Has Brexit broken us?
30 June 2016
The Brexit result last Thursday is not the end of the world for the UK, despite Politian’s from both sides running the vilest of campaigns including untruths, fear of the unknown, migration and an economy that will free fall. As well as more false promises than you can shake a fist at, will we need emergency budgets and higher taxes, probably not. Will inflation rise, probably, will we lose jobs to the EU, yes.
Will we get £350m a week invested back into the NHS, of course not. Can we ever have a true democracy while we continue with first past the post? At least the referendum made each vote count for the 72% who turned out.
I thought that these ‘supposed’ intellects and leaders of our nation could not stoop any lower following the Scottish referendum, how wrong I was.
Above all else, I am reminded of the saying ‘that when Politian’s err, the people pay the price’ and through the next few months, indeed years there will be so much uncertainty, that the lives of our members will be impacted, some positive, mainly negative until stability and ‘certainty’ return to the market place.
How quickly that stability and ‘certainty’ returns in some respects will be down to the Politian’s and the civil service and I hope that they will be able to move quickly, not only to negotiate our way out of the EU, but starting trade negotiations in parallel with other non EU nations.
Because their forward planning around building infrastructure, schools, hospitals and housing for a growing economy, which included viable economic migrants who contribute to our society, has been woefully lacking whichever party has been in Government for the last 20 years, alas I am not to hopeful that they will learn the lessons of the past.
Having lived and worked through three day working weeks, power cuts and numerous recessions, history and experience shows me, that the real leaders will be in our communities, as we get on with our day to day business, adding more value, maintaining existing relationships, developing new relationship and finding even more innovate ways of driving up productivity and create jobs.
We also have to have leaders in our community to encourage a truly unified United Kingdom. Having had the privilege to travel the world on business for a global membership body and an international trade association, I have seen the good and bad of many different cultures and environments. However, when I fly back to Gatwick or Heathrow and look out of the window, it is Great Britain for a reason, yes we have some problems, yes, we can overcome them and yes, we will survive.
I personally would thank the CEOs of the professional bodies and trade associations for staying out of the debate and being neutral, unlike the former CEO of the British Chamber of Commerce, and I would highlight that 3 of the professional bodies I belong to, put on some excellent and balanced debates for members to reach their own conclusions. In my previous roles I would have done the same, whilst at the same time being ultra vigilant to market and regulatory changes both at home and abroad, preparing for the worst, this would include:
- Scenario planning and risk mitigation – getting prepared for the future, as it will be different from today. Establishing what the risk appetite is within the Board, organisation and membership and test the robustness of current business and strategic plans
- Ensure that the organisation is agile, ready for change, has the ability to change and our team have the belief to deliver any changes deemed necessary by the Board.
- Establish the skills and enthusiasm of my team, those that score high in both attributes are trusted employees, those that score low in both attributes will need to be closely supervised in a time of uncertainty, why? So work with them now to find a new role or new employer.
Having done all this, focus on the things that matter and the things that you, the Board and the leadership team can control.
Undoubtedly, the CEOs workload and that of their Board and leadership teams, will increase significantly as they ‘fight’ harder just to stand still during these uncertain times.
Your role in looking to reduce internal waste to boost productivity and profits for reinvestment back into your membership has just intensified. The need to become more innovative in your approach to doing business should now be at the forefront of your medium to long term business planning.
Now is the time for our CEOs and Senior Leaders to stand up, be heard and demonstrate strong, bold and purposeful leadership, create the jobs we will lose to the EU and deliver results that our country needs to quickly get them out of the deep hole dug by Politian’s from both campaigns over the last few months.