[whoosh for logo] [electronic music building up pace] Having a responsibility for the growth and the development of the game is an incredible privilege but also a huge challenge. We’ve been an established business for an awful long time, 125 years, and we needed to modernise our business. We had a period of turmoil around the World Cup in 2011. A new strategy needed to be put into place. And one of the key parts of that strategy was to build culture, performance and leadership. Thinking about your own performance is something we talk about with the England team and

we need to think about our own performance and how can we improve it within the executive team. Leadership is not the kind of thing that changes overnight because people’s behaviours are pretty ingrained. We truly felt that Blue Sky would shift behaviour and we felt that it would be far more impactful if we got into people’s minds. You may think that you do things in a certain way, but do you really? Blue sky brought something new to the table. They’re innovative, creative kind of approach, very personal. Um, I think the personalities involved in the delivery side of Blue Sky is probably what made it of most value. It’s been challenging. It’s been stimulating. Most of all, itís given me time to think which I think as people who are leading an organisation, we perhaps don’t devote enough time to. And I think one thing that Blue Sky have brought us, which perhaps other organisations are maybe more hesitant to do is a real honesty around how they’re experiencing us. Holding a mirror up to how we are. It’s actually made me stop and think. My role, in a leadership sense and actually, I’m not very good at doing stuff that I should be better at so what am I going to do about that? I think what stood out to me about Blue Sky is the level of challenge. But I think that level of challenge has to be there because that’s what forces you to think about it. We haven’t had a program like this before I’m definitely a lot more now.. soft of self aware. And have a much better appreciation and understanding for where I need to improve certain things, where I need to spend more time so that I can become a better leader and sort of manager for the organisation. For the first time, I think individuals have taken ownership for going out and talking to their teams about their own learning journey. That’s really starting to embed it in the organisation. And I think it’s helped individuals in those teams then realise you know what? If they’re on a journey, then why shouldn’t I be on a journey at the same time as well? We asked a lot of Blue Sky, and we expected a lot, and it did live up to those things. This is very much the start of the journey for us. But I think leadership is firmly and squarely in everyone’s mindsets. The impact of this programme has been a far more joined up, coherent organisation. So I think next steps for us, is how do we build on what we’ve revealed if you like in terms of our operations as an executive team. And then how do we continue the journey with ourselves and with the rest of the organisation? As we move towards an incredibly exciting period for our sport. [electronic music continues to the end]

RFU Testimonial for Blue Sky Leadership and development training
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