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Alice in Brexit Land


“I’m lost in Brexit Land. Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” asked Alice.

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

“so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

As we get into the final throws of the Brexit negotiations, we are seeing all manner of responses and commentary from politicians, friends, business colleagues, commenters. Everyone has an opinion…  and so, here is our perspective.

A lot has been written on the possible changes from Brexit, from tariffs to patents to human rights.  We’ve all seen and heard the scare mongers (on both sides of the debate) proclaiming ‘the end is nigh’. Will there be changes? Yes. Do we know what they will be? Not really. 

It has all become so murky and polarised that little has been written about how to identify and indeed assess the impacts of these changes, whatever they may be, on your current or future business. The reality, of course, is that there will not be a magic moment when all becomes clear.  Without meaning to labour the analogy, there will be no rabbit coming from Mrs May’s hat.  At best, the impact of Brexit will slowly come into focus over the coming years following our divorce, as the terms of the ‘custody battle’ over our trading rights are thrashed out.  Let us not forget, the ‘rammy’ over the last 30 months or so has only been to get us to the start line, or put another way, to write the forward to the Brexit book (which will not be short!).

Great business will however win out. They are the ones that are crystal clear on what their long-term vision is. They will have captured this dream of the future that gets them and their team out of bed in the morning and continually plan, prepare for and talk about it. Unlike Alice, they are completely clear about where they are going. They will also have purpose carved into the very fabric of their business and a set values that have bubbled up from what it is that has made them a success. These values will be guiding the organisation and everyone in it as they make choices on their journey.  This is how great businesses adapt to obstacles and challenges put in their path, keep their eyes on the destination and find a way round. Brexit will simply be another opportunity for these businesses to steal a march on their competitors.

And what about the rest? Well, they will be busy on a very long walk somewhere…

At Opto, our vision is to be the partner of choice to help organisations develop this clarity, so that they can navigate their journey more effectively and efficiently. We will help you to build a strategy that harnesses the energy and ambition of your business. Unlike the Cheshire Cat, we will not simply send you on your way, but help you work out where you want to go.

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