The EU Referendum campaign has only just started but already both sides are accusing each other of scaremongering. I have some sympathy for all concerned, since I find some potential clients think all I am doing is scaremongering when I point out the risks in their business.
Of course I do not approve of deliberately exaggerating the probability or the potential severity of a particular risk in a manipulative way. On the other hand, there are risks of all kinds all around us. Is it wrong to draw some of them to the attention of people who might be affected? Is it wrong to point out that the probability or the severity is greater than they might expect?
In the same way, it has to be said that there are risks involved in leaving the EU and other risks in staying in. Even if you try to emphasize the positive, you are by implication saying there are negative possibilities if you do the opposite.
For example, we have heard the positive arguments for staying in including the free market within the EU with its level playing field (well, compared with trading elsewhere) and the advantages of addressing issues like climate change, terrorism, and crime on a EU-wide basis. However well you expound these, you can hardly avoid saying that leaving the EU would create the risk of losing those benefits, even if some of them could be retained in some post-exit agreements.
Similarly, the Out campaign can hardly state that leaving would give us better control of our borders and of our legislation, without suggesting that staying in involves taking the risk that immigration will continue to rise unacceptably and that we might have laws imposed on us by the EU that our own lawmakers would have rejected.
So the risks are there, and the positives are there too.
How do you manage risks in your business if you do not fall for scaremongering?
- By ignoring them?
- By underestimating them?
- By trying to evaluate them objectively and adopting realistic, affordable control measures?
If you want to talk some or all of them over, please contact me.
But do NOT ask me which way to vote!
Bonne chance, mes amis!