Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Thursday 27/11/2003Those who know me well know my insistence on proper employee discipline within a strict, need-to-know managerial structure designed to control internal information. Not for me the namby-pamby new age hogwash of employee empowerment.

Thursday 27/11/2003
Those who know me well know my insistence on proper employee discipline within a strict, need-to-know managerial structure designed to control internal information. Not for me the namby-pamby new age hogwash of employee empowerment.

So it pained me greatly to learn that the once-great bastion of Marxist control economy, the BBC, has lost its grip. No longer conducted with the strict tempo of Reithian moral authority, the Corporation is drifting badly.

For example, it had the bright idea of flogging off its engineering arm, BBC Technology. Well, why not – the days when a broadcaster had to be a specialist in its own systems have long since gone, and if the managers at the BBC no longer feel competent to handle a centre of engineering excellence then they might as well cash it in. It's a good outfit and has embraced the challenge of modern digital media with aplomb.

However, there are aspects of the Web that clearly escape some of the top bods. Imagine the surprise of BBC Tech's thousand-plus employees when they found out about the sale not through a company meeting or a memo from the CEO, but in a news story on Broadcast.com. "The URL went through the company email like a dose of salts," said one grumpy beard -- yes, they really do talk like that down there in the basement -- "and after a while even the bosses worked out that something was up."

They have it easy. Back in the days of Sinclair Research, we had to wait for The Sunday Times to come out before we could find what on earth Sir Clive was doing with the company this week.

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