Topic: Making Vision Reality - the Hard Graft of Getting Sh!t Done!
Our final Leadership Masterclass is a conversation with two leaders with very different leadership styles: Alice Webb, CEO, Universal's Eagle Rock Entertainment & former Director, BBC Children’s and Education and Nick Walkley, Chief Executive, Homes England & former Chief Executive, Haringey Council.
Alice and Nick will share experiences of transforming ideas into reality - how they have inspired and galvanised their teams to action and how they kept the vision at the centre of it all. In this interactive and conversation-based session they will share first-hand their lessons learned, top tips, dive into areas of particular interest, and ensure no questions go unanswered.
This is a unique opportunity to share the challenges we are facing in our different organisations and gain insights from two highly accomplished and thoughtful leaders.
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Alice Webb, CEO, Universal’s Eagle Rock Ent. & former Director, BBC Children’s and Education
Alice was due to the leave the BBC to join Eagle Rock Ent. in February this year. Instead she was asked to stay on to drive and launch the biggest education drive in the BBC's history - the new Bitesize content designed to support schools, families and schools during home learning. Alice and her team developed and delivered Bitesize Daily - six different 20-minute shows, each targeted at specific age groups from five to 14, covering maths, science and English, as well as subjects including history and geography - and more than 150 new lessons are added every week to the Bitesize website and app. BBC director general Tony Hall describes it as "the biggest education effort the BBC has ever undertaken". They met their deadline and launched on Monday 20th April when the new school term began.
Alice was responsible for the UK's two most popular networks for the BBC’s youngest audiences, CBeebies and CBBC, along with their associated websites, YouTube channels, apps, and radio stations. In 2016, she launched the BBC's Big Digital Plan for Children, outlining how the corporation will keep pace with the rapidly changing way in which children consume content. This was followed by the launch of a dedicated children's iPlayer app in 2016 and the largest new investment in content for children for a generation in 2017 – £34m over three years. In May 2019, Alice took charge of BBC Education, creating a new department and bringing together the BBC’s offer for children and young audiences. Education is a third of the BBC’s mission, and BBC Education brings that to life through work across the organisation, and the educational brands BBC Bitesize and BBC Teach.
From 2011 to 2014, Alice was Chief Operating Officer for BBC North and successfully orchestrated the biggest BBC move outside of London when key BBC departments including Sport, BBC Children's, 5 live and BBC Learning moved to Salford. Around 35,000 hours of output a year across TV, Radio and the Red Button are now made in the North, with 3,000 staff based at MediaCityUK. Alice was also Director, BBC North from May 2016 – May 2019 before the role was retired.
Alice joined Universal's Eagle Rock Entertainment as CEO at the beginning of May 2020.
Nick Walkley, Chief Executive, Homes England & former Chief Executive, Haringey Council
Nick is widely seen as one of the country’s leading public sector innovators and change makers. He has been at the helm of two of the country’s most diverse and challenging local authorities – Haringey and Barnet Councils – before joining Homes England. In 2018, the government committed to delivering 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s and help more people get on the housing ladder. Homes England is at the heart of these plans.
In early 2017 Nick took up a new role as Chief Executive of the Homes and Communities Agency, now Homes England as the new five-year plan to “disrupt the housing market” and deliver more affordable homes across the UK with a primary focus on serving households with lower than average incomes and in areas where they are needed most.
As Chief Executive of Haringey Council, at the coalface of austerity cuts and with the legacy of Baby P and Victoria Climbie, Nick was at the centre of a hugely ambitious turnaround - in 2009 the Audit Commission had placed Haringey's performance in the bottom four in the country and Ofsted had placed the schools in the bottom nine in the country for children's services. The council was at the coalface of austerity cuts which had to be made whilst still delivering a regeneration and service agenda. Nick led change against a backdrop of a highly politicised environment and an era of rising social inequality.