The Rugby World Cup has made for compelling viewing over the past few weeks and the matches have been both impressive and intriguing. Each match is a battle, a full-on battle, between opposing sides who have prepared and rehearsed everything they can think of to secure victory.

For eighty or so minutes the action is super-intense whilst strategies and tactics are applied, set pieces are executed and when needed sheer physical brute force is applied. There’s action going on everywhere and all the participants are focussed on fulfilling their roles. In the middle of all this apparent mayhem decisions are being made and communications are being delivered. There is no luxury of being able to debate calls – unless you fancy being run over by 20 stone of muscle that can cover 100 metres in around 10 seconds – so the pre match preparation has to be thorough and right.

And don’t forget this is a team game so when a decision is made it has to be communicated to the guys that will carry out the plan, right there, right then, clearly, quickly, concisely….and make sure the opponents can’t interpret the instructions otherwise they will be ready and the plan will fail.

Just to make it interesting there are some challenges such as making the guys run for an hour or more whilst being chased and battered by the opponents, making sure the guys comply with an elaborate set of rules partly designed to keep everyone safe and we also expect everyone to remember their manners at all times, in front of 80,000 spectators and a TV audience of millions. No pressure – just make the decision boss.

We have seen that the margin between winning and losing can be very small and frequently rests on critical moments and decisions made on the pitch. A rugby match is therefore 80 minutes of extreme physical and mental challenges.

What can we in Business Continuity and Crisis Management learn from this sport? Firstly discipline, practice and experience are all essential if we are to be successful. Secondly we need clear thinkers who can operate effectively under pressure and thirdly there needs to be a huge amount of trust between team members.

Take a look at your teams and check you have covered these points because otherwise you will get flattened.

October 25, 2015 at 10:24 am
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Category: Crisis Management, Planning, Training & Exercising
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