2. Strategically position Britain as a trade hub
A prosperous future after Brexit will involve positioning Britain strategically in the global economy, says Linda Yueh, Adjunct Professor of Economics at LBS.
“The UK can do this by securing trade deals to become a hub for global trade, including for services trade. Positioning Britain as a global trade hub would strategically exploit the fact that regional and bilateral free trade agreements (FTA) govern trade that is not covered by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
“For instance, Mexico has a FTA with the European Union (EU) as well as one with the US as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). US companies exporting from Mexico enjoy tariff-free access to the EU whereas selling directly from America would entail paying a 10% tariff on cars under WTO rules, to give one example.”
“If the UK had a trade deal with the EU after Brexit together with FTAs with countries that do not have a FTA with the EU, then Britain could serve as a hub into the world’s biggest economic bloc.
“Given that it’s predominately a service-based economy, the UK would benefit from greater liberalisation of services trade. Britain has been a force for a greater opening of the services sector in the EU, which it can continue to pursue in a FTA. It would also benefit from continuing to support global initiatives, such as the EU-led Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) that seeks to open up global markets for services trade in the same way as manufactured goods trade under the WTO regime. This would notably benefit the UK as the second biggest exporter of services in the world.
“If the UK can strategically position itself to remain a hub for international trade while pushing for services liberalisation, then its economic future will look more assured.”
3. Make the gig economy work for you
Herminia Ibarra, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at LBS, says managers are going to have to reinvent themselves and their work continually.
“We’ve seen a shift in how work is organised – from the career to the job to the task. The most rapidly growing segment of the gig economy is the professional and managerial sector, accounting for 59% of the 1.1 million gig workers in the UK, according to a 2016 Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) study.
“Prior to 2008 this was largely due to necessity but now more and more people are choosing to work like this. The under-30s are the most rapidly growing sector – we’ve seen an increase of 66% since 2008 – followed by the over-60s.
“When you look at the new tech-enabled professional gig platforms such as Catalant (which connects companies to talent), the contractors who get more of the gigs on offer are not lonely solo players but small, agile networked firms and “super-connectors.” Catalant’s co-CEO gave me an example of a retailer that posted a job that needed to be completed fast, across 300 stores and many geographies. They pushed it out to one of their consultants who did the rest of the scoping and he was able to mobilise a geographically widespread network of consultants he had already worked with and get it done in 48 hours.
“The platforms are harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to do the tedious stuff like sifting resumes and interviewing for jobs, and helping their clients do what they don’t do well, like creating job descriptions that are optimised for AI screening. Companies experiencing lower growth markets and cost pressure want to get in on this trend, but often their executives aren’t aware of what is going on, let alone equipped to use it to their advantage.
“All of this means that managers are only going to have to get better at reinventing their job, from doing it in a way that exploits their core competencies to an approach that allows them to explore new ones. They will need to see the big picture and create better scalable processes for doing what needs to get done. It also means we all have to get better at continuous learning, personal reinvention and making the transitions from job to job and gig to gig.”