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Brexit: Which way now?

Keith Nelson, Director of Coaching Programmes at the Møller Institute, contends that there has never been a more urgent need for coaching…

Another day, another twist in the Brexit story. It reminds me of the old Stealers Wheel song:

“Clowns to the left of me
Jokers to the right
Here I am
Stuck in the middle with you…”

It wonder if it sometimes feels like that for Theresa May, as she seeks to navigate herself, her party and parliament through the turbulent and choppy waters that is Brexit.

Let’s face it, nobody knows how it’s going to end up. (I sometimes have difficulty keeping up with the time to remember to differentiate between boiling a hard and soft egg – let alone deal with a hard or soft Brexit.)

Twenty years ago we were told that we lived in an era of constant change. Yet that change has grown like Topsy in the last few years, leaving us all in an ambiguous and uncertain world. There is less that we can rely upon. Free trade deals and custom unions? Free movement (or not) of people? Parliamentary sovereignty? European human rights? Permanent or temporary backstops? (Surely backstop must be the word of 2019.) And a situation characterised by regiments of self-interested groups, all of whom clamour for the oxygen of soundbites.
And there isn’t an area of the country that remains unaffected by this uncertainty. It is so difficult for businesses, waiting to see what hands they will be dealt when finally (if ever) the ink is dry on the final contract. Leaders must deal with these vagaries while at the same time trying to run their businesses and to keep all stakeholders happy. If only it was as easy as ‘stick’ or ‘twist’.

Surely there has never been a time in corporate life when coaching has been more relevant and important. To create that space for leaders to think more clearly, to explore the options in front of them more fully – and whether to decide or just sit and wait.

But such challenges go way beyond the CEO. Everyone in business can be a leader, and coaching can be tailored and delivered to all levels across the organisation.

The development of a coaching culture distributes leadership as everyone is encouraged to take greater responsibility, so the business is empowered, the culture transformed and the most senior leaders can focus upon strategic issues rather than dealing with never-ending fire-fighting.

Møller Institute coaching programmes are designed to encourage all leaders – to be better equipped to make complex and challenging decisions.

The Cambridge Advanced Executive Coaching Programme trains coaches to work effectively with senior leaders and directors.

The Cambridge Business Coaching Programme can be a blueprint for organisations seeking to introduce a sustainable performance-focused coaching culture.

So perhaps the art of the coach is to enhance the leaders’ choices, so they no longer feel stuck in the middle. Instead, they feel empowered to navigate their organisations and teams forward to survive and thrive in this increasingly ambiguous and uncertain world.

We don’t know what tomorrow will be like, but do know it will be different from today.

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