Strategy for Brexit; Are you creating competitive advantage, or waiting the turn of the cards?

Change is hard.  And the only thing worse than change is uncertainty.  But there is one thing that most would agree on right now and that is that the next two years will be surrounded in uncertainty.

So how do we prepare our businesses to survive and thrive in an unknown economic climate?  Logic would tell us to wait to make changes based on better clarity. As sensible as this option may seem, by the time you gain clarity, there’s a chance the competition will have nudged ahead and you will be back to old ways of being reactive.

As Darwin once said, it is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.  According to research we have found, 69% of senior leaders believe their business is not ready for Brexit. We can choose to see this as both a challenge and an opportunity. The strongest businesses will use this time to prepare for whatever outcomes await them. Maybe right now you can’t plan, but you can prepare to reduce the anxiety associated to uncertainty.

So how do we do this? Firstly, step back and take a look at your processes. Everything you do from business winning, to producing product or service is founded in process. The more robust, flexible and efficient your processes are, the more resilience, responsiveness and cost advantageous they will be. Not knowing exact detail about future pricing or markets doesn’t stop you, as you will always need fundamentals such as quality, on-time delivery and competitive cost to win business.

3 Simple Preparation Steps

  1. Know your processes well. If your product or service demands particular customer requirements, how effective are your processes that affect them?
  2. Use improvement methods to create sustainable shifts. Lean six-sigma methods can identify root cause of systemic issues to dramatically shift value stream performance.
  3. Be proactive. Use emerging data to constantly refine your focus responsively and engage your employee’s attention in improvement.

Implementing lean six-sigma activities will drive benefit to your bottom-line, but this proactive approach should also engage employees to counteract uncertainty. Although senior leaders may be pre-occupied with redefining strategy, avoiding risks, or watching for shifts in the market, employees do need to know that uncertainty is being attended to.

We’ll definitely be hearing the word uncertainty a lot for the next few months and years, but businesses can seize this as an opportunity to improve rather than a reason to be fearful. Make Brexit’s uncertainty the catalyst you need to make your business the best it can be.

By Gavin Jones, New Potential