If you look after the people who create your wealth, you will win. If you ignore them, you will probably pay for it.
We went to New Orleans last month to see for ourselves how this unique city of music, creole culture & food, was doing. When anyone now mentions New Orleans, you may think first of Hurricane Katrina.
Katrina actually happened 12 years ago, in August 2005. In just 5 fateful days, the city was extensively flooded – 80% was under water – in some areas there was 16 feet of water. There was a mass evacuation. 1,836 people lost their lives. It was the costliest natural disaster in American history.
We took a city tour and heard the story of how they had to do a lot more than simply re-build it. They had to persuade the very people, who had made the city famous, to return. Many of their musicians were living and working elsewhere.
The authorities knew that New Orleans without its jazz and its clubs would not appeal to either holiday-makers or conference-goers. New Orleans had to re-grow its roots!
So they built new homes for their people; they gave them low interest rates on their mortgages; they made the new accommodation really attractive, so returning musicians and their families would feel both at home and special.
Their plan worked and today the New Orleans’ music scene is more dynamic and varied than ever before. Overall, it’s managed to create a more vibrant, lively and fun place to visit.
It highlighted one thing very clearly to us: If you look after the people who create your wealth, you will win. If you ignore them, you will probably pay for it.