Nobody seems able to predict the exact commercial consequences of leaving the EU. The pro-European ‘scaremongers’ claim that renegotiating trade terms with individual EU countries will be a minefield, take forever and that UK business will suffer. A recent ICSA/FT poll of FTSE 350 companies revealed that 70% of them expected at least some damage to their business if the UK were to leave the EU. This sentiment may have been fuelled by Stuart Rose’s ‘Britain Stronger in Europe’ campaign and the CBI’s pro-EU stance. Another poll this week showed that 60% of IoD and EEF members were in favour of staying in the EU and concerned about the fallout if the UK leaves. Now that Boris Johnson has swung the pendulum towards the leave campaign, the climate of uncertainty for British business has reached fever pitch.
The only thing we can be sure of is confusion and instability. In that context, businesses are likely to delay decisions on permanent hires and take a shorter term ‘wait and see’ approach. That makes Interim Management an attractive option, as experienced professionals can come on board and keep critical initiatives going, but can be shed without financial consequence. The fact that an accomplished interim is great value compared to a similarly or less experienced management consultant, and that most interims are flexible and open to rolling contracts, means that demand for interims is likely to increase in the run-up to June 23 and, if the UK decides to exit the EU, well beyond. As well as offering a variable overhead, interims offer the compelling benefit of being adept at navigating change and are an asset to any organisation undergoing transformation or adaptation to a new set of rules and processes.