The business world is in complete panic mode over last week’s Brexit vote. In what many pundits called, “a complete surprise”, the UK referendum to leave the European Union (EU) was approved by a vote of 52/48%. But wait; there’s more!

Within 72 hours of this vote to leave the EU, over 3,000,000 of those same voters have signed a new petition, started by a “Leave” campaigner, to vote again, according to CNN. Why? Perhaps, because the world’s financial markets, and the British Pound, have taken an unexpectedly massive nosedive. More to come.

So what valuable lessons we learn from this situation? 4 things:

  1. Read the fine print
  2. Prepare for what could happen
  3. Be careful what you wish for
  4. All is not lost.

Many of the UK voters said they did not understand what might happen as a result of the vote. They were simply under informed.

Lesson #1: Read the fine print. In every business we are faced with many opportunities, situation & decisions every day. Would you sign a contract with a new supplier without knowing what they were going to supply you, at what price, or quantity or when? Of course not. You always (should) read what you are asked to sign before deciding whether you will or won’t.

The UK was completely unprepared for what did happen. No planning whatsoever.

Lesson #2: Prepare for what could happen. Every organization must plan for the future. Some do it formally with strategic, operating & financial plans, others not so much. But we all look at what could happen as a result of our decisions. We plan for expected outcomes. We plan for alternatives. But we plan something. Or we should.

The British people voted to secede from the EU. This means that more wished [voted] to leave than to stay. Now they may live to regret it. If they get their wish, will they plunge the world into the next recession? Perhaps. Perhaps not.

Lesson #3: Be careful what you wish for. In business we must be careful to plan for, analyze, research & decide carefully on each & every opportunity. You may wish to sell to Walmart but could you really handle that business.

With another petition gaining momentum & Article 50 not yet being invoked, there may still be time to reverse this decision before disaster becomes irreversible.

Lesson 4: All is not lost. Most of the time in business, if we stay focused on the important issues, we make the right decisions. And when the decisions aren’t right, there is usually time to either put a stop to them or reverse them.

Remember, business is a game we plan for keeps.

For more on this contact me at DanielFeiman@BuildItBackwards.com

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