I first heard the words “meeting under the mango tree” as a euphemism for having a predictable, easy to access process for enabling community members to raise issues and concerns in a safe and familiar place.  There is no fixed agenda and no one-size-fits-all for these exchanges. With one company we set up drop-in centres in each local village with a designated community officer in attendance everyday. Another made it known that a company person would be available “under the mango tree” for two hours every market day. I was hoping this blog would achieve something similar – the regular, free and open sharing of ideas and experiences. It hasn't worked so I'm taking a break and having a bit of a rethink. In the meantime I'll be reposting a "best of" selection from time to time.

What is a fit-for-purpose organisation structure?

Responsible Business Management |  11 June 2023

What is this about?

The one, the most important, action you can take is to ensure your communities / community relations / social performance team is capable of supporting your business plan. Geography, people, issues, company ambition and the point in the life-cycle all play a part.

On a small remote site a team of 3 might be what is needed, another with more local communities and a bigger footprint might need 20, another with multiple operating sites requiring a significant resettlement may need 100 or more;

Timing is the other critical factor and what we see all too often is that companies under-resource early in the life-cycle:

A result of being slow and late is that early consultation is compromised, relationship-building opportunities are missed, low-cost, easy to implement community development projects don’t happen and upskilling of locals is too little too late leading to employment and service opportunities being lost. Taken together these lessen the quality of the all important social licence and set the company back, making the future more difficult that it needed to be.


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