FSE London: IT transformed the team says Sir Clive

Nia Williams

September 17, 2015

The former rugby union coach revealed how he transformed a talented group of England players into sponges using IT – firstly by ensuring they all had laptops.

Woodward followed Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal football team by using performance analysis software called prozone, which allows coaches and players to analyse the performance of individuals with the help of a Football Manager-style electronic version of the pitch.

Woodward said: “Those who use IT tend to be ahead of the curve. The ability for our players to use IT transformed the team.

“Talent alone is not enough. What do I mean by that? You can spend a huge amount of time recruiting the right talent for your team or business but it’s about the starting position and the finishing position.

“Because the players started getting good at IT they could start to analyse the software themselves; they started analysing their own performance.

“It was about becoming sponges; there were some sponges, one or two players, didn’t get it.”

Woodward explained how talented individuals can be molded into ‘warriors’ with technology provided they are talented, have the passion to learn and don’t turn from ‘sponges’ into ‘rocks’ by getting complacent. This applies to business leaders too, he said, who should look at data that their employees collect because they have the experience to analyse it effectively.

He added that what transforms a team or business from ‘warriors’ to ‘winners’ is handling pressure moments, so he would pick on individuals in the England team and ask them to visualise pressure situations – so they would be ready for anything.

Woodward spoke of the importance of sharing within businesses, as he revealed that when he was England coach he would invite business leaders to shadow his England team and suggest any changes in how they worked together.

He added: “Being obsessed means a passion for detail.”

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