Best-selling author and former table tennis star Matthew Syed shares some insights into how Team GB secured three Tour de France titles in 4 years.
This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
“Their openness, their honesty, their commitment to continual improvement drove the insurance liability premiums down by 74 percent. It’s now one of the safest hospitals in the world. That is the culture we need in all of our hospitals. But it can only happen when you get the psychological change first,” says Matthew Syed.
“Let me give one quick example from sport. Great Britain wasn’t terribly good at cycling in the last century. We’re now the envy of the world. It’s not because the nation became more talented; there wasn’t a genetic mutation that hit the British nation. It was because a coach came in, Sir Dave Brailsford, who said, “You know what? We can improve. We can get better. We’re going to create a growth-mindset culture.” And he broke the problem of winning a bike race into all of its component parts.
“If we can improve every single one, if we’ve got the curiosity, the inquisitiveness, the tenacity to improve every single one by as little as one percent, the cumulative effect could be transformative. So we’re going to test a bike design in the wind tunnel. And he found that there were certain inefficiencies; he found the weaknesses. And then he made the tweaks for an aerodynamic game.
“They changed the diet for another marginal gain. They figured out that some of the hotels in rural France were quite ropey, so they started transporting the mattresses from stage to stage during the Tour de France for a marginal improvement in sleep quality. They started to use anti-bacterial hand gel to cut down on the risk of infections.
“Now, that may sound pedantic, but the cumulative effect has meant that in the last century, Britain never won the Tour de France, but Britain has won the Tour de France, Team Sky, three times in the last four years. They hire talented riders, but it is the culture that has created this extraordinary success.”