Predictably, every client discussion since last Friday has revolved around the business consequences of the referendum result. The discussions have been broadly similar and I’ve included the key insights in this document.
If you think about it and dispense with all the hype and speculation this is really just enough day at the office. If you came into the world of business because you liked certainty and safety, you are in the wrong place. Whilst leaving the EU is a big change its also one you have little control over it. Smart people are now focused on how they move forward whilst reacting and adapting to whatever emerges.
Here’s five of the main ideas that came up. It’s a good starting point.
Beware your own mind
The whole debate leading up to the referendum was a fascinating study in how people structure opinions and arguments (well it was if you’re a nerd like me). It gave me a chance to witness how cognitive bias skews how we filter and interpret information. You could give a ‘remainer’ and a ‘brexiter’ exactly the same piece of information and they will filter it to fit with their opinion.
This bias will still impact you now. If you were an ‘in’ you could be more inclined to miss some of the opportunities presented by Brexit. Conversely if you were an ‘out’ you could not give sufficient attention to risks presented by Brexit.
As well as having an opinion put your attention to where your opinion is coming from. This can yield clues to the source and direction of any bias you are carrying into decision and actions.
Be honest. We just don’t know and neither does anyone else.
This is uncharted territory and at best people are making predictions. Be clear when you are forming a decision as to the quality of data underpinning it. Before using any ‘intelligence’ check its source, likely bias, accuracy and completeness. This is true in any case but of particular importance in situation like this where we are experiencing a combination of high opinion and low data.
No need for knee jerk reaction
Remember that at the point of this article being written all we know is that a referendum on staying in the EU was won by small margin by those favouring exit. That is the full extent of the facts at this stage. All else is conjecture. Of course news like this makes the stock and currency markets jittery. That’s because behind the markets are jittery people. Maybe leave things a week or two to see how things settle before making any major business decisions.
Review the plan
Now may be a good time to take a look over those ideas, goals, targets or plans of yours. Do they still feel directionally correct and do the actions and timescales make sense when you factor in increased uncertainty. In most cases there will be no need for a directional change. There may be opportunity to accelerate your plans or you may have to step up your input efforts, adjust some planned actions or change your timescales.
Here is a great coaching question set for your plans. What changes would you need to be aware of that would force you to change your plans? How would you know that the change had happened?
In times of change and uncertainty you need to step up your financial and operational reporting, both in terms of frequency and granularity. This will help you to identify changes as they begin to impact the business. Of course the only problem is this data is historic as soon as it it produced.
To anticipate and react to changes before they impact you requires you to look externally. Get closer to your customers, suppliers and the members of your teams who are interacting with them. Ask them about their Brexit plans and concerns. Look for shifts and trends in this information. This will give you a much better chance of spotting opportunities or risks before they impact your numbers.
However significant this change may seem as you are now looking at it I guarantee you it will pail into insignificance within a year or two. We have lived with ever accelerating change for a few decades now and it isn’t going to abate. The question to ask yourself is ‘how well equipped am I to keep showing up and doing the work in the face of whatever is happening?’
It’s time for you to demonstrate the very highest standard of personal leadership. In times of constant change and uncertainty it is easy to get swept along and to lose touch with your grounding. When this happens you stop showing up at your very best and don’t do the work you know you should be doing.
That’s where I come in. Through my 1-1 coaching and my leadership development programmes I help owners, directors and managers to
- get re-focused on what you want and the fastest way to go about getting it
- identify and commit to the key decisions you need to take
- effortlessly connect with new and existing customers to create valuable commercial relationships
- overcome whatever is stopping you from doing what you know needs to be done
- provide leadership to your teams that inspires new levels of performance
- find untapped levels of self confidence and resilience so you can deal with whatever shows up next
My next leadership development program is taking on new applications now. There are ten places for this six-month program and it includes a unique combination of group training and 1-1 coaching. Take a look at the details here and either secure your place or book a conversation with me to discuss the details.
If you wish to explore 1-1 business coaching for accelerated results you can book a sounding board conversation with me here.Share