04th Apr 2013

How will the BBC's new Director General fare?

In his first internal memo to BBC staff, new director general Tony Hall stressed the need to rebuild trust following recent difficulties. He also spoke of lessons learned and his confidence in the future of the BBC. This week Hall took over from acting DG Tim Davie, who replaced George Entwhistle, the shortest serving DG the BBC has ever had.  In the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal, Entwhistle resigned after a record 54 days in November last year. As he takes the helm at this time, Hall is likely to face many challenges.

Hall is not new to the BBC, having originally joined the corporation just after graduation as a trainee. He moved up the ranks and was head of news by the time he left in 2001 to join the Royal Opera House (ROH). Hall is widely praised for bringing financial stability to one of Britain’s largest arts institutions. And he is credited with broadening access to the ROH by transforming the institution’s reputation as elitist. Hall set up ROH2 – a department focused on supporting new artists and developing new audiences which opened the ROH up to the general public. So, Hall’s experience is formidable – he has shown he is capable of turning the Royal Opera House around – the future seems bright for the BBC.

Getting off to an accelerated start in his new role will be vital to Hall’s success during the first 100 days, and beyond. A strong team to support him on his journey will be invaluable. To build this team Hall will need to be many things: a role model, a communicator, a mission setter, a motivator, a target maker. And he will need a first 100 days team plan. Within this plan Hall should break down his desired outcomes into @ 30, @60 and @ 90 days milestones. This will help him and his team to maintain progress while staying focused on the key objectives.

Hall’s first memo to staff ended “..it is a time for the BBC to be self-confident and optimistic about the future. You produce brilliant programmes and content, day in, day out. There can be no complacency but I firmly believe with imagination and hard work the BBC’s best days lie ahead of us.” Hopeful and motivational, it looks like Hall is on the right track for a successful first 100 days as DG of the BBC. We will be watching his progress with great interest.

Hilda Goold

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