Tuesday, 7 February 2017


Steering businesses in a world of growing political and economic disruption

During the last quarter of 2016 there was an increase in activity in some interim market sectors, which appears to have carried over into early 2017. There is talk amongst some businesses that the time for watching and waiting is over and regardless of the expected continued period of uncertainty, companies need to take hold of making the necessary changes to enable them to move forward and undertake the growth and opportunities available.

Or… is this another blip in interim activity soon to be followed by yet more market caution, uncertainty and hesitation?

What is certain is that change and uncertainty have become the new norm and will remain with us for at least the next few years whilst the world undergoes disruption, which some are referring to as the Worlds 4th Industrial Revolution. Sitting still and waiting for world stabilisation no longer seems to be a viable business option.

Global and domestic changes may well have significant impact on many business sectors that will need to respond to this by making their own internal changes, even if this is to retain existing business levels or avoid erosion.

Undoubtedly there will be many opportunities that will come with the significant changes that lay before us. Being nimble and building capability and flexibility into business models will be key to being able to manoeuvre through periods of sometimes radical and unexpected market changes and to grasp the opportunities that arise.

Political and economical changes will result from a number of foreseeable domestic and international situations which we may all have to work with -

  • Brexit will cause substantial changes yet to be realised, but some can be considered and reactions to   these identified and planned
  • New Free Trade agreements for Britain with larger overseas economies will produce market               opportunities which might require preparation, restructuring and added capability
  •  A European slowdown is already happening and the uncertainty surrounding elections there will          accentuate this at least through 2017 and beyond, added to a widening question by some countries      about their own continued membership of the European Union, general financial instability and even a  possible collapse of the Union.
  • The value of the Pound as well as the Euro and the US Dollar, will affect exporting and any increases    in the cost of purchasing products and materials may affect supply chains with a need to consider        alternatives.

Many companies may find the complexity and scale of such changes hard to deal with without help. Good interims who are over qualified and have done this before many times will be in demand.

With Thanks to Barry Allen

Interim Outlook by Barry Allen, an Interim CEO, COO, MD & Strategic Board Advisor