Brexit delay – What is the impact on business planning?


Following today’s announcement regarding the delay to Brexit, industry expert Dr Sandra Bell, Head of Resilience Consulting EMEA at Sungard Availability Services, made the following comment : 

“This is an example of planning for uncertainty and businesses everywhere to some extent or another are looking at the environment within which they do business and prepare for the unlikely, unexpected and even the unfathomable.

There are a huge amount of varying factors that organisations of all sizes have to assess in making decisions and given that crystal balls are in short supply being prepared for contingencies can act as a springboard to capitalise on a changing landscape instead of being disrupted by it.

Brexit is no different. Companies who embrace uncertainty will be well placed for the opportunities that it will create and those that haven’t may struggle. Practical things they can do are:

  • Show strong leadership: uncertainty unsettles both markets and people. Being clear about priorities and fully understanding their critical business processes and what they depend upon (for example by means of a Business Impact Analysis and Risk Assessment) will give confidence the their market and employees alike that they are in control.
  • Nurture relationships: no organisation is an island and uncertainty can strain commercial relationships between suppliers and vendors. Practicing what everyone would do in various situations (for example by joint scenario wargames) will foster greater joint understanding and strengthen those relationships.
  • Ensure that they are robust: uncertainty is difficult to manage at the best of times – however, if you are weakened by constantly firefighting operational issues it will be almost impossible. Take the time between now and October to put your house in order: ensure that you have strong business continuity arrangements so that, if operational disruptions strike at the time of maximum uncertainty, they are dealt with swiftly and efficiently and do not escalate to crises.”