Case Study — Channel 4

Case study

2 min read

“There’s now more room on the agenda for the strategic issues we should focus on.”

~ Paula Carter, Director of Planning

The Challenge

Board Intelligence were challenged to develop an integrated reporting model for Channel 4 that would enable the board to assess whether the company was fulfilling its statutory remit, as well as how it was performing across all aspects of its operations. ‘Future-proofing’ the board pack was important for Channel 4, to give the board consistent insight into industry trends and dynamics.

The Solution

The unique nature of Channel 4’s statutory remit made it clear early in the project that a bespoke approach was going to be needed. These obligations the remit places on Channel 4 are key determinants of the company’s future strategy and decisions, so it was important that reporting on them was integrated with the usual management information that the board expected to receive on the company’s performance.

The first challenge was to ensure the board had the information it needed to assess whether it was meeting its remit. Working closely with the board, management and secretariat, we looked at the relevant legislation and at guidance produced by the regulator (OFCOM), and developed metrics that could be used for two purposes: forward planning, and for demonstrating that the remit was being met.

Once these metrics and indicators had been agreed, we used them as the basis for a dashboard summarising the key data from across the strategic, operational and financial reports, to help the board to determine which areas to focus on in their discussion, and to provide a high-level snapshot of the overall health of the organisation. We also developed a new reporting template called the ‘Creative Report’ which gave the board oversight into the creative performance and planning.

Finally, to ensure the new reporting framework was implemented effectively, we delivered training to regular report writers across the organisation.

“The principle that we really found helpful, working with Board Intelligence, was the laser-like focus on what the board should be talking about.”

~ Paula Carter, Director of Planning

The Outcome

A bespoke and fully integrated board pack covering Channel 4’s public interest duties as well as creative, strategic, operational and financial matters.

A quality set of data — including new, more relevant metrics — that provides the board with the information it needs to take decisions.

The clarity and consistency of the pack has created more discussion time in board meetings, and freed up management time as well.

“The catalyst of saying ‘what is the data we need to support both our performance and our strategy’ leads to a very robust debate… and ultimately you get a much better quality of discussion and decision as a board.”

~ Charles Gurassa, Chairman

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