In case you weren’t aware, on Saturday England regained cricket’s Ashes from the old enemy Australia. A widely held view is that they exploited one important element much better that their opposition.

The Ashes competition alternates between being played in Australia and England and this summer it is England’s turn to host. The two countries have different climates, different pitches and are different to play in.

England won, in part, through home advantage and a combination of knowing the conditions and, crucially, exploiting them.

We see the ability to understand and make the most of the conditions as a consistent attribute of top class sports people and teams. There’s little moaning about how bad it is or how it would be better if was different. The attitude is ‘well it’s the same for everyone’ or ‘it’s the same for both sides’ and they set about putting their minds to how they can perform at their best and give themselves the best chance of winning.

Clearly performers in the world of business have the same ability and choices to make. What are the conditions? Do I/we really, truly, understand the demands and the conditions and know what it will take to perform? Are we really clear how we can use our unique talents, skills and techniques, in this particular environment? Do we know what attitudes and mindset will serve us well right now? How much do we need to be boring and just stick to the basics and processes that we know and trust?

Here’s 4 questions to get you going:

1.  How would I describe the conditions in which I’m performing?
2.  What are my strengths and abilities?
3.  Which strengths are particularly useful to me right now?
4.  How will I make the most of these strengths and abilities in these conditions?