The Leadership Gap

Episodes

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0120140711

In the light of recent crises of leadership in some of our large organisations, public and private, Sir John Tusa, former Head of the BBC World Service and London's Barbican Centre, takes an objective look at the state of leadership in large UK organisations today.

In this opening episode, John explores two kinds of gap between leaders and those they lead.

There is the unavoidable separation between the staff, and the chief who can ask them to leave the organisation. But there is also the separation which comes from regarding leaders as a breed apart.

John Timpson CBE, chair of the high street chain Timpson's, tells him how, decades ago, this was expressed through named parking spaces and separate toilets for company directors - and how he has done away with such stifling status symbols.

And John hears from a range of leaders whose approach is much more open and egalitarian.

Sir Hugh Orde, for instance, surprises John by saying that when he was the Chief Constable of the Police Service of Northern Ireland, he took the view that the most critical level in the organisation was the sergeants and inspectors.

And ex-Chief Executive of NHS England, Sir David Nicholson, declares that the age of the heroic leader in the NHS is over, if it ever existed.

From Marks and Spencer to Newcastle City Council, John discovers that there is often a hard edge underpinning a genuine move towards a more co-operative approach to leadership.

And John addresses another, more difficult, gap between leader and led: pay.

He discovers how, with public sector leaders' pay now a prominent issue, some organisations, from the NHS to Manchester University, are seeing leaders' pay held static or lowered. And he puts this to the Director-General of the BBC, Tony Hall.

With:

Lucy Armstrong (The Alchemists)

Lord (Tony) Hall (Director-General, BBC)

Margaret Hodge MP (Chair, Public Accounts Committee)

Sir David Nicholson (ex-Chief Executive, NHS England)

Jeffrey Nielsen (author, The Myth of Leadership)

Jesse Norman MP (Treasury Select Committee)

Sir Hugh Orde (President, ACPO; former Chief Constable of Northern Ireland)

Pat Ritchie (Chief Executive, Newcastle City Council)

Sir Stuart Rose (ex-CEO, Marks and Spencer)

Dame Nancy Rothwell (Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester)

John Timpson CBE (Chair and ex-CEO of Timpsons)

PRODUCER: Phil Tinline.

0220140718

In the light of recent problems of leadership in many of our large organisations, public and private, Sir John Tusa, former Head of the BBC World Service and London's Barbican Centre, takes an objective look at the state of leadership in large UK organisations today.

He talks to a range of leaders, from one who employs 3000 people to one who employed 1.3 million. He asks how dispersed leadership can really be and when it needs to be focussed in one individual. He explores the difficulties of leading organisations that are enormously complex - often with blurred lines of accountability. And he probes the gaps - in pay, culture and values - that can emerge between leaders and led.

Along the way he watches a charismatic lecture in leadership at London Business School, and hears from some of its recipients. He goes with John Timpson CBE to pay surprise visits on the staff of some of his many shops. And he visits a fast-growing young company to find out how they took on specialist leaders to join the founders, and how that has changed the company's culture.

With:

Lucy Armstrong (The Alchemists)

Lord (Tony) Hall (Director-General, BBC)

Margaret Hodge MP (Chair, Public Accounts Committee)

Sir Andrew Likierman (Dean, London Business School)

Tarek Nseir (CEO, TH_NK)

Sir David Nicholson (ex-Chief Executive, NHS England)

Jesse Norman MP (Treasury Select Committee)

Sir Hugh Orde (President, ACPO; former Chief Constable of Northern Ireland)

Pat Ritchie (Chief Executive, Newcastle City Council)

Sir Stuart Rose (ex-CEO, Marks and Spencer)

Dame Nancy Rothwell (Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester)

Sir Martin Sorrell (Chief Executive of WPP)

John Timpson CBE (Chair and ex-CEO of Timpsons)

PRODUCER: Phil Tinline.

03 LAST20140725

03 LAST20140725

Sir John Tusa explores the state of leadership of large organizations in Britain today.

In the final edition of the series, he explores concerted attempts to close the gaps that often appear around leaders.

He visits London Business School to watch a charismatic lecturer exhorting senior executives to be creative and break from the conformism of hierarchical organizations.

He explores the merits of bringing business dynamism into the public sector - and the rival idea of promoting professional specialists in universities and the NHS into leadership roles.

He spends a morning with John Timpson, Chair and former CEO of Timpson's, the high street shoe and watch repair chain, to find out what he means by 'Upside Down Management' - his distinctive approach to leading his thousands of staff.

He explores how that works in practice for the staff - and why Timpson objects to terms like 'Head of Human Relations' and 'Head Office'.

And he hears from Professor Jeffrey Nielsen, a former leadership consultant who now lambasts the 'myth' of leadership and argues instead for a peer-based approach.

So, John asks, is it possible - or desirable - to have a leaderless organization?

With:

Lucy Armstrong (The Alchemists)

Lord (Tony) Hall (Director-General, BBC)

Margaret Hodge MP (Chair, Public Accounts Committee)

Sir Andrew Likierman (Dean, London Business School)

Tarek Nseir (CEO, TH_NK)

Sir David Nicholson (ex-Chief Executive, NHS England)

Jesse Norman MP (Treasury Select Committee)

Sir Hugh Orde (President, ACPO; former Chief Constable of Northern Ireland)

Pat Ritchie (Chief Executive, Newcastle City Council)

Sir Stuart Rose (ex-CEO, Marks and Spencer)

Dame Nancy Rothwell (Vice-Chancellor, University of Manchester)

Sir Martin Sorrell (Chief Executive of WPP)

John Timpson CBE (Chair and ex-CEO of Timpsons)

PRODUCER: Phil Tinline.