Navigating an unstable world

Simon Goldie, Director of Advocacy

There is a perception that the world is less stable than it used to be. Your view will depend on how you assess these things, and your start date, but since 2016 we have certainly seen a series of political and economic crises that have impacted business leaders. As the FT recently reported, CEOs are having to rethink how they forecast the future.

Of course, you can never predict the future. What you can do is make assumptions, factor in your risk appetite and prepare for varying scenarios. This will have an effect on the cash you hold, your plans for growth, the market you wish to enter and so on. You might also hire one or several consultancies that specialise in advising on these different areas.

With increasing uncertainty, risk mitigation and planning become harder. That is why flexibility and adaptability need to be centre stage for CEOs. What is more, the whole business needs to adopt that style of working and be prepared for major changes.

We saw this in 2020 when the UK government announced its first lockdown. FLA member firms quickly equipped their staff to work from home and focused on customer forbearance. None of this was written in 2019 Business Plans and was not a choice any firm would have made. The flexibility and adaptability member firms demonstrated was impressive. That is not to say it wasn’t challenging and difficult at times.

For many years now, the FLA has seen part of its role as ensuring member firms are ready for the future. It is why we provide a range of events on market opportunities, trends, and economic change, and also provide an overview of the geopolitical landscape. We can’t predict the future. What we can do is help members develop the knowledge and tools to think about how to prepare for the unpredictable.


Published 07 Mar 2023

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