'I went away and with all those reviews, wrote down 159 things we needed to sort out'

Episode three of our series with Stuart Lancaster featured World Surf League CEO, Sophie Goldschmidt.

BY offtheball.com 20:08 Tuesday 4 December 2018, 20:08 4 Dec 2018

Our third episode of Leaders Questions features Sophie Goldschmidt, World Surf League CEO and a former colleague of Stuart at England's RFU and tackles the challenge of changing the culture of an organisation.

Speaking on Tuesday's show, the pair discussed their time with English rugby's governing body and the challenges they faced when rebuilding after the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

"There were two or three big notable events that didn't go well in 2011 that ended up in the press for all the wrong reasons," Lancaster explained.

"I was privvy to the reviews of the World Cup - the players' reviews, the management review.

"I went away with all those reviews and wrote down 159 things that we needed to sort out. Obviously there was some on-field stuff. But there was a lot of stuff that wasn't on the field.

"How that can derail a team... With an organisation the size of the RFU and those dynamics aren't managed.

"Sophie and I worked closely together and then I brought in Matt Parker who had worked for British Cycling during an Olympic cycle.

"All I wanted him to do was coordinate the S&C, medical and performance teams within my management team. I wanted him to liaise with the commercial department and make sure it all fit into the performance plan."

Goldschmidt said that changes like these can take time to take hold but do tend to produce good results when executed correctly.

"Honestly, I think [changes] happened in a short space of time - it happened within about six months.

"It takes a while longer to really embed to make sure that it stays. People began to see a complete shift in what the RFU stood for."

Lancaster discussed the importance of building close relationships with commercial partners and the efforts made to align the values of their partners to that of English rugby.

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