e-Master Class: Leadership - How to Lead High-Performance Teams through Digital Change and Crisis

This e-Master Class will be held from 7-11 June 2021 from 10:00-12:00 each day. It will be live on Zoom, and active participation is required. 

We are going through bumpy times and digital change is challenging our public service media to the extreme. The COVID-19 crisis turns good habits upside down and forces even deeper change. A fast-evolving environment requires strict transformation of the culture within organizations. Equally, we need to maintain cohesion and foster high performance in our teams. 

The answer to this riddle is good leadership. Leadership is the most significant internal driver to achieve digital transformation. And the most significant task leaders face today is changing the culture of their organizations.

In an insecure environment it is critical for success to create a platform of trust where teams can thrive. As a recent McKinsey survey put it: “When employees feel comfortable asking for help, sharing suggestions informally, or challenging the status quo without fear of negative social consequences, organizations are more likely to innovate quickly, unlock the benefits of diversity, and adapt well to change – all capabilities that have only grown in importance during the COVID-19 crisis.”

In this e-Master Class we will work on a handful of skills which will make you rethink and reshape your leadership behaviour to live up to today’s imperatives. We will explore the unique force of wisely assigned roles, shared responsibilities, trust and responsibly used freedom. 

It is quite astonishing what you can achieve by using just a few concepts and tools consciously and systematically – they seem like ‘magic skills’. In truth, of course, they are not magic, but rather they are based on the knowledge of human behaviour in the context of organizations. If you are aware of recurring patterns of collaboration, behaviour of people in organizations becomes highly predictable. Understanding the needs of your team creates a secure base for your team members and will result in high performance and success.

Faculty member Jan Metzger will collect the insights of top professionals from the media industry and connect them to a practical framework of leadership skills. The e-Master Class will require the active involvement of the participants to share thoughts, clear any doubts and nail down take-aways for the future.

What you will learn:

  •  Insight into leadership skills based on evidence, effectiveness and success.
  •  First-hand practical experience of distinguished leaders in our media industry.
  • A pick of ‘quick tools’ to make your leadership life easier.
  • Assisted self-reflection on your own leadership mindset including the elaboration of a personal action plan for the upcoming months. 
  • Coaching on your personal action plan if required.


Monday 7 June 2021

Skill 1: The crucial role of 'roles'

The guest contributor will be Brigitta Nickelsen, directorate for Corporate Development and Operations, Radio Bremen, ARD. Brigitta will talk about her leadership principles, on her practice and take-aways from the crisis focusing on a good management of roles.

The proper and flexible management of roles is a necessary ability in every organization. In particular for leaders, it is a key skill. Not only do they have to manage their own roles in the context of the hierarchy of their organization, but they also have to assign, shape, oversee and manage the roles of their team members. Therefore, they need a full understanding of the crucial role of ‘roles’. 

Tuesday 8 June 2021

Skill 2: Responsibility always equals 100 percent

Responsibility is a complex and dynamic balance of influence and power in an organization. It is comparted between different players in different roles on all hierarchical levels. And it always sums up to 100%. Leaders should have a good understanding of the principles of responsibility. One reason is the performance of their own role. The other is the performance of their team - bad management of responsibilities (i.e., by petty management) will make it weak instead of strong.

During that session, we will explore a handy set of management tools:

  • The “Eisenhower Window”: Figuring out your priorities
  • The change curve: Typical patterns of change processes
  • The Grief circle: Understanding the significance of grief and resistance
  • From “problem” to “solution”: Some simple interventions to move your team on.

Wednesday 9 June 2021

Skill 3: The economics of trust

The guest contributor will be Francesca Unsworth, Director of News & Current Affairs for BBC News. Fran oversees the BBC’s News and Current Affairs programming. She will talk about her leadership principles, her practice and take-aways from the crisis focusing on the issues of trust applied to a huge team working on a big number of different news programs.

Traditional organizations work on control and a vertical principal of assignment of tasks (top-down) and reporting of results (bottom-up). Everything has to be controlled. This is based on the military principal based of order and obedience. But does this yield the best results? There are many reasons to believe that there is a leadership resource much more efficient than the ability to control, and this is the ability to trust. Actually, this is the most powerful resource a leader has at hand.

Thursday 10 June 2021

Skill 4: There is no leadership without bonding

The guest contributor will be Tinatin Berdzenishvili, Georgian Public Broadcaster. Tinatin is Director General of Georgian Public Broadcaster. She recently ascended to this position. Tinatin will talk about the way she leads her teams by bonding and inspiring team members in order to achieve high-performance.

Bonding is a concept coming from development psychology (‘Attachment Theory’ by John Bowlby), which has been adapted into management theory. In terms of organization, it basically says that you can only lead those with whom you have a bond. The lack of bonding is a common problem in organizations and often leads to passive behaviour, bad performance and conflicts. Bonds are not stable and have to be renewed regularly. To manage your bonding with your team, your peers and your superiors is a key leadership skill and a very powerful instrument of leadership.

Friday 11 June 2021

Skill 5: The concept of 'contracts'

A contract – a written or spoken agreement between two willing parties – in the daily work of a leader can be so much more than just a written work contract: Negotiating agreements on roles, responsibilities, targets and specific tasks is an indispensable instrument of daily leadership work. In that sense contracts are a complex and dynamic system meant to steer and manage an organization. Leaders who are aware that they are in effect continuously negotiating and closing petty contracts with their team, peers and superiors, for example on roles and responsibilities, enhance their effectiveness by clear cut and transparent behaviour.


Assignment: Determine your action plan for the next three months: One leadership skill you will apply in a specific situation. Give a detailed description.         

Faculty member


Business Innovation Strategy


07 - 11 Jun 2021


Registration Deadline

04 Jun 2021

Registration details

Fee: €350

Working languages


Contact detail

Nathalie Labourdette
Head of EBU Academy
+41 22 717 21 46