Lawrence Dallaglio believes England's chances of winning the World Cup are being adversely affected by the turmoil at the Rugby Football Union (RFU).
Ex-England captain Dallaglio told BBC Sport: "To be successful you have to get things right on and off the pitch.
"There need to be some pretty honest conversations because if we sort our act out we are a serious contender."
Steele was ousted from his role as chief executive in June after the RFU board set up a review of how the elite performance director recruitment process had been handled.
It is believed that Judge Jeff Blackett's report called for Thomas's resignation, along with nine non-executives on the management board.
The rest of the management board survived after a vote of no confidence was reported to have been defeated by a majority verdict on 10 July.
As a result the report was kept confidential but since then at least 24 council members are understood to have signed a motion, which has been submitted to the RFU, demanding publication.
"The longer this goes on, the more we give our opponents an advantage," Dallaglio added.
"Everyone knows if we sort our act out we are a serious contender - as we proved in 2003 [when England won the World Cup] - but if we keep repeatedly shooting ourselves in the foot, we give more power to our opponents.
"Sometimes in England we don't like spelling out the truth and saying what we feel.
"They need to put egos to one side and make sure decisions are made for the right reasons.
"If we do get our act together, England can be the world's best again. We won't do that until we get it right off the pitch."