A Soft Revolution

A Soft Revolution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I worked as a consultant to BBC Television during the mid-1990’s on a long term project to explore and establish new ways of making programmes. To frame it, we coined the term ‘The Digital Revolution’. It was a great experience, not only because it brought me into contact with the many very talented and bright staff who made great tv, but also because it was a voyage of transformation that genuinely moved people.

When the project began there was a disconnection between ‘management’, ‘production’ and ‘resources’, and all of them probably felt undervalued in their own way. Morale was very low, especially amongst the programme-makers. Over the course of three years we were able to reverse this, embed digital tv production as a way of life, and almost incidentally, save the corporation £200m.

We set up community-building activities including two large seminars staged in one of the production studios, workshops, masterclasses, newsletters, technology demos and other well attended live events. It included consultation, research, strategic partners, financial incentives and the support of champions for the change at a senior level in all genres and departments. At the core was the conscious regeneration of sincere respect for the talents, skills and knowledge of everyone working there, especially the programme-makers. In this way, a revolution was achieved in more than mere technique. This fundamental review of relationships and the honouring of the new values was in my view the basis of the transformation and for success in achieving the business aims.

© orlando kimber, all rights reserved