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. Three years on and it hasn't worked as I had hoped so I'm taking a break and having a bit of a rethink. In the meantime I have reposted a "best of" selection.

Responsible Business Management Archives


Ten must-do-actions for a stronger social licence (updated)

Responsible Business Management |  1 February 2022

Check-out the one-minute video before delving deeper into the must-do-actions to demonstrate the behaviour needed to establish trust and build relationships. Without trust and good relationships the likelihood of success (for the business generally and for community-facing activities in particular) is greatly reduced...


More actions for a stronger social licence

Responsible Business Management |  1 February 2022

I've written before about ten must-do-actions for a stronger social licence. These come from personal experience  managing company-community relations on mine sites in Africa. This new / different / alternative take on doing what matters comes from local communities, reflecting directly on their concerns for the well-being and development opportunities for individuals and the collective community...


What is a fit for purpose organisation structure?

Responsible Business Management |  1 February 2022

What is this about?

Put simply, it is the idea of “fit-for-purpose” and how the concept applies to the structure of social performance management teams...


Evolution of a management system

Responsible Business Management |  1 February 2022

Management systems supporting the pursuit of excellence and continuous improvement are found in all other aspects of business - technical, financial, administration and health and safety and environmental performance - so why not community relations and social performance? Why not indeed…


Linking company actions to the SDGs

Responsible Business Management |  1 February 2022

Making a contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

For the last few years I have been making the case that junior and mid-tier explorers and operators can contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (the SDGs) and just as importantly to be recognised for what they do, to the extent that shorter life-cycles, smaller physical, environmental, social and economic footprints, leaner management structure and lesser lobbying strength allow. So I’ve been digging away, looking for ideas to borrow and tweak. The ICMM was quick out of the blocks, mapping the SDGs to their Sustainable Development Principles. Another good source has been a think-tank report mapping mining to the development goals . Both have been useful but they definitely reflect the capabilities and strategies of the big-end of town. More recently IPECA has published a guide for the oil and gas industry and the US FAO has incorporated SDG considerations into their Sustainable Forest Management Toolbox.


Community Health - building from the inside

Responsible Business Management |  1 February 2022

Community health is another area that is very broad and where it pays to stay focused on a (relatively) small number of areas. Malaria, HIV and communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and hepatitis have long been priorities for company and community alike. Ebola and COVID-19 are more recent concerns. The first three are essential in so far as ensuring a healthy workforce is concerned and are standard practices for responsible companies operating in Africa. And they are not that difficult to address...