By Malcolm Durham, non-executive director at Flexible Directors

This is an important time of year for me – the 6 Nations championship which gives bragging rights in the northern hemisphere for the next 12 months (the World Cup and Autumn series being far less important platforms for lording it over people because most of their supporters don’t live alongside us).

In addition to this rather unsightly habit I seem to have caught “Jones disease”. Even though I stopped buying the Sunday Times because I was fed up with the incessant carping views of Stephen Jones, I seem to be prepared to follow him insofar as I’m not just interested in wins but their manner.

The power and creativity that we (England) displayed against Mr Jones’ Welsh team were self-evident (and have cemented my place as chief financial and bragging officer at HIRO a new venture run and backed by large elements of the Welsh team of years past, including Andy Moore and Jonathan Davies). But it’s the Italy game where there are more lessons to be learned.

The best moment for me was the try scored by Ben Youngs, from 5 metres out. England had been awarded a penalty from a collapsed scrum, Ben picked the ball up ran 5 metres and scored. Comparatively easy. But it demonstrated three points that don’t just apply to rugby:

Communication – if he had asked his captain if that was the right thing to do, in clear tones, it’s likely that Italy would have reacted quickly and defended better. When communication can be quick, clear and non-verbal, then advantages can be gained. Next time you’re negotiating in tandem with a colleague feel free to nod, tap their foot or change the tone of your voice to indicate where you are taking the discussion (spinning a rugby ball might be bit of a giveaway);

Accuracy – he took the kick from the right place, not just somewhere that he thought was roughly ok, which usually results in the kick being re-taken and the moment passing. We always look for accuracy in our work, especially the FDs, where changing an assumption by 10% can mean the difference between disaster and tranquillity;

Preparedness – If Italy had been prepared for this it’s likely that they would have stopped him, after all he’s only knee-high to a gnat in international rugby parlance. Every consultant who’s got a client out of a hole has sighed and said at least once, either out loud or under their breath – “if only they’d contacted me sooner, then I could have helped them to avoid this crisis”.

So it’s not just Mr Youngs who can get C.A.P.s from playing rugby, although I’d prefer to get mine by watching, and meeting the players afterwards. HIRO allows me to do that with its service of “hiring a hero”. It’s about to launch, so if you would like more information or are just interested in hiring a hero, then let me know.

Statutory health warning: Additional bragging will be subject to formal procedures and will be strictly by invitation only!

PS all references to Ireland have been removed in the interests of safety (of the author).