BBC director general Tony Hall 'to cut bureaucracy'

Tony Hall Tony Hall became BBC director general in April

Related Stories

BBC director general Tony Hall has said he will light a "bonfire of the boards" at the corporation in an attempt to cut bureaucracy and stimulate creativity.

He vowed to tackle the BBC's "meeting culture", which "hampers creativity".

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, Lord Hall pledged to halve the number of pan-BBC boards and steering groups.

He wrote: "This 'bonfire of the boards' should speed up decision-making and release some of the resources currently wasted on bureaucracy for programmes."

He added: "A simpler BBC should mean a more creative BBC."

In his five months as director general, Lord Hall has faced the fallout from the Jimmy Savile scandal, criticism over the size of management pay-offs and the collapse of the BBC's £98m Digital Media Initiative IT project.

In his article, he said the BBC had a lot to learn from companies such as Google and Apple, which he visited on a recent trip to the US.

"To launch an initiative, one of our colleagues at Google had to speak to two people," he wrote. "To get agreement to do the BBC's first ebook, someone at the BBC had to speak to more than two dozen."

He hailed Silicon Valley's "fail fast culture", which meant it was "much better to kill off what had seemed like a good idea, and be upfront about it, than to work on, hoping it might come good".

'Failed idea'

"At the BBC, we wasted nearly £100m on a computer project because no-one was prepared to call time on a failed idea," he wrote.

The BBC must be "much clearer" on how decisions were made and who was accountable for them, he added.

"We often spend far too long agonising over decisions that other organisations have learnt to make much more efficiently."

In evidence to the Pollard Review of the Savile affair, BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten described the corporation's management culture as "dysfunctional" and "chaotic".

Lord Hall also said he wanted to see more women on screen and in senior roles. The appointment of Mishal Husain to Radio 4's Today programme was "a good start", he wrote.

The director general recently announced a plan to ensure half of all local radio breakfast shows have female presenters on their teams. He also pledged to recruit more people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Entertainment & Arts stories

RSS

Features

  • Atletico's Diego Godin celebrates his goal with teammate David VillaWeek in pictures

    Selection of the best news photographs from around the world


  • Susanne du ToitTop 10 Tips

    Portrait painter Susanne du Toit on being an artist


  • StampsPost independence

    Will stamps get cheaper if Scots go it alone?


  • Rhea10 things

    Rhea birds can be extremely dangerous, plus other factlets


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.