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Business Leadership

by Nigel Peters


Flexible Planning and Employment Issues Post Brexit

Setting your business plan in place for life post Brexit is becoming an ever more important subject. Whatever your political views or desires, from a business perspective, it is happening and taking a flexible and well prepared view short, medium and long-term is the best way to plan for your success.

It was with this view in mind that I gratefully accepted the invitation to sit on the panel that responded to the Rt Hon Sir Vince Cables keynote speech at the recent Global Success Partnership event. My thanks as always to our trusted friends Chris Roebuck and Syed Mahmood for the invite.

However, it did remind me why I am not a politician!

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We are keen to bring a broad perspective on how Brexit and other business issues will affect the market over the next 12 months and beyond. If you are reading this and would like to contribute to the Alium Partners blog please contact [email protected].

Brexit - let’s get it done quickly

I firmly believe we must have a more agile, flexible workforce that can adapt to the skills shortages we will face post our EU departure.

I’d given some honest views about engaging with our Commonwealth and wider partners outside of Europe for our future, but Sir Vince Cable and the MEP for London, Mary Honeyball responded briskly.  Unfortunately, on the point of the Commonwealth, it seemed they thought I was harking back to our colonial past rather than drawing upon skills from a wider network.

I believe the Government’s apprenticeship scheme is a positive start despite some of the implementation challenges. Beyond that, some sensible regulation around immigration and then further training and investment will address much of this very complex issue and bring a rebalance of our workforce.

Finally, Mary Honeyball spoke about the need for better communications and understanding of the UK’s north and recognition of the 27 other EU countries in the debate.

I can only see a difficult and painful divorce without positive settlement – so let’s get it done quickly – but I doubt that will be the case.

Last up at the event and I feel worthy of a mention was John Mills the founder and Chairman of JML Group. He was inspirational, clear and erudite and backed up much of his comments with well-informed facts. I could not help but listen intently and maybe that’s why he’s an outstanding businessman and not a politician.

Interim perspective on Brexit

With such a broad network of interim-managers and C-suite executives it seemed appropriate to get some comment on Brexit. Over the next couple of blogs we will be getting some excellent views from a variety of perspectives.

First up and to supplement the Global Success Partnership event, I couldn’t hope for a more qualified contributor.  Hans Christian Iversen is a professional NED and senior adviser. Hans also works as leadership mentor for FTSE 100 and 250 companies through his business Iversen Associates

He has written part of a book with Bloomsbury Publishers - Doing Business Post-Brexit: A Practical Guide to the Legal Changes - to look at the issues.

Flexibility is key post Brexit

Hans view is that the post Brexit flexible planning as follows, is key to success:

  • Short term

“Identify all key priorities for the business which will enable you to continue trading as a profitable entity and make sure all aspects both on sales, staff, processes procurement, training, leadership resources, suppliers and all key stakeholders are covered.”

  • Medium term

“Once all priorities have been identified make sure they are constantly supervised and make sure the business is on top of all changes in rules, legislation and regulations on a regular basis which can have implications for the identified priorities in the business. This is both short and medium term, this should enable the business to adapt to key areas of change over the medium to long-term.”

  • Long term (more than 12 months)

“Once all priorities have been identified and understood, start articulating the strategic plans for the transition period and beyond with an emphasis on the key priorities/objectives for the business as this will be the key denominators for continuing operating in an ever-changing work environment. The strategic planning does not need to be a complicated and a drawn-out process but it needs to concentrate on the key priorities of the business and to build in enough flexibility in the business to adapt to ever changing circumstances. This often involves changing capabilities and focus in the business at relatively short notice. For example, building up parallel export markets for the future outside Europe, whilst still looking after existing clients in Europe.”

These are just examples of some of the more challenging changes that will flow from a longer period of uncertainty whilst the UK leaves the EU, flexibility and detailed planning are all key words during this period.

My thanks to Hans for the above and of course do have a look at his book; I will also reflect some further views of our wider interim community as the Brexit process moves forward.

How will Brexit affect your business?

If you reading this and considering how your business will perform post Brexit then talk to myself or my team here at Alium Partners. Whether it is our experience that can be of value or consideration of getting an interim in to help your business planning, it starts with a conversation that we are happy to have.

…and if you are reading this and would like to contribute to the Alium Partners blog please contact [email protected]

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About the Author

Nigel Peters

As well as his strategic role of Managing Partner, Nigel also has responsibility for the Private Sector practice. Heading up this division, Nigel and his team are responsible for the immediate provision of senior interims and transformation teams to lead business solutions across a wide span of the private sector from FTSE 250/100 to private equity and AIM listed businesses. His team provide director level and senior management roles across the traditional functional areas such as HR, finance, IT and procurement, as well as business leaders to deliver transformational change and integration expertise.

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