Adrienne Lawler

Broadcaster Presenter BBC/SKY/ITV/CNN Live Events Facilitator. Adding measurable value and bottom-line impact

“Change is inevitable. Change is constant” said Benjamin Disraeli who lived from 1804 to 1881 and just a smidgen of research shows he was among many great minds to reflect on the importance of change throughout the ages.

Another famous Benjamin (Franklin) said “When you're finished changing, you're finished.” Whichever Benjamin you prefer, it seems abundantly clear that change will happen, whether you want it to or not. The only real choice any of us have is how we respond to it.

Quite naturally, we humans tend to think of ourselves and our loved ones when it comes to change while businesses tend to think of the micro or macroeconomics around the opportunities or challenges change will bring to their profitability.

This week, many are wondering what effect the outcome of the Referendum will mean for their business and by default, UK business as a whole. I would hazard a guess that the people suffering most sleepless nights are the HR Directors. In or out, the world has shrunk while the geography of the workforce has expanded exponentially but still need managing in terms of quality, probity, motivation and results. HR responsibilities will multiply significantly but not necessarily their resources. A perfect storm is brewing.

Remote working is no longer defined as sweatshops in Delhi but intelligence in Azerbaijan, the crossroads between Southwest Asia and Southeast Europe, or closer to home, bringing the workforce from Burnley down to Oxfordshire means new housing and schools but can the business afford to pay them to make a smooth transition?  If not, remote/virtual working becomes a necessity rather than a choice, creating an entirely different culture.

Even though it may well be the CEO or MD who makes the final decision about how to outsource the workforce, they themselves may have to learn a new level of trust ie key staff are not necessarily sitting at desks outside their door but two hundred miles away.

So what changes does a company need to make in order to  manage that new reality successfully? What size of company does this effect and how much will it add to the bottom line of UK business? Which new markets provide access to larger markets like China & India or will it affect the home market, wherever that is? What resources are open to support us all through these changes and does Government care enough to put its money where its mouth is?

I can honestly say I’ll be as interested to find out the answers as the audience at this timely event in Sept looking at The Future of Work. Gulp.