What can my business learn from the England Rugby World Cup team?

So, team work – What does it take to beat the best team in the world, and is there anything that the business world can learn from the success of the England Rugby World Cup team? Let’s take a look.

Planning is key, but you need to be agile too

England coach Eddie Jones revealed that he’d been planning for a face-off against New Zealand for over two years. He had a grand plan in mind of the style and tactics needed to overcome the All Blacks, using staples such as defence and England’s strength in set pieces. The players were taking it one match at a time, while Jones obsessed on the overall strategy in the background.

This is the kind of advanced strategic planning that businesses need to succeed, especially when preparing for major sales contracts. The members of your sales team are focused on the task at hand, but your hand is guiding them along the course of a carefully considered strategy.

While it’s important to prepare thoroughly and be laser-focused on the plan, you’re likely to face bumps in the road – just like during a rugby match. In order to close a complex deal (like defeating the world’s best rugby team, for example), you need to be agile and flexible enough to course-correct.

Need help with business strategy? AvA-V is a specialist in this area, helping companies to focus on their core values in order to develop a clear company vision and direction for the future.

A diverse team working towards a common goal

What do exceptional rugby and sales teams have in common? They have a diversity and depth of skills, each used to the best effect in the ideal position within the team. A great leader will be able to identify and utilise the strengths of each individual.

The strength of the team as a unit is key. Jeff Taylor, senior VP at digital transformation company Pegasystems, also compares England’s success with key business principles in his LinkedIn article:

“Everyone needs to be committed to a common goal, but some individuals are more forceful, able to push things through, while others are more strategic and agile, with the ability to get things done behind the scenes.

“The more you collaborate the better you get at leveraging the depth of your team’s skills.”

It’s about confidence, not ego

When it comes to presentation, confidence is crucial. England demonstrated their impressive confidence in the opening moments of the momentous Rugby World Cup semi-final, challenging the All Blacks haka with a tremendous display of their own.

But just like in rugby, it’s always a team game – in sales, in business and whenever you’re working towards a common goal. When pitching to a client or putting together a proposal, it’s important to listen to others, have humility and understand how you fit into the bigger picture.

The good news is that presentation skills, including being able to display confidence at key moments, can be learned – take a look at training solutions with AvA-V.

Planning ahead – invest in future talent

Underpinning England’s success against New Zealand was a grassroots plan to strengthen rugby in England, at all levels. This ambitious masterplan, entitled ‘Game of Our Lives’, was devised in 2017 to cover the subsequent four years.

There’s a crucial lesson in this for companies in all sectors. You need to start putting the foundations in place for future success right now, especially when it comes to recruiting talent. Develop your talent pipeline and start working with recruitment specialists like AvA-V to plan for the future.