What Every Business Can Learn From The Rugby World Cup

What Every Business Can Learn From The Rugby World Cup

JJ Lynch

Over the past two weekends I have had the privilege of watching the two teams that will contest this Saturday’s Rugby World Cup Final in London.

Both Australia and New Zealand play a wonderfully exhilarating style of rugby that is based on consistently and correctly executing the basic skills of the game.

What will make the difference between winning and losing the Rugby World Cup this weekend?

It might just be what Sir Clive Woodward refers to as the critical non-essentials.

The Critical Non-Essentials

In 2003 Sir Clive Woodward led England to World Cup glory.

Woodward identified what he called the critical non-essentials – those little things that were not essential but were critical to the team’s success.

For years, England, like all rugby teams, wore a baggy jersey.


Then England came up with with the tight-fitting jersey.

They found it was good at absorbing sweat but more importantly, it was difficult for opponents to grab or to hold on to.

One little thing that might make the difference between winning and losing.

In 2007 France staged the Rugby World Cup. When the French saw the draw for the tournament they realised that they could be meeting the All Blacks in the final.

So what did they do?

For years France had always worn a bright blue jersey.


So they decided to change the colour of their jersey to a very dark blue.


What was their thinking?

France realised that if this final pairing did come to pass there would be a clash of colours with the famous black jersey of the All Blacks….


and the television companies around the world would insist that one team change to their second kit.

France, as the home nation, would be allowed to keep their first-choice kit, while the All Blacks would have to play in their second-choice kit of all-white.

How less powerful would the All Blacks be playing in a World Cup Final in all- white?
The steps that sporting teams go to to find those critical non-essentials that could make the difference between winning and losing. 

What are the critical non-essentials in your business that could make the difference between winning and losing?

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