Delivering leadership skills…

Delivering leadership skills will lead to value for money

The debate in Personnel Today about the value of leadership programmes is timely and stimulating with strongly polarised views. Jane King’s comments that the BBC should be making some attempt to evaluate the success of its leadership programme, even when something as subjective as creativity is the output (Editorial comment, Personnel Today, 12 October), is something we wholly agree with. And the BBC has never thought otherwise.

The evaluation strategy for the BBC leadership programme is comprehensive and has been in place since before the programme was launched in September 2003. It is formative and significant modifications to the programme have occurred as a direct result of the evaluation data we have generated. What is more, the leadership board that oversees the programme receives monthly briefings on that data and the executive board receives quarterly accounts.

The BBC may be a public sector organisation but that in no way diminishes our commitment to delivering value for money. It is at the top of our agenda.

Our evaluation serves three purposes:

– To assess the achievement of its pre-determined objectives

– To help us continually review and improve the content of the programme

– To help us measure the value of the programme in terms of what it has delivered to the BBC at an individual, team and organisational level.

The evaluation model we have in place will help us understand whether individual leadership behaviour and competency is improving as a result of the programme and whether the teams of leaders who have attended the programme perform differently to teams of leaders who have not yet attended it.

The model will assess key management practices and will monitor changes in the frequency and/or quality of these practices across the BBC and, as the focus of the programme is to deliver a step change in the BBC culture and leader effectiveness, we will be measuring this at an organisational level through our annual staff survey.

Despite all of this, we are also going ahead with our planned external, independent review of the programme after two years (next September) to give us, as far as possible, an objective account of the return that the programme delivers back to the BBC. I hope that this sounds like an organisation that is aiming to set an example for the rest of the country.

Nigel Paine

Head of people development, BBC Training & Development

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