Saturday, 16 July 2016

Leading HR through Brexit

A few weeks after Brexit, what might an HRD with operations in the UK be focussing on?

Leadership demands vision. One of the glaring gaps through the whole referendum campaign was the lack of a compelling or coherent picture of what the future would look like – either way. Painting pictures based on the dangers of making the wrong decision is not what gains sufficient or enthusiastic followers. So the first key task of the HRD is to ensure leaders with UK operations set out a clear vision of what Brexit means for the business. Then broadcast it loudly within the organisation. For those with unclear options on that journey, then they should at least show the decision points on that roadmap. Above all, avoid the stagnation of uncertainty.

If access to overseas people is going to become more restricted, this has significant implications. Studies suggest the impact on ‘blue collar’ workers of free labour movement within the EU has suppressed wages by 2%. The reverse of this is that employers will face upward pressure on labour rates, ahead of general inflation.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Three Ideas for Navigating the Post-Brexit World

Sunrise on moor
The other day I was coming back to London from a meeting in Birmingham.  I was working on my laptop while listening to Orange Blossom, a French band whose music is influenced by traditional music of Algeria, Brittany, Mexico, Cote d'Ivoire, and Egypt.  It is evocative and soulful, and as I pelted through the British countryside overlooking sheep and green fields, I felt deep nostalgia for ten years ago when, despite the Iraq war and Afghanistan, Britain seemed to be a United Kingdom.

The gap, however, between the Haves and the Have Nots has become chasmic, and the middle Britain dream of a job and being able to provide for the family has been out of reach for too many for too long.  In an attempt to alleviate misfortune, it is easiest to blame others.  Immigrants or the EU at large make easy targets for blame.  After all, it is easier to irrationally hope for change in others than it is to pursue change within ourselves. 

And then enter the referendum where the individual had a voice.  52% chose the blame game, 48% are left wondering what next.