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Interim Managers could help BBC through crisis

Interim Managers could help BBC through crisis

Jason Atkinson Managing Director, Russam Interim and Chair of Interim Management Association

The BBC continues to feed its culture of nepotism as it looks inward yet again to guide the corporation out of its current crisis. Isn’t it time they considered taking on an experienced interim senior executive to bring in fresh management experience and expertise to take the organisation forward? In light of the Newsnight and Jimmy Saville scandal the BBC has done what it has always does and looked internally. A raft of new acting managers have been brought in this week to help the corporation deal with the crisis, including Tim Davie, the acting director general, who was previously head of BBC Worldwide.

The Evening Standard this week even suggested the BBC were “running out of managers” and many argue it really is time for the BBC to seek an “outsider” to pick up the reins. The BBC doesn’t need another person with a BBC background, but a heavy-weight business executive with a track record of successful leadership roles, who knows how to achieve organisational transformation. Interim managers are often former captains of industry and are strong business leaders with a clear perspective of what is needed to guide a business through turbulent times. The BBC is going through a crisis now, but much of this has been brewing for years and many of the same people who move up through the ranks have been part of this culture.

We work with many interim senior executives who have years of experience in other sectors and understand how to turn around a business around. Such individuals could bring their expertise, knowledge and best practice to the BBC. It’s time for the BBC to shake up their management structure and look for business and leadership experience rather than a journalistic or BBC background. The BBC can’t continue to look inwards for solutions and the Greg Dyke’s of this world are extremely rare. Something needs to change and bringing in an interim manager, which many forward thinking companies do when they acknowledge they don’t have the skills within, could help change the culture of nepotism and help the corporation move forward positively and with confidence.

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