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The story so far


A brief overview of our journey from Sydney 2000 to Rio 2016

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Olympic-winning strategies for business success

The Crazy Goal

The journey from also-ran crew, to Olympic Champions, to the realisation that what works at the very highest level of sport, also makes a huge difference to business performance.

change performance

1. GB Men’s Eight Win Olympic Gold in Sydney

Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? was born out the story of an ordinary guy achieving something extraordinary. In 1998, consistently failing to medal or even make the final of major regattas, the GB Men’s Rowing Eight decided to fundamentally change the way they worked and how they worked with each other. Their focus became purely about performance, the results they hoped would follow.

They approached things differently, critically asking the same question with every single action they took… Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Along their journey they learnt the sustainable, dependable techniques and behaviours that drove continuous team improvement. The outcome 18 months later, against all reasonable odds, was a stunning Olympic Gold on the waters of Sydney.

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2. The Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? book is published

Will It Make the Boat Go Faster? is a motivational, autobiographical book that tells the story of an ordinary person in an ordinary team who achieved something pretty extraordinary.
After many years of not winning any races at all, Ben Hunt-Davis and the GB Men’s Rowing Eight won that gold medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. The book allowed the secrets behind that success to be shared fully for the first time. Ben teamed up with Harriet Beveridge, Executive Coach & now Head of Programmes at Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? to show how to use those gold medal strategies to improve individual and team performance.

Ben’s book is a warts-and-all authentic account of a journey to success that showed how you can succeed in whatever you want to do. Ben and Harriet have been road-testing these methods for 15 years, with clients from all walks of life – managers, leaders, call centre staff, sales reps, athletes and shop assistants.

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3. The Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? performance consultancy is launched

In the year of the London Olympics, co-founders Tom Barry and Ben Hunt-Davis launch our performance consultancy. The goal is simple and clear. To take a proven, bullet proof, case study from the highest level of sport and apply it to the business world.

Determined to live and breathe all that we believe in and offer to clients, the consultancy is the embodiment of the performance principles, behaviours and strategies that delivered an Olympic gold medal.

All of these success factors are brought to life via through a number of different interventions. Often starting with a motivational key note speech or ‘Crazy’ goal workshop, the consultancy in 2016 focusses on long term interventions which drive real change over time. For your clients this means establishing a true performance culture, united under a motivating, inspiring goal or vision. Everyone clear on what’s in it for them, and others, and how they all can be successful in their role.

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4. From London to Rio

Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? now has over 60 active clients across 13 countries, working across a myriad of different business sectors. Our work has taken us to Dubai, Thailand, Kenya, U.S.A and across Europe but a majority of our work remains in the UK where we have clients throughout England, Scotland and Wales.

As we head towards Rio 2016, Ben and other members of our team are still actively involved in Team GB. Our desire to be at the forefront of the translation of Olympic success into business remains undiminished. Indeed, we believe the links between business and sport move ever closer, with sport frequently leading the way in exploring all of the component parts that make up high performance, gold medal winning performance.

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Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? was born out the story of an ordinary guy achieving something extraordinary.  In 1998, consistently failing to medal or even make the final of major regattas, the GB Men’s Rowing Eight decided to fundamentally change the way they worked and how they worked with each other.

Their focus became purely about performance, the results they hoped would follow. They approached things differently, critically asking the same question with every single action they took…Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Along their journey they learnt the sustainable, dependable techniques and behaviours that drove continuous team improvement.

The outcome 18 months later, against all reasonable odds, was a stunning Olympic Gold on the waters of Sydney.

Over the past 4 years Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? has used its Olympic winning strategies, Performance Principles and Accelerators to deliver success for individuals, teams and organisations.

Proven at the highest level of sport and business we help:

  • Senior teams to clarify their ambition (‘Crazy’ goal) and how they will work together to achieve it
  • Leaders to create the energy, provide the focus and culture required to bring change and make the goal happen
  • Everyone to understand what’s in it for them and then acquire the skills, behaviours and beliefs to improve performance

Leaders, teams and individuals galvanise around a shared goal, have far greater clarity and purpose. Together they develop a sustainable mentality and approach to working as one team.

The results to date have been outstanding and, if we are being really honest, even we are a little surprised by the significance of the impact and how ingrained our philosophy becomes within our client’s teams.

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Our Clients

Making their boat go faster

  • Tesco
  • Brunel University
  • Acora
  • Bradgate Bakery
  • Laurent Perrier
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  • I challenge every business woman & man in the country not to take something away from this big contribution to business thinking.

     


    Lord Digby Jones, Former Director General of the CBI
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  • Our participants were impressed by Ben’s story and will never forget him. It is an inspirational journey that we can apply to any kind of business or deal situation.


    Florence Assouline, HR Director, Capgemini Group.
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  • The second you get in a rowing boat down at Dorney Lake, it changes everything. I really believe that it should be the first thing that a business does with their team before starting a programme, it was an eye-opening experience.


    Colin Stevens, Founder & CEO, Better Bathrooms
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  • As a result of working with Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?, we waste less time and effort on things that won’t help us to achieve our goal and more time on the things that will. The principles are simple to adopt and powerful when consistently put into action. The team at WIMTBGF have been both challenging of us and a pleasure to work with.


    Catriona Marshall, Chief Executive, Hobbycraft
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  • Ben’s talk was inspiring and I received loads of great feedback afterwards from many in the team. The themes Ben talked about from his professional sports experience resonated so well with many of the messages that I was trying to get across namely: making a difference, driving outstanding performance, and being a great boss. I used a number of your quotes in my wrap-up session for the conference. Your session gave a unique perspective to these themes and added real value to the day.


    James Percival, Vice President Operations Finance EMEA, Hilton Worldwide
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  • A book that is well laid out, easy to read and packed with practical business advice based on the methods Ben’s team used to achieve their Olympic success. Having highlighted essential passages, I find it simple to dip into and apply on a regular basis. It is now customary for us to ask ourselves throughout the day, ‘Will it make the boat go faster?’ and adjust our actions accordingly. Since applying these principles our business has increased month on month.


    Maragaret H – Amazon reviewer
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