Ruth was part of the team at the BBC which led 6,000 staff to the new Broadcasting House in London W1 in 2013. As a training manager, she plotted plans for 27,000 training days over 15 months for staff learning new technology and ways of working. She managed inductions for more than 15,000 people, delivering many sessions herself and she drew together plans for senior leadership training around working collaboratively in an open plan space.
While working on this project, Ruth studied at Birkbeck for an MSc, including a dissertation on collaboration in BBC news. This produced some interesting findings that collaboration was initiated by individual reporters and producers, as they sought career progression, wanted to learn more about other departments and found greater satisfaction at work.
Collaboration happened because of the move into an open plan building, as staff met new contacts more easily. It happened by desire as departmental structures were changed and senior leaders spoke frequently about the goal of collaboration. When it failed, one of the main reasons was lack of communication.
Communication is at the heart of collaboration and the role of internal comms was crucial in rolling out new behaviours and structures. Ruth worked within internal comms on the W1 project, with special events, meetings to introduce staff to one another, website information and ensuring all departments shared information on broad goals and developments.