As Brexit takes management uncertainty to new heights, how will you rise to the challenge?

As if the business environment wasn’t volatile and complex enough, the UK threw an almighty spanner into the commercial works when it voted for Brexit. And for senior leaders, formulating and conveying a compelling vision was suddenly and unexpectedly made all the more difficult.

So what can you, as a leader, do to maintain your credibility in such uncertain times?

A starting point for many leaders will be the restoration of order, following the shock outcome of the referendum. Employees may feel anxious, and management must reassure their teams that the end is not nigh and focus instead on the positive opportunities ahead. Indeed, for lots of organisations, the opportunities afforded by fluctuations in exchange rates, which make exports cheaper and attract tourists to the UK, are immediately evident, and they are already reaping rewards.

Agility and positivity are key

But whether companies need to gear up to greater demand, or re-assess how they might establish alternative growth areas in the face of projected downturns in orders, they need to be agile in their approach and positive in their communications.

Nevertheless, while Brexit may have exacerbated the issue in the short to medium term, the need to think more strategically and be able to face up to the dynamic, ever-changing business world is the norm for senior leaders. And according to Margaret de Lattre, Programme Director on Henley’s Advanced Management Practice (AMP) programme, these are issues that managers have been facing for years, though the pace of change seems to be increasing.

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‘Change is a constant. There is no alternative. Technology is progressing so quickly, we are more connected and our customers and stakeholders expect us to be more responsive to their needs; meanwhile, competitors are evolving faster. No element of management or leadership can remain unaffected. So senior figures need to train themselves to deal with moving targets and do so with confidence and authority. Our AMP programme has been created for senior leaders and is designed to help them to develop their capabilities in this respect, geared to their individual situations.'

‘It’s called Advanced Management Practice, not the Advanced Management Programme, because it’s all about the reality of being a senior manager today, not just the neat theory. We help participants to build their personal resilience, develop practical tools and techniques for managing a business in today’s uncertain world and get a whole new perspective on their own organisations, capabilities and the positive impact they can have on their teams.’

With Brexit set to be implemented over the coming two years, it’s going to be a fascinating transition for the UK, for those countries remaining in the EU and for those on the outside looking in. But there’s no doubt that organisations with the most capable, best prepared leaders will be the ones that will reap the greatest rewards from whatever opportunities arise.

To find out more about the Henley Advanced Management Practice programme, visit www.henley.ac.uk/AMP.

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If you have any questions, please contact our programme advisors, Hannah, Ruhi & Diana by email at exec@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)1491 418767.

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