What a shocker! Whether you voted IN or OUT or wished for the people of Britain to vote IN or OUT, it would seem that most people in the UK, the EU and probably the World woke up on Friday 24th of June 2016 to an unexpected result. Yes – #Brexit did in fact happen. It wasn’t a dream and now the question is – HOW do we deal with it?
THE IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCES
We have witnessed the usual over-reaction in the financial markets, not dis-similar to 7/7 or 9/11 or declaration war on Iraq, where they do their usual thing, taking a temporary dive for a period of time and causing the currency to also fall and fluctuate. According to Nils Pratley on the Guardian, $1.7trillion ($1.5trillion) was wiped from the world stockmarkets. The Sterling (Pound) hit a 31 year low.
Those who promoted Leave have continued to say that the markets will stabilise in the coming weeks and months, and while that might very well be the case, as it did even after the Credit Crunch albeit taking more like a few years, it didn’t stop the long period of austerity cuts that hampered ordinary people and causing many businesses to fail and close down. Some people, especially those who already have resources may even benefit from this shock, as it presents many opportunities to invest in otherwise stable businesses and markets, at rock bottom prices. Most people though are just left with the one question echoed on news interviews and social media – SO WHAT NOW? WHAT IS THE STRATEGY?
IS THERE A STRATEGY?
While Mark Carney and the Bank of England have a proposed contingency plan, which has somewhat (though not completely) brought some calm to the markets, be prepared for continued uncertainty and market turmoil. This will continue as long as there is NO STRATEGY to handle the Brexit. The statements from Chancellor George Osborne that the government would not do anything until there is a new Prime Minister to lead the negotiations with the EU and the rest of the world is proof of this.
A vision is just that. #takecontrol or the concept of Independence Day was the vision that 52% of Briton’s voted for to Leave the EU. Many wars from centuries ago were sold on just a vision. It is an idea only, that now needs a strategy and a plan in order to be executed. There is no turning back. There is no point to dwell on the decision to Leave. It is time for leaders to take accountability, stand up and work for the best possible outcome. Brexit disrupted the status quo, and our leaders in the UK, EU and the rest of the world must find a way to make the best of this situation through Positive Disruption.
HOW TO TURN THE VISION INTO A STRATEGY?
The formulation of any strategy starts with the vision and the missions that then need to be accomplished to deliver that vision. I would advise that given the failed negotiations of the past, with a failed strategy from David Cameron leading to the Brexit to begin with, that the new British leadership define quite a few new strategies or game plans and many tactics in which to execute the Brexit. Lets not leave it to a single choice again. Lets make sure there are many options that can be weighed and then taken to deliver the best possible outcomes.
I’ve previously written about the success of Singapore and its strategies post independence on this blog, and I believe there is a chance for Britain to do the same and benefit certainly in the longer term as Singapore did from the Brexit. The one major difference is unity amongst its people versus a rather divided Britain, caused by the debating during the referendum with just a 52:48 winning ratio. As it was in Singapore, unity is essential to provide Britain’s new leaders with the confidence to re-negotiate with the backing of its people.
IT COMES DOWN TO EXECUTION
Each of the key issues that were debated so fiercely at the referendum must be tackled with solution options proposed for each one.
Immigration must be addressed.
National services including the National Health Service (NHS) must be addressed.
Economic stability and business growth must be addressed.
Trading with the EU and other countries must be addressed…
And what about Britain’s role in the International Community as a leader.
Brexit may have made all the policies that are important to the British people easier or more difficult to negotiate with the EU. The truth is that negotiations were and never will be easy. Brexit doesn’t change that, but it has as promised by the Leave Campaign allowed for fresh negotiates to commence again after the stalemate reached by David Camerson, be it from a position of strength or weakness – well that depends on your point of view. What’s essential, is that each of the proposed solution options are true to the goals and objectives of the British people.
As I said in my last blog on how the Brexit even became a thing, it does come down to stakeholder management. Of course it does help to have several game plans or negotiating positions so you can get something from the deal, but the new leaders need to be prepared to work with the EU to achieve the best possible outcomes for both parties or a majority of parties as there are still 27 other countries in the EU.
AND TAKING ACCOUNTABILITY
Many people especially those of us who voted Remain might still be a little angry with Boris Johnson, Michael Goves, and others, and I am not advocating that we make Boris Johnson our next Prime Minster, but it is essential that they form part the team or task force responsible for the new negotiations. They sold us a vision and now they must be accountable for their actions.
Julie Choo is lead author of THE STRATEGY JOURNEY book (Coming in June/July 2019) and the founder of STRATABILITY ACADEMY. She speaks regularly at numerous tech, careers and entrepreneur events globally. Julie continues to consult at large Fortune 500 companies, Global Banks and tech start-ups. As a lover of all things strategic, she is a keen Formula One fan who named her dog, Kimi (after Raikkonnen), and follows football – favourite club changes based on where she calls home.