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It's too early to talk about Christmas, but not Brexit

change management intervention

It’s too early to talk about Christmas, but not Brexit

It’s too early to talk about Christmas, but not Brexit 1080 1080 Charlotte Edwards

Last week I popped into a well known supermarket store and was amazed to see shelves full of Christmas decorations, cards and other festive items. As someone who does not even start thinking about the celebration until 20th December (earliest!) it never fails to surprise me that some people are stocked and prepared, and even ordered the turkey in March. Why is it then, that in a recent survey conducted by the British Chambers of Commerce that two-thirds of businesses have yet to do any risk assessment of a no-deal outcome in the Brexit negotiations?

Some will blame the ambiguity of information, the ‘not knowing’, but actually either way something in your business is going to change. Whether it be trading law and legislation, grants and subsidies, moving offices, or the shareprice of the business, now is the time to create scenarios, design a solution and test, test, test. It is only through doing this that outcomes can be anticipated, and risks mitigated as much as possible.

In simplistic terms, there are only really three likely outcomes; No-deal, an ok deal, a good deal. Create a scenario around your business to test. Doing something is much better than doing nothing. It is through doing this that you will see the wider impact that any Brexit deal will have on everything vital within the business. When undergoing change, it is not only the one department that undergoes the change; it affects everything within the business. Business Continuity Planning, Disaster Recovery, IT systems will all need to be amended to fit in. Of course, most importantly the change will affect your workforce and personnel.

In times of uncertainty, it is essential that strong leadership provides support and guidance to those working within the business.

It is also important to be seen to be doing something; by planning and preparing change projects you involve departments and their personnel. Ensure that the channels of communication are kept open and encourage free thought and speech (constructive) to include your people in the change process. By addressing concerns and worries early, even if you don’t have the answers yet, you will certainly avoid chaos and keep a calm and controlled atmosphere and culture within the company.

The risks that are now posed to your business have now changed.

Have you addressed these and planned accordingly? One of the biggest risks that could come from Brexit is that of reputation. By ensuring a smooth change, the reputational standing of your business will soar. It will ensure that to the outside eye, your business seems efficient, prepared and well equipped for anything that could be thrown at it. However, if chaos ensues, a reputation that has taken years to build can be dismantled in a matter of days. Remember, it is not just your business that fears the uncertainty of Brexit, but the general public too. By creating a prepared and steady transformation you will inspire confidence in the public, who will surely bring custom to your business over those who don’t appear to have a clue.
Uncertainty and delving into the unknown is a scary prospect at the best of times, especially when we have no control over the outcome. The best we can do is to be prepared, have planned accordingly and stay calm. By designing and testing possible solutions now, you will be one step closer to smooth change within your business.

A2D Solutions are specialist in change, transformation, risk and crisis management. For advice and guidance on implementing a smooth and transient change programme within your business call us now on 01242 574999 or email alun.parry@a2dsolutions.co.uk.