Jo Geraghty


Leadership and Organisation in short supply

Date added: 06th Jan 2013
Category: Employee Engagement

Nick Pollard’s report into the BBC Jimmy Savile affair may have partially laid to rest the conspiracy theories surrounding the decision to drop the Newsnight investigation but it is damming in its criticism of the BBC’s management system.  The report comments on how a combination of a silo mentality, an element of personal distrust and an adherence to rigid management chains contributed to the BBC’s management system proving incapable of dealing with the full force of the story when it broke in October 2012.  The conclusion was that “leadership and organisation seemed to be in short supply”.


The 186 page report* makes fascinating reading and probably should be compulsory reading for all those who aspire to management and leadership.  Whilst much of the report covers the actual events which occurred, it is sprinkled with observations on the way in which management styles and the BBC culture contributed to the debacle.  For example on the final page Nick Pollard comments on the silo mentality at the BBC which in his view “hinders leadership and the proper taking of control”.


Also of note are the lessons which can be gained from the experience (PP41-42) which include:

  • Recognise that personal relationships and trust are indispensible
  • Have editorial executives who inspire confidence and loyalty
  • Challenging decisions is good.  No one has a monopoly on wisdom.  There shouldn’t be a rigid and unapproachable structure


The report may have been written for and about the BBC but the lessons learned could equally apply to any organisation.



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