Friday, March 4, 2011

Too casual

In searching for further aphorisms from Pat Younge, Chief Creative Office of BBC Vision, and driver of the Delivering Quality First workstreams, I came across this scary thought...

"One of the biggest changes we face is the way we do business. There is no longer such a thing as a job for life; staff are going to have to give up staff contracts, as soon they will have no real value; we are heading into a freelance base workforce"

If this is indeed a long-term HR strategy at the BBC, then it's quite worrying.  The real way the organisation embeds its standards, values and even skills, is by on-the-job training, delivered by working colleagues who've learned the ropes the same way.   The sharpest editorial judgements come from those with long ring experience, not the new joiners.  Intelligent creative commissions and decisions are made by people who thoroughly understand both the organisation and its audience.   No online course, or three-day induction event will ever get staff on short-term contracts into the right ethos - indeed a move to short-term contracts runs absolutely counter to that ethos.

I can't imagine that Pat envisages the casualisation of Senior Managers, like DGs and Chief Creative Officers. It all smacks of a dock labour scheme, with producers turning up at the gates of TVC for selection on a daily basis, rather than an appropriate policy for Britain's greatest cultural institution.

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