[Pounds Sterling]4m BBC Brainstorm; Dyke Sends His Top Television Executives on a Leadership Course to Teach Them How to Be Better Managers

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Byline: JESSICA HODGSON

BBC CHIEF Greg Dyke is to spend up to [pounds sterling]4 million of licence fee money sending his top executives on leadership courses as part of a project he has named The Big Brainstorm.

Mr Dyke, who pledged to put programmes first and spend less time and money on management bureaucracy when he took over the BBC three years ago, has chosen a business school that offers "action learning", "appreciative inquiry" and theatre-based workshops.

He now faces criticism similar to that attracted by his predecessor, former BBC director general Lord Birt, whose confusing management jargon spawned the phrase "Birtspeak".

Mr Dyke plans to send executives such as Alan Yentob, the new face of BBC arts and ICA chair, BBC1 controller Lorraine Heggessey and her BBC2 counterpart Jane Root, and up to 300 other managers, on the courses at Ashridge business school.

The BBC has bought time at Ashridge, a country estate set in 150 acres surrounded by National Trust woodland near Berkhamsted, Herts, for the next five years.

The Big Brainstorm is launched at the same time as another Dyke innovation, The Big Conversation, which was billed by the BBC's in-house magazine, Ariel, as "the largest and most interactive meeting of BBC people".

As part of his continuing efforts to make his staff happier and more productive, Mr Dyke also plans to address all 23,000 of them over an electronic internal television service. …