• Rachel Treece


Britain’s historic vote to leave the EU is instantly one of the most important political and economic stories of the 21st century. Its implications will impact businesses, and the accountants who help run them, all over the globe.

I have a view on how this dramatic event manifested and it’s a subject that lies so close to my heart – this is organisational health.

Poor organisational health meant that the UK government caught the cold, the media developed influenza and before we knew it the UK developed pneumonia.

I firmly believe that strong organisational health is built on the back of Leadership, Communication & Culture. So what went wrong?

Leadership: Professor Theakston offers an interesting insight into the Leadership style of Cameron http://www.britpolitics.co.uk/academic-articles-all/evaluating-david-cameron-as-prime-minister

My view is that if you compare the collective law maker/ political influencer community, which includes both the government and opposing parties to a private organisation, then you would likely conclude that there was lack of clarity in the strategy, vision and values from the outset, at leadership level. This naturally resulted in poor or incomplete top-level communication, which at times became muddled and contradictory, with positions moving frequently, which ultimately created a ripple effect of confusion and apathy. To compound matters the whips on both sides of the house failed to get complete censuses within each parties’ leadership ranks, which was evidenced by some of the post vote resignations and lack of confidence votes that we have now witnessed.

Communication: Clear and authentic communication is vital to any organisation’s health. As a result of lack of clear strategic value and vision setting, communication was not clear, nor perceived at times as being authentic. The cascade effect was that the party members on all sides of the house themselves were unclear on the pros and cons of the Brexit scenario, which in turn manifested itself in unclear interactions with the press and hence with the wider voting public in whom the decision to exit or not had been entrusted.

Culture: Culture is the causal effect of communication and leadership. Inconsistent messaging, un-transparent leadership, lack of values, high populism a