Most people know the British Academy of Film and Television Arts for its annual film awards, a weather vane for the Oscars. But what are BAFTA's purpose, values and future in a world where video games are as popular as films and TV? Over its 60 years, the Academy had never paused to take stock. But trust and credibility were at risk, following expansion into new sectors.
An oversized governing body and outdated structures and processes for making decisions only heightened frustration. The academy was struggling to attract key members into advisory roles, with their complex and onerous responsibilities.BAFTA needed a trusted adviser. It handed the role to Deloitte, which set about reviewing the academy's strategy, legal structure and governance.
The project ran for a year, led jointly by the head of Deloitte's technology, media and telecoms practice and the head of its not-for-profit practice. An open questionnaire sent to BAFTA's 5,000 members elicited an impressive 50% response. Deloitte held workshops and one-to-one interviews with the board and management team to stimulate a debate and gather views on the options available.
In developing its recommendations, the project team was also able to draw on Deloitte's high-level contacts within the film, TV and video games sectors for valuable additional perspectives.
BAFTA achieved a broad consensus on strategy, which included elevating video games as a third pillar, alongside film and TV, while wrapping interactive awards into other sectors. The strategy offered a framework for pursuing commercial goals and public profile without hurting credibility.
The team recommended an improved legal structure to minimise tax and position BAFTA as an organisation that exists for the public good. Deloitte drew its detailed understanding of not-for-profit organisations and experience with other charities to make the link between BAFTA's commercial pursuits and charitable purpose. Finally, Deloitte suggested amending governance structures to improve decision-making and clarify responsibilities between board and management.
'The Deloitte team were exemplary analysts and strategists,' says BAFTA deputy chairman Duncan Kenworthy. 'They never once uttered the words: "That's not part of our remit".'
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Deloitte helped give BAFTA new focus as a not-for-profit organisation by recommending structural changes that will allow it to pursue commercial goals without risking its credibility.
- Build consensus from the outset.
- Articulate thinking to get buy-in from a highly informed audience.
- Use communication and people skills to win hearts and minds.
- Seek external opinion for valuable additional perspectives.
- Allow individuals a voice in how changes are made.
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