“They’re Humans Not Robots……..”
Not my words……the words come from the Director of News at the ABC Gaven Morris, who was explaining that freelance Newsreader Natasha Exelby had not been taken off the air for a moment where things became real; and we all witnessed that even the most experienced professionals have a real human side.
This was in the context of a report (Herald Sun April 2017) that Exelby had already been told by another Senior Executive Michael Reid that she would no longer to play any further newsreading roles with the ABC (surely this doesn’t happen at senior levels in organisations – spur of the moment self serving protectionist actions).
The very people who expected Natasha to act like a “Newsreading Robot” and when she demonstrated a little more of a “Human” via what was an hilarious moment in TV time, took action that has been widely criticised in media circles and more broadly in the general community.
Then came the “flip-flopping” that occurred at the Senior Executive level at the Australia Broadcasting Corporation (again about protecting self) after the public backlash over what was an incredibly Human demonstration by an experienced journalist.
Was Natasha sacked? Surely not? What did you say to her Michael? What do we do now to recover? How can we save face here? I’m certain of one thing – the HR and PR machines at the ABC would have been working overtime to concoct a story here.
Let’s just say she’s a freelancer and will be subject to changes in rostering…….yeah that worked a treat!!
In effect let’s change our story in order to protect ourselves from what has now become bigger news on the way we have treated another human being.
This Flip-flopping by a senior executive at an organisation that has this as one of their core values:
We treat our audiences and each other with consideration and dignity.
So where was the consideration and dignity here Gaven and Michael for Natasha in a moment in time where she was just being human?
You see Natasha Exelby had been freelancing for ABC News for the past 4 months averaging 4 shifts per week and all of a sudden this ended after Natasha displayed to everyone what it is to be Human:
- Be a little imperfect in a moment in time.
- Display a level of vulnerability and show that at time even the most seasoned professional can make a mistake.
- Recover beautifully “in the moment” move on without making a fuss over what happened and still anchor the show for the next few hours.
So why the response from the ABC Executives?
Was it that Natasha simply just didn’t fit in anymore?
Was it that the ABC really wanted Robots and not Humans reading the News?
Was it that Gaven and Michael in a fleeting moment in time gave more consideration to serving themselves and were concerned about the possible implications to them than to rally around Natasha?
Maybe it was all of this.
Maybe it’s OK to Be Human in the Workplace………and maybe it’s time for the Gaven’s and Michael’s of the World to realise this or find a role where they don’t have to deal with Humans.
I hope that Gaven and Michael are both appreciative of the “gift” I have sent them this week and take time to read a copy of my new book BEING HUMAN – Why Robots Are Not The Answer to Business Success. Please pay attention to the 1st Step in the process of Rewiring your Management Style – move from WALK THE PLANK to CREATE A SAFETY NET.
Bravo Natasha Exelby for Being Human – we need more like you in the Workplace.
Mark LeBusque is the Human Manager. He has a track record in helping clients add more Human to their businesses and drive up Employee Engagement, Customer Experience and Business Results; and his 7 Step approach is based on his own experimentation as a Manager.
Mark’s first book BEING HUMAN – Why Robots are not the Answer to Business Success was launched in February 2017.