In the days and weeks following the United Kingdom’s vote to depart from the European Union, international business minds are buzzing with the potential impact, both immediate and long-term, of the decision. We in the United States have already begun to see the ripple effects of this landmark vote, both in our stock market and in our overseas relationships.
This is not the first time a “shake-up” of sorts has occurred in the market, nor will it be the last. But like any wise man, I find it prudent to look to history to see what lessons might inform our way forward.
When it relates to the independent consulting business collectively, Brexit elicits two themes worthy of focus.
The one “known” from the Brexit decision is the unknown. This uncertainty here in the US, for those who handle international projects, will provide less room for the hiring of full-time personnel, and more emphasis on bringing in contractors for projects and assignments.
If the United States recession of 2008 is a harbinger of things to come for the UK, one can expect independent contractors to benefit greatly from economic and legal uncertainty, and for savvy companies to save money by bypassing the middleman and directly sourcing their talent.
There is no doubt UK businesses will be going through potentially huge transitions, and these transitions are going to need to be navigated by the businesses in some way. A process, essentially, of “how to get divorced and re-engaged.” These businesses will have access to strategic consultants experienced in such transitions, as they are equipped to help participate in these types of decisions.
Consultants across a number of departments and practices will be needed to navigate through changes, whether in legal departments, IT departments, business process departments, and the like. It appears quite clear that the UK is scratching the surface of a consultants boom.
Savvy independent contractors – and businesses such as our own MBO Partners UK member firm with expertise in this area – can assist.
We at MBO Partners will continue to monitor the Brexit decision closely and report on any and all outcomes for consultants and clients, as well as rely on the expertise of our UK firm to help our clients overseas.