UK tenth most capable of dealing with change

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The UK placed ahead of global leaders such as the US (12th), Hong Kong (13th), and France (20th)

The UK is the nation tenth most capable of dealing with change, according to KPMG’s 2017 Change Readiness Index.

The Index measures the capability of a country – including its government, private and public enterprises, and the wider civil society – to anticipate, prepare for, manage and respond to a range of change drivers. While the UK is behind countries well-recognised for innovation, such as Singapore (4th) and Germany (9th), it managed to place ahead of global leaders such as the US (12th), Hong Kong (13th) and France (20th).

Many of the UK’s strengths are highlighted by its highest-ranking indicators. These were: entrepreneurship (2nd), use of technology (2nd), economic openness (5th), business environment (6th), financial sector (6th) and the regulatory environment (6th).

However, the UK’s vulnerabilities were found to be: environmentally-friendly enterprise (81st), security (48th), food and energy security (47th), fiscal policy and budgeting (42nd), economic diversification (26th) and demographic profile (24th).

Karen Briggs, head of Brexit at KPMG, said the UK’s high placement suggests it will have the ability to “rebuild” after Brexit. “Our country’s spirit of entrepreneurialism, mastery of technology and renowned business environment all point to a long-term, collective ability to rebuild our economy after Brexit,” she said. “The UK possesses the characteristics to not only withstand, but also capitalise on major change. I hope every business leader is looking not just at the risks of Brexit but also the opportunities.”

She added that leaders should not forget the UK’s strengths. “As the UK gets to grips with Brexit some business leaders have become deeply pessimistic; seeing only the potential jeopardy and upheaval that lies ahead,” she said. “The risks of Brexit are manifold and very real. Many require attention with the greatest sense of urgency. But this study offers a more rounded perspective. It reminds us not to lose sight of the UK’s potent global strengths.”

Timothy Stiles, global chair of the International Development Assistance Services (IDAS) practice at KPMG, explained the link between success and the ability to manage change. “More than ever, a country’s welfare depends on the ability to cope with and take advantage of change,” he said. “This study is an eye-opening view of which countries are best-positioned to weather inevitable change, and the factors behind their preparedness.”

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