Another day, another election.
Listening to the range of views from brilliant move, to bad idea, there is clearly an obvious divide in opinions.
But, how does the announcement affect business?
Looking at the market reaction, the FTSE is down by 1.8% this lunchtime (Tuesday). Interestingly, what the markets don’t like is uncertainty and I suspect like them, many business leaders and owners will echo that.
But why is uncertainty such a bad thing in business.
A number of reasons spring to mind.
It can stifle decision making and change management. It will may well limit spending and investment in the very short term, until the result and its consequences are known.
From a business customer perspective, should we delay buying raw materials, or goods and services from our suppliers. Can we reduce stock levels in anticipation of better terms later on.
Consumers might delay big ticket items in uncertainty about job prospects or incomes.
From a suppliers point of view, how do we react to customers delay and procrastination. Slow production, stockpile, discount, to keep operations moving.
Businesses bidding for or negotiating contracts might find that things are on hold in advance of an outcome.
Of course, like politics, it can equally represent opportunities for those with confidence in a changing or uncertain environment.
It can provide those product or service niches which come about when the large and mainstream is burdened by its very structure or size. As they say, turning a juggernaut is not easy or quick.
Uncertainty can benefit innovation, opportunism and promote entrepreneurial spirit. Start-ups, innovative thinking and those in the world of disruptive technologies will welcome the diversion while they develop their offer.
And there are those businesses who will be relatively unaffected by the short term. Mainly those in areas of dependency rather than discretionary spend. Food commodities, fuel, utilities, medical services for example.
By the same token, those businesses with solid or infrastructural contracts over the longer term might be quite secure in the short term that changes are unlikely in their day to day operations.
But business and the economy does not and cannot stop. Customers need servicing and the drive for profitable business is ever present. And making radical decisions in the short term and a climate of uncertainty may not actually be the best solution.
For those with ISO Standards at the core of their organisation, ISO9001:2015 actually provides an excellent framework and ability to gain insight into the issues.
The Standard expects you to map your context (business environment), consider your interested parties (including customers), your business risks and opportunities, and objectives. Taking a look at your system for any impacts or effects in the short term and consequences post-election, might provide useful insight at an early stage to any plans or actions which might be required later on. Then if you need to, you can react much faster and positively.
The reality is that we may have a view about the outcome of yet another election, but actually we don’t know what that outcome will be so,
STAY CALM AND CARRY ON DOING BUSINESS
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