ITV News – instilling new corporate values and behaviours through Forum Theatre

ITV grew through the mergers of previously competing broadcast companies and the Group found that integrating different corporate cultures and ways of working was not easy. The company decided that it needed to develop and disseminate new corporate values and behaviours to which everyone would sign up. One particular division of the company, News, was conscious that journalists and producers can be quite cynical, so Emma Clifford, the Learning and Development Manager decided to take a radical approach to broadcasting the new values. She commissioned Ci: Creative Intelligence to develop a Forum Theatre workshop that would explore where the values were not being lived in the News division and how the staff could do something to change the situation.

Key objectives

Tim Stockil, Director of Ci: Creative Intelligence, researched what happened in the Newsrooms and the situations that gave rise to poor behaviour. He then wrote a short play that showed these situations.

The play was performed to groups of the News Staff by professional actors; at the end of each scene, Tim Stockil stopped the action and asked the audience to comment on the characters portrayed and suggest alternative behaviours for them. The actors then played the scenes again, often many times, until the audience was happy that the behaviours were acceptable.
The behaviours in each scene were linked to the new corporate values so that staff could see how closely the two were linked.
23 workshops took place around the country and over 1000 staff members took part.
The new values are now integrated into recruitment and performance reviews and are regularly quoted by staff.
Another department within the company also used Forum Theatre to broadcast the values (though the play was different, of course)

Focus groups
1:1 interviews

Key Benefits
As you can see from the short video on this website, staff engaged completely with the play; they recognised themselves and their colleagues and saw how poor behaviour could be destructive unless it was dealt with effectively. The values are now known and widely understood – they have become integrated into the culture of the News division. And the training process was entirely appropriate for such a company.

“The process was well-thought out and implemented – the way it was presented was funny and thought-provoking and the character-types were easily identifiable.” “The acting was hilarious and very inclusive. Everyone talked about stuff together – the Forum Theatre approach was very engaging.” “It did change people’s behaviour, undoubtedly. Now the values are part of the Newsroom DNA.”