It's territorial at the top, says DG

George Entwistle George Entwistle calls for 'generous collaboration'

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George Entwistle says he will start with senior management in his bid to instil 'a new spirit of generous collaboration' throughout the Corporation.

'The territorial and fiefdom approach has come down from the top of the BBC,' the new director general told staff at Tuesday's Future Media conference at Television Centre. 'That's what I need to fix first.'

It was a topic that was on the agenda at the first gathering of his new management board. Entwistle revealed he'd told members that he didn't want it to be a meeting where you 'don't own up about your cock ups' for fear that colleagues will gloat or go off and tell their teams.

Only by putting things right at the top would they be able to 'send a message' to the rest of the organisation, he said.

'Difficult and hostile'

The DG admitted that the BBC could be 'a difficult and hostile place at times', which could hinder collaboration.

He praised the pan-BBC approach to the Olympics and, in particular, the fact that Roger Mosey was clearly identified from the outset as the pan BBC lead and an obvious portal for 'everyone with good ideas'.

And he applauded all those who endeavoured to cross boundaries, make contacts and build relationships for 'starting to wear away at the things that I want to be worn away'.

Organisational change

But while he wanted boundaries to come down, he didn't anticipate a move away from a platform-based organisation to happen any time soon. 'We will learn how we want to be different organisationally in due course,' he said.

In terms of Future Media, he considered it 'good judgement' to have taken 25% out of its online operations. 'The rationalisation, the ten products, the sorting out… went a long way to addressing the critique we were subjected to... but I don't see the need to rein it back in any further.'

While he was 'not convinced' 3D would take off, Entwistle did not know what was next on the digital horizon. 'I'm convinced there's something worth going to but I'm not certain what or where it is,' he conceded.

He did expect it to be driven by technology and called on his audience to prepare the organisation to 'turn the corner with sufficient optimism and vigour'.

'I need help from FM more than I need help from any other part of the BBC,' he said.

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