Leadership Training and Development at the BBC

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB087
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2000-05
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : BBC
Industry : Media and Broadcasting
Countries : Britain

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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BBC in Trouble

Until 1982, there were only four television channels in the UK - BBC1, BBC2, ITV, and Channel 4 - all of which used the terrestrial television broadcasting method to air their programs. The early 1980s saw the rise of satellite and cable television in the UK, which significantly reduced BBC's viewership. BBC's troubles intensified in the 1990s. In 1992, Sir John Birt (Birt) was appointed its Director General...

Making it Happen

On February 01, 2000, Dyke, CEO of Pearson Television, took over as Director General from Birt. Reportedly, Dyke spent five months visiting the various BBC departments and getting to understand their operations, talking to the employees, and identifying the problems of the company, before taking over as Director General. Dyke found the BBC too bureaucratic and observed that the employees at the BBC lacked mutual trust and were not willing to collaborate with each other. They were too cautious in their approach, and were unwilling to take risks...

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

The Big Conversation

On May 15, 2003, Dyke organized a countrywide meeting of the BBC staff, which he termed 'The Big Conversation.' The London station was connected to all the BBC offices across Britain. About 17,000 employees participated in the live interactive event and asked about 3,500 questions. This measure was aimed at communicating the steps that would be taken to implement the changes under the six themes...

BBC's Leadership Program

The leadership program was developed using the feedback obtained from the 'Just Imagine' sessions. The employees wanted to have a healthy relationship with their managers and consistent leadership across all levels at the BBC. They pointed out there were 52 different leadership development programs that BBC had across 17 divisions and that this had resulted in a difference in leadership capabilities across various BBC divisions. During consultations, the employees said that they felt the best when their managers motivated, supported, trusted, and treated them with respect...

The Benefits

The leadership program was continuously improved in its content and structure by taking feedbacks from the participants. Nearly 83% of the participants gave positive feedback about their experience. The evaluation was done in terms of what it had added to the individual and his/her team, and the improvement in the performance of his/her team. It was noticed that nearly all the participants had shown considerable improvement in their behavior with subordinates. About 40% of the teams whose leaders attended the program showed marked improvement in their performance...


Exhibit I: BBC's Royal Charter
Exhibit II: Differences between the Old and New Training Program
Exhibit III: BBC - Leadership Development Program
Exhibit IV: BBC's Leadership Program Structure


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