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Many people who are involved in business aren’t all too aware of the fact that lessons in business and entrepreneurship are all around. You don’t have to frequent the corridors of a Harvard Business School or a London Business School, etc. to benefit from the most precious of lessons in business.

Having a look at some research conducted around something as integral to our everyday lives as our nation’s membership to the EU and the subsequent impending exit from the EU (Brexit), one can draw some valuable business lessons. The research was conducted by providers of renewable energy insurance, Lycetts, taking a closer look at the current and future prospects of renewable energy in the EU, particularly with regards to the targets they set for the economic trading block.

The performance of the trading block as the sum of its parts

If the regional and economic trading block that is the EU is viewed as an organisation, one could quite easily point to its general success with regards to its targets set around moving more towards the use of renewable energy and therefore creating and operating on cleaner, ‘greener’ energy. The EU leads the way in renewable globally, with its energy production from renewable sources having increased by 73.1% over the ten year period running from 2004 to 2014. That equates to a yearly increase of 5.6%.

While many of the member states are lagging behind – all 29 of them have targets set out for them to produce a certain percentage of their energy from renewable resources – the trading block as a whole, single unit is making huge strides towards reaching its collective targets, but naturally we have a scenario in which some member states are pulling more than their fair share of the weight while others are lagging far behind. This happens all the time in the typical corporate structure, from the smallest of businesses to the biggest of multinational organisations.

The performance of each of the trading-block’s individual members

The UK is one of the countries falling behind and is in fact falling quite far behind on its target. It’s falling a full 10% short of its goal for 2020, which was set at 15%. The UK’s renewables share has quadrupled however and investment has risen, but considering just how far behind the UK is on its targets, its impending departure from the EU could perhaps improve the trading-block’s outlook on renewable energy.

As with any aggregation effort, when a special case is removed from the data set it makes a huge difference to the mean figure, so looking at the figures and facts, the removal of the UK from the European Union could give its prospects of realising its targets a serious boost. Taking Scotland along with it however, the UK’s exit perhaps deals the EU a blow since Scotland is a shining example of the fruits of some serious efforts to move towards renewable (97% of all household electricity needs in Scotland are supplied by wind turbine energy).

If we equate this consideration to one of many common situations which play out in the business world, it simply comes down to a matter of being able to break down each department perhaps or each little piece of the business into different groups or even into its individual elements and then tweaking and playing around with the different combinations to see if the progress of the organisation as a whole can be enhanced.

Andy McGowan
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