UK firms unprepared for lengthy war in Iraq

Nearly
a quarter of UK companies are likely to close down parts of their business if
the war against Iraq lasts for longer than six weeks, research finds.

A
survey by management consultancy Morgan Leith Partnership (MLP) finds that
three-quarters of employers predict they could continue operating relatively
normally, if the war lasts for three to nine months, before considering major
changes.

Almost
half (40 per cent) of companies polled have no crisis plan or contingency plan
in place to cope with possible terrorist action or fundamental changes in
trading conditions created by the conflict.

Graeme
Leith, of MLP, said: "This is staggering because leaders without a crisis
or contingency team in place seriously jeopardise their organisation’s chances
of survival."

He
added that contingency planning is simply a part of strategic planning and is
not a sign of failure.

Leith
said: "It is vital that UK companies of all sizes prepare the ‘what if’
scenario so they are able to hit the ground running and not only survive but,
hopefully, thrive." 

The
survey of 54 employers in the UK also finds that a quarter said they did not
have leaders of the right calibre to lead them during a war.

By Ben Willmott

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