Everything else is just noise
Thinking clearly under pressure was one of Sir Clive Woodward’s favourite mantras as coach of England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup-winning side. In order to ensure his players were able to make the right calls when the heat was on, Woodward sought to recreate pressurised scenarios so that his team had already practised the thought processes needed to navigate them before they took to the field.
Performing under pressure is a common theme among most high achievers, and the theatre of sport is where this is most clearly in evidence. Essentially, it boils down to making the right decision in the critical moment by processing the information available, prioritising what is important, and selecting the route most likely to deliver a favourable outcome.
The ability to think clearly is just as important in the boardroom as it is on the pitch, although the range of decisions faced and the information used varies substantially. Clarity is therefore difficult to achieve, potentially making us fall victim to various cognitive biases.
Knowing which information is relevant and which sources to trust is therefore key to enabling effective and consistent decision-making in an unpredictable and inconsistent environment. That’s why we created Acquisition. Through extensive research, we know that the strength of the selling club, the player’s utilisation and their age are among the key factors that determine success in recruitment. Those are the reasons we put those factors front and centre in our recruitment work, as opposed to action statistics like conversion rates, pass completion and tackles which are often assumed to be important but are substantially less correlated with success.
The idea is simple: to provide key decision-makers with information that is important, relevant and undervalued. Everything else is just noise.