The straight-talk needed on ABC job cuts: BBC expert


A former BBC communications head warns of intelligent, articulate counter-agents who will undermine management’s reform efforts at Australia’s public broadcaster.

ABC management needs to watch out for “negative leaders” within their own ranks who will undermine change efforts, warns a British government communications expert who steered the BBC through its reform programs.

Russell Grossman, now the director of group communications for the UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, says his experience is that “change that doesn’t work is because of either passive or active resistance to that change”, and confronting that resistance is necessary to achieve the desired results.

His first experience with these counter-agents of reform goes back to his days as BBC’s head of internal communications, in part because of the types of people who tend to be employed at public broadcasters.

“They’re full of people who are intelligent, articulate, worldly and, to a degree, cynical,” Grossman told The Mandarin. “You had people who could very well understand the theory and drivers behind the change and actively did not agree with it; intellectuals if you like. You would more likely see people like that in organisations like the BBC.”

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