On 21st September PwC North West held its annual regional dinner at The Principal Hotel in Manchester where guests from businesses and organisations from across the North West attended.
Iwan Griffith’s PwC’s North West Regional Chairman greeted attendees and thanked them for their attendance, stressing how important such evenings are to everyone present and at the same time stated how delighted he was to partner the dinner with Odgers Berndtson and Richard Love and his team.
Iwan referred to the fact that Odgers Berndtson share many common values one of which is the fact that Odgers Berndtson and PwC were both committed to the North West region and to helping the region grow, citing the fact that Richard and his team do a lot of work across the region to make sure that the talent needed within many of the businesses and organisations present was available to the leadership that this region needs.
Iwan concluded by stating that both PwC and Odgers Berndston were keen to invest in the region and with evenings like this we were able to bring together business leaders, government leaders and organisations in the North West together to help form that community which sets us apart from other regions and also helps our region to flourish and grow.
The guest speaker for the evening, introduced by Richard Love from Odgers Berndtson, was Alice Webb the Director of BBC North and Head of BBC Children’s.
In her role at the BBC Alice is responsible for everything the BBC does across the North of England as well as looking after the BBC’s children’s services Cbeebies, CBBC as well as anything the BBC does for under 16’s right across the country.
Alice talked briefly about the BBC’s move to the Media City describing it as a huge undertaking, the biggest move in broadcasting history reminding the audience that the BBC had moved some of its most high profile brands BBC Sport, Radio 5 Live, Cbeebies, CBBC, BBC Breakfast – broadcasting three hours of live news from the North West every single day of the week. The learning and department is also based in Media City and the BBC’s Northern headquarters with over 3000 staff.
Alice’s theme for the evening was ‘Leading an organisation in a world of digital disruption’ and the ‘Art of staying focussed and purposeful in a world of unlimited digital possibilities’.
Putting the theme in context Alice confirmed that located at Media City are six of the BBC’s 10 online products, confirming that, “every time you use the iPlayer, every time you use the BBC’s home page, every time your children use the iPlayer Kids or the story time app you are using products designed created and run at Media City.”
Alice talked about the digital revolution and what this has meant for broadcasting and the media in general. Drawing parallels between what this has meant for her world and to those in the room, how it had changed the way they produce content today – removing constraints, taken away boundaries – and had created no limits.
She also talked about how the BBC has had to respond to challenges from new media giants such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.
Alice also highlighted that whilst digital is changing our world there is much that is not changing which in a fast changing digital world is just as much of a challenge.
Alice acknowledged the huge impact digital had made to their business model and the change in customer behaviours. But at the same time it was important to not stop doing what they have always done simply to start doing new things and that the BBC has an important public purpose arguably at a time when the public needs the BBC more than ever.
Referring to the fact that these are the same challenges that many of the guests also face. Alice highlighted that the digital revolution shows no sign of slowing down and not only is it re-writing the rules of our businesses but it’s also re-writing the way we do business, the way we work and the rules of engagement for us and our staff.
In conclusion Alice suggested there was a clear need to liberate ourselves and go back to the drawing board, to go back to the fundamentals not to start at what we do today but start from what is our purpose for today, what our real purpose is and from there how will we achieve this in a digital world.
Iwan Griffiths PwC's North West Regional Chairman welcomes guests
Richard Love from Odgers Berndtson introduces the guest speaker Alice Webb from the BBC
Guest speaker Alice Webb Director of BBC North and BBC Children's
Iwan Griffiths and Alice Webb host an after dinner Q&A session