Opinion: Grant Speed

29 April 2016

Spring has arrived and a busy summer awaits. With the EU Referendum fast approaching, there is a great deal of political jousting to witness in the coming weeks.

Ask any management team and they would be grateful for a crystal ball that could offer some insight into the economic and political landscape that will unfold following the referendum. However, it is concerning that many businesses have not put contingency plans in place. According to Grant Thornton UK, almost two thirds (65 per cent) of businesses have not planned at all for the possibility of ‘Brexit’.

That said, for much of the business community and the public sector, the result of the referendum is not necessarily the greatest concern. It is the uncertainty leading up to the vote, and what impact it might have – whatever the outcome – that is unsettling nerves. For too long investment plans, new marketing strategies, acquisitions and restructurings have been put on hold and stifled ambitions. At present, leadership teams are in a holding pattern.

But, with uncertainty comes potential for change. From conversations I’ve had with organisations of all sizes, it appears that the result in June could provide the starting gun that sets off a flurry of new growth and transformation projects.

What is clear is that there is already a scramble for talent that can help implement these initiatives and make the step change that many firms and public sector bodies are looking for. And, it is increasingly common that the demand is being sourced away from home. By looking outside of an industry, organisations are accessing fresh ideas and perspectives that can give them the edge against competitors and steal the march towards growth.

No matter what result we see in June, you can expect a great deal of change to come and that skilled and experienced leaders will be at the heart of it. No doubt, there will be a lot of work ahead as the country navigates the post-referendum environment.

Grant Speed is Managing Director at Odgers Interim


Comments

Tim Evans at 05/05/2016 07:23 said:

A great article and insightful given the change in landscape. I think that post referendum the 'need' to reform much of our core mainstays in education, health and public sector will be given a much needed kick start!!

sharon green at 04/05/2016 15:01 said:

Couldn't agree more Peter. The various squabbles on the political front and spurious commentary on what is essentially an unknown quantity belies the crux of the matter. We need long term strategies for education, productivity, trade deficit etc and I'd add social care. It's very frustrating to see UK plc run along short term party political lines when these key issues need a long term view. I think Brexit is another challenge in the changing labour market along with other more local pressures.

Peter Alderslde at 01/05/2016 12:46 said:

Nobody knows what the economic and political landscape will be post-referendum. It does not surprise me that the UK - not Great Britain as Cameron and others endlessly and incorrectly repeat - do not have plans.

Like the outcome, many disagree on the level and impact of uncertainty. To suggest leadership teams are in a holding pattern implies they know where they are and their route when their release comes. This is optimistic; we are all over the place and ignoring the event.

Whatever the referendum outcome, IN or OUT, there are clear issues that UK Ltd have ignored for too long that we must address. These are education, productivity, trade deficit, inequality, the north-south divide, borrowing, the NHS, and public services.

Susan Aubrey-Cound at 29/04/2016 13:37 said:

This certainly aligns with my experience - a very busy six months September to February, then short term impetus dropped off a cliff but with enquiries for consultancy June - September.

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