Heywood House News

Planning for the Year Ahead

2023: A(nother) year of surprises?

With Christmas now in the rear-view mirror, it’s back to the daily grind for most of us. But it’s not all doom and gloom. January can be a great time to take stock, and move forwards with fresh goals and newfound motivation – both at work and in our personal lives too.

Former no. 10 spin doctor Alastair Campbell has a winning formula that can be applied to this: OST – objective, strategy, tactics. The objective is what you want to achieve, the strategy comprises the key ideas you need to achieve your objective, and the tactics are how you visibly implement the strategy. Give it a try and see how you get on!

And if 2023 is anything like the last couple of years, businesses will need clear and effective OST to navigate the choppy waters that may lie ahead. But it’s not just about surviving – out of every challenge comes an opportunity and the businesses that are most receptive to this are the ones that will thrive this year.

So as we look at the year ahead, here’s how we see things playing out and what the impact on businesses might be.

1.Inflation to gradually fall

2023’s economic outlook makes for grim reading, but we can take some comfort in economists’ predictions that inflation will start to fall as we go through the year. However, businesses will still need to be as resilient as possible. This means reducing exposure to volatile market pricing of commodities, as well as building protective measures into supply chains to deal with shortages and rising logistical costs.

2. Continued political uncertainty in the UK

Last year taught us to expect the unexpected when it comes to UK politics. Having said that, with no prospect of an early general election and the Conservatives unlikely to oust a third PM in quick succession, we expect Rishi Sunak to still be at the helm come year end. However, the country faces a multitude of crises and he’s likely to be under no less pressure than he is today. Political uncertainty seems here to stay, at least until the next election, meaning further uncertainty for business too.

3. Sustainability and ESG to become increasingly necessary

The world is beginning to realise that the climate emergency poses a far greater challenge than anything we have faced before, including the pandemic. Consumers and investors are demanding more and more from businesses when it comes to sustainability. Observing from the touchline is no longer an option. In 2023, companies will need to incorporate ESG (environmental, social, and governance) processes into their core strategy. Those who don’t risk losing business and being left behind.

4. No end in sight in Ukraine war

We hope we’re wrong on this but there seems no immediate end in sight for the war in Ukraine. Both sides appear deadlocked and the freezing temperatures at this time of year make any gains extremely tricky. The ongoing war will continue to impact global energy prices and businesses are set to feel the pinch when the UK government’s bill support is reduced at the end of March.

5. Accelerated digitisation

This year, we’ll see the continued development and implementation of transformative technologies. This will include artificial intelligence, the internet of things, cloud computing, virtual and augmented reality, and blockchain. Further digitisation in the world of work is inevitable and businesses that harness these technologies sooner rather than later will find themselves in a strong position.

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