W1A - Laughing at the BBC

The latest BBC mock documentary or mockumentary (perhaps we should call it a bbc doc.com) is a savage portrait of an organisation gone wrong – badly managed and wedded to management-speak, wasting licence payers’ money and full of self-important, self-serving, overpaid functionaries.

The BBC’s bravery, some might say, in showing the new comedy series “W1A”, in reality, only goes to show that it sees nothing wrong in the absurd way it is structured and goes about doing things.

As newspaper reports indicate, the BBC is now beyond parody. Even when it is showing a series like this, it is still having committee meetings about redesigning floors (only recently refurbished at vast expense) to decide on giving the sixth and seventh floors new “TV branding, images and props” because “they did not feel like creative spaces” and need a more “vibrant” feel

I do urge anyone who has not seen this, to start watching and squirm as you recognise what is happening not only in the BBC, but also wider afield in corporations large and small.

And I squirmed particularly at a brilliant cameo of a training/induction session that captured accurately the type of nonsense that is perpetrated in the name of training up and down the land. I was told recently about a session at a publishing company that focussed on bringing ‘fizz, pop and bang’ to the organisation!!!

(Needless to say, it is a million miles away from the level-headed courses run by Falconbury!)

What can we do? At a local level, people should challenge their HR people if they think they are infected by the jargon of trendy trainers and point out that training can be better than this. We know it can and prove it every day.

Published on Mar 27, 2014 by Neil Thomas