Julia Whitney

Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant


Culture, culture, culture: tales from BBC UX&D

Mon 24 October 16

An inspiring mission, talented designers, human centred processes, and a brilliant brand. BBC UX&D has all of these. So what more could you need to sustain a user experience and design group? One of the most important roles a design leader plays in a large organisation is to read and shape culture, both within the design group, and in collaboration with other groups. Julia Whitney shares some of the challenges faced by UX&D at the BBC, and how viewing those challenges through the lens of various theoretical models of culture can suggest solutions. Julia draws from the work of Edgar Schein, Patrick Lencioni, Barry Oshry, and others; recounts what experiments she and her colleagues tried, and what happened next.

Slides for Julia’s presentation.

About Julia Whitney

Julia Whitney is an executive coach and leadership consultant. She helps individuals and teams in the creative industries iterate to leadership excellence, increasing their self-awareness, constructive behaviour, confidence, and resourcefulness along the way. Her practice, Leading by Design, marries design process with leadership theory, coaching and creative facilitation.

Julia brings her own experience as a senior design leader to the work that she does with executives and their teams. She has led design teams at the intersection of broadcast media and digital for 20 years, in both the U.S. and the UK, most recently as Executive Creative Director for the BBC, and General Manager of BBC UX&D from 2011 to 2016. In addition to leading the department responsible for designing apps and websites for BBC News, BBC Sport, BBC Weather, iPlayer, iPlayer Radio, CBeebies, and CBBC, highlights in this period include transforming the culture of the 150-strong User Experience and Design department, turning it’s top leadership from a collection of individuals into a high performing team, and building UX capability into the development of the BBC’s enterprise and production systems.

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