Melanie Katzman addresses business leaders and community members in Paracatu de Baixo where residents lost their homes and livelihoods due to a massive dam break - MELANIE A. KATZMAN, PhD
Melanie Katzman addresses community members in Paracatu de Baixo who had lost their homes and livelihoods due to a massive dam break

Melanie Katzman addresses business leaders and community members in Paracatu de Baixo where residents lost their homes and livelihoods due to a massive dam break

Building trust with your community is the best risk management program. Connect before, not after catastrophe hits. As a member of the international advisory board of the FDC—South America’s largest business school, I traveled last week to Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil. We drove to Paracatu de Baixo to meet community members who had lost their homes and livelihoods due to a massive dam break. Years have passed, and restitution and repair have been tied up in bureaucracy. The focus of our meetings were the impacts and responsibilities of business’s choices on the community. It is critical that businesses connect with their communities as fellow humans first. Often fear or discomfort prevent person to person meetings. Progress will align with performance once we get comfortable going to each other’s places.