It is true that the economic crisis, the precarious conditions in which these societies live and stay mired in the power of certain regimes such as Egypt and Tunisia for decades have been sufficient cause of popular discontent and triggered the situation, but the nature of identity is part of those peoples which has enabled a rapid expansion of the conflict to third countries. We wonder whether our Spanish companies are prepared to respond to these risks, if they have the means to deal with these situations and if the overall protection of your assets (personnel, infrastructure, investment, information, know how, projects, etc..), is a cornerstone of its growth or occupies second place in its development.
An essential part of these mechanisms of prevention are those relating to the preservation of jobs and their staff in international locations where not endangered, as they are, employees, the cornerstone on which rests the future of company.
How many companies have adequate mechanisms for staff training prior to joining the destination where employees can have a real and objective view of the country and region where they will take up residence, often with your family? The lack of employee training prior to joining and the lack of information about their new working environment guaranteed wage claims after its incorporation, negative returns work their disagreement with the position or the country, poor working environment and the resignations of jobs after its incorporation, which finally comes to add more spending in the chapter on Human Resources have doubled many times that the same selection process.
The new risks emerge continually in the international arena should require companies to periodically adjust their risk control mechanisms with a view to preventing the consequences of crisis or the self. Despite the widespread perception that the crisis is devastating to businesses, are also important source of changes and adaptations that have strengthened the company to increase over the market and competition.
Positive consequence of the economic crisis that is ravaging the western world is the investment diversification and internationalization of Spanish companies. Impact of socio-political crisis engulfing the Arab-Muslim countries is the realization of the need for risk control mechanisms by Spanish companies operating abroad, and that these conflicts do not end with the fall of their agent. It will take several months until the situation begins to stabilize, with the risk which currently have low guard against the entry of religious radical movements to power.
So, this type of conflict also left us an important lesson: the realities are changing and are interconnected with each other especially in certain cultural and ideological environments. Countries in which we can be sure our investments are, in a blink of an eye, change and move to the opposite extreme, so if you do not have arbitrated and oiled system adequate prevention and mitigation of local and transnational risks , we run the risk of being swept away by the flood of these changes.
These conflicts emphasize the importance of Spanish companies operating internationally must have at least the following corporate mechanisms in place prevention and mitigation:
– A current corporate crisis plan that includes a complete risk analysis, an Evacuation Plan, a Contingency Plan and a Communication Plan, among others.
– A Business Continuity Plan (NCP), including the protection of corporate operations ensuring business continuity and protection of assets such as information, projects, investments, clients, etc.
– Adequate staff training structure within their respective Departments of Human Resources, to ensure training for staff prior to shift to foreign destinations.
All these are important prevention mechanisms which must be correctly implemented in Spanish companies operating abroad. The periodic review of these systems will be crucial to the soundness of its operations and needed to adapt the company to the environment in which it operates.
(Rodrigo Quintero is responsible for operations and the various activities of K2 Global Consulting in the Middle East region and North Africa)