Brexit: a good lesson for the future!

Brexit: a good lesson for the future!

Britain’s exit from the EU is shocking. But there is a way forward. It is the perfect time to re-imagine the economic system of the future. 


This morning, many of us were (and still are) shocked by the news that Brexit is real: the UK will most likely say good-bye to Europe.

The value of the GBP is as low as it was in 1985. Share prices are expected to plummet. The Swiss Franc - a safe haven - will heavily appreciate, and the Swiss National Bank (SNB) announced that it will maintain the exchange rate of CHF 1.07 to the EUR. In Switzerland, we tremble: what about exports, tourism and consumer spending? What is the future of the UK? Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against Brexit and Sinn Fein is demanding a poll about uniting Ireland.

These questions are scary. The last decade was already unstable. What’s going to happen next?

We believe that even if with Britain's Exit from the EU, companies have the chance to get ahead of this economic and psychological stress and gain a competitive advantage in the long run. 

Companies in Switzerland

We are one of the smallest countries in the world, but our high concentration of talent and our competitive, dynamic and stable economy make up for our size. We are known for high-quality and for our attention to detail. We prefer quality to quantity. In the long run, quality, not quantity, is what is needed. Switzerland's deficit is maintained at a sustainable level. Therefore, we can say that we are a healthy country, with healthy companies. Being small has an additional advantage: we can react and adapt to changing circumstances faster than other countries. Here a hint: think of how start-ups are seen as incumbents for big companies. Why are they seen as a “danger”? Because they are small and can easily adapt. Some people may think that a direct democracy, such as what we have in Switzerland, can have a negative impact on being fast: forget about this. It's exceptional that we can vote and that we are an integral part of this country!


Even though the general feeling right now appears to be a mix of surprise, frustration and fear of the unknown, we must act and think ahead. The time has come to critically reflect on the status quo, on the economic system and on value creation and retention in regards to what the EU has become, not what it was intended to be. The EU’s (naïve) purpose of securing Europe and its people, has resulted in a bureaucracy fuelled by economic interests that ultimately impacts people in all dimensions in their life, including us as customers.

According to an analysis of mega trends, the world will become more dispersed. Economic ecosystems will become more local,,smaller, linked to a community and restricted in growth. We are already seeing self-sustaining movements at the local level. These movements might be indicative of a global outcome. Is Britain foreseeing this?

There is another big trend (mostly driven by the increasing impact technology has on our lives): the economic system will make a 180-degree turn, i.e. power will shift towards customers and away from companies. We have to question how things work today and what implications these trends will have tomorrow – for the economic system, for value creation and retention and for customers. 

The Future

Let’s take these two trends into account and play a game. Ask yourself: what if you, as a company, would follow these trends and aspire to become a closed ecosystem? Forget about closed legal eco-systems like Britain and Switzerland for the moment and focus on your relationship with your customers. What must your company (private or public) do, in order to exist in a closed ecosystem lead by customers?

We are passionate about envisioning the future with our clients. Our work has had a positive impact, many times. As a company, you have to start at the top and ask yourself: what is my strategy? But you must also question your core competences with respect to your customers' needs. Customers need to be able to identify with companies. They should feel that they can connect with companies, and have a value driven relationship. Transparency and honesty are important key words here.

If you want to make the future happen, start asking yourself these questions with respect to your value creation process. If markets really become closed ecosystems, you will need to carefully listen to your customers. Customers will not depend on you. You will depend on them. So, double check your value creation process and re-evaluate the importance of reacting quickly to your customers’ needs. For the future, reaction time (service) will be crucial to your success! 

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