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Four steps to creating a winning culture

Edward Qualtrough | Nov. 4, 2016
World Cup-winning rugby coach Sir Clive Woodward spells out what it takes to be the best

sir clive woodward

Sir Clive Woodward, who guided England to Rugby World Cup victory in Australia in 2003 with captain Martin Johnson and superstar fly-half Jonny Wilkinson, believes the new side has only "scratched the surface of its potential" and has backed new Head Coach Eddie Jones to create a winning culture which could help England go on to win the 2019 World Cup.

The 2016 Six Nations Grand Slam winners won a three-game series in Australia in the summer, and Woodward believes Jones can build on their winning mentality, setting the high standards in their upcoming autumn internationals that could help them go on to triumph in 2019.

Earlier this year Woodward said that the new regime has instilled a "hunger which augers well for the future", with the former coach also praising Jones for galvanising the team which was displaying a new "mindset and body language" as well as exhibiting "a great positive attitude and all-round excellence".

Woodward, who has plenty of business heritage from his days working at Xerox and running his own finance and leasing company, is a firm believer that creating a winning culture is essential if a team, company or department is going to deliver the tasks the board has given them - and explained at the 2015 CDO Summit in Londonhow to go about creating a winning culture.

Woodward outlined his formula for creating "champion individuals" and a successful culture, which would eliminate the lack of discpline and inability to think correctly under pressure which cost England their place in the World Cup - and could scupper success at your organisation.

First of all, he says, great teams are made up of great individuals. When he was coaching the England rugby team, he brought in decorated rower Sir Steve Redgrave as a motivational coach. He learned Redgrave actually spent more time and effort on individual development than team development. Woodward realised that you need to coach your team individually as well as part of a team. Get them to focus on being the best in their own role.

Woodward breaks down this individual development, that he thinks successful team members need, into four skillsets that he says are not difficult to measure or coach:

1. Talent - It's the base you start from, but being talented alone is not enough. It's below the line of excellence. Raw skill is necessary, but on its own, it's too unpredictable to create a winning team.

2. Teachability - Individuals have to become students. Their willingness to learn and accumulate knowledge around their role will give them the awareness of what they need to do to continually improve on what they already have. New people become students easily. It's maintaining that thirst for knowledge that becomes more difficult. Often it's more experienced members who put a block on their learning and they are the biggest risk to creating a winning culture. Don't confuse a thirst for knowledge with intellectual education. It's about a passion for seeking out more knowledge, not collecting diplomas.


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