(Images: AAP/David Mariuz)

Culture, someone once said early this century, eats strategy for breakfast. Could have been -- maybe should have been -- someone at the ABC. In that 90-year institution, organisational culture is deep-rooted. It mutates and evolves slowly. While it drives creative excellence, it’s bitten large chunks out of plenty of management strategies for change along the way. 

The way this culture has been absorbed and understood over generations drives a division among ABC staff between a constituency of change and a constituency of resistance, both equally confident that they speak for the institution’s key values. It’s a fissure that runs between and within divisions and programs, separates friends and confounds management. It’s a fight embraced by the keenest of ABC friends and supporters.

The result? Any change, any dispute over content, risks becoming highly charged, quickly morphing to the existential.