‘Everything was Illuminated’ — How NBCUniversal’s Culture of Collaboration and Innovation Skyrockets Individual Growth

Explore the unique paths of three professionals thriving at NBCUniversal, revealing the company’s commitment to growth and innovation.

Written by Brigid Hogan
Published on May. 02, 2024
‘Everything was Illuminated’ — How NBCUniversal’s Culture of Collaboration and Innovation Skyrockets Individual Growth
Image: NBCUniversal
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“We’re building a global streaming platform, with different apps around the world — not just Peacock,” said Kate Radway as she sat in NBCUniversal’s sunny Lisbon office, a hub for one of the company’s tech teams.

For the NYC-based VP of product, engagement experience at Peacock, working alongside international teams in Australia, the United Kingdom and Portugal is an everyday part of her work. In the two years since joining the company, she’s become well acquainted with the Lisbon office.

“I appreciate the opportunity to build relationships and have those face-to-face conversations,” she said. “Leadership here sees this as a critical aspect of building culture. To me, that’s a huge investment in making sure that you’re able to create strong connections that will lead to great work and sustaining a job that people want to show up to each day.”

When Radway joined Peacock in a directorial role, the promise of autonomy and transparency paved the way for her to make meaningful contributions and find room for professional growth.

“At previous jobs, my experience was like being in a dark warehouse where I only have a flashlight to see a little bit of what’s in front of me, but I couldn’t see the whole or how my contribution ladders to the whole,” Radway explained. “I found that at Peacock, everything was illuminated in a refreshing and reassuring way. It immediately felt like a place I wanted to be long term.”
 

“I found that at Peacock, everything was illuminated in a refreshing and reassuring way. It immediately felt like a place I wanted to be long term.”

 

As Radway dug into the intellectual challenges offered by her role in content discovery, she found leaders gave her room to explore her own leadership style and the strategy her team would take moving forward.

“That trust has been a great asset in my journey so far at Peacock and has led me to have a strong connection to NBCUniversal,” she said. “Finding how I can offer that to people on my team — how I can give them autonomy and space so they can grow — while being supported throughout the organization creates unexpected opportunities for everyone.”

Radway’s opportunities soon included moving into senior director and vice president roles with the encouragement of NBCUniversal’s leadership and the support of the company’s robust professional development programs.

 

NBCUniversal team members walk through office hallway lined with artwork promoting the brand’s TV series. 
NBCUniversal

 

 

NBCUniversal’s investment in employee development includes initiatives such as Talent Labs and Core Labs, which provide avenues for continuous learning and skill enhancement, along with programs like Pivot, which offers mentorship and guidance for aspiring VPs.

In both her own experience and in reflecting on moves across her team, Radway underscored the company’s meritocratic approach to growth, where opportunities for advancement are not restricted by past roles but are instead defined by potential and drive.

 

Read MoreHow 4 Women in Tech Found Room to Grow at NBCUniversal | Built In 

 

For Audrey Morris — who works as senior data analyst of advanced content and strategic analytics, decision sciences — NBCUniversal’s commitment to fostering talent has taken her from the company’s rotational page program through five years of growth at Peacock.

Despite initially shying away from data and numbers, Morris found herself drawn to the analytical aspect of her first role within the growth marketing team, particularly the focus on data-informed decision-making. As Peacock experienced significant growth and organizational changes, Morris’ role evolved, leading her to collaborate increasingly with the decision sciences team.

Throughout her journey, Morris’ manager played a pivotal role in guiding her career development, constantly helping her identify new opportunities and encouraging her to take on stretch assignments. With her manager’s support and mentorship, Morris explored different areas within decision sciences, eventually finding her passion in content analytics.

“Since my first day at Peacock, I’ve been so lucky to work with leaders who have asked me what I wanted and where I wanted my career to go — even when it may have been easier to leave me where I was or to stick me where I was most needed,” she said. “When I joined my current team, I didn’t have the typical skill set for a data analyst, but my manager and my new teammates valued what I brought to the table, met me where I was and guided me through what felt like a huge career shift.”
 

“Leaders have asked me what I wanted and where I wanted my career to go — even when it may have been easier to leave me where I was or stick me where I was most needed.” 

 

NBCUniversal’s structured career development tools like career ladders help employees like Morris understand their career paths and acquire the skills necessary to advance. Together with transparency, open communication and collaboration, these tools create room to explore and grow.

Morris emphasized the excitement and innovation embedded within NBCUniversal’s culture, particularly within the Peacock team during a high-growth phase. The company celebrates achievements collectively, fostering a sense of unity and pride among employees.

“I love the cross-team and cross-level collaboration that happens every day at Peacock,” Morris said. “I not only feel supported on my team but valued, trusted and encouraged to take ownership — and the people-first culture makes me excited to come to work every day.”

 

NBCUniversal team members in a meeting sitting on couches and lounge chairs, with MSNBC channel on a TV on the wall. 
NBCUniversal

 

The people-first culture is shared across the organization at NBCUniversal, according to Abhinav Gupta, SVP of enterprise product, finance and source to pay.

As part of the operations and technology organization within NBCUniversal, Gupta witnesses and values that same ethos of innovation, growth and collaboration that Radway and Morris see daily at Peacock.

 His own trajectory at NBCUniversal is evidence, as well. 

When he first joined, Gupta was drawn to the opportunity to lead a business transformation initiative within the company. The swift response from NBCUniversal’s executive search team underscored the company’s eagerness to welcome talent eager to contribute to its ambitious goals.

Starting as the vice president of SAP services and operations, he progressed to his current role, overseeing critical technologies and platforms supporting finance and source-to-pay workflows.

“I have been with NBCUniversal for over two and a half years now, and my journey has been nothing short of amazing,” Gupta said. “I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished over the past few years. We are well on our way to modernizing NBCUniversal’s key technology platforms and driving further business value for the company.”

He explained that collaboration is a cornerstone of NBCUniversal’s culture, enabling cross-functional partnerships that drive success. The alignment and partnership across teams have been instrumental in the success of the initiatives he has led.

“The culture of collaboration here is unparalleled,” Gupta said. “One example of this spirit of innovation, collaboration and support is our recent success with kicking off our broader finance transformation initiative, which required strong partnership and alignment across finance and operations and technology stakeholders. With this success, we have charted out an extremely exciting transformation roadmap, and I am looking forward to continuing our partnership and leading the company through this initiative.”
 

“The culture of collaboration here is unparalleled.”

 

Gupta also emphasized the importance of ownership, echoing one of NBCUniversal’s values, “Be an owner, not a renter.” This principle embodies a proactive mindset, encouraging employees to take responsibility for their actions, decisions and the success of the company as a whole. 

“By taking ownership and responsibility for one’s actions and decisions and being actively invested in one’s endeavors, we are able to take a proactive mindset that inspires one to take a true interest in the success of the company,” he said.

These values form the foundation of what Gupta described as a dynamic and thriving workplace where employees are empowered to make a difference and realize their full potential.

“NBCUniversal is an amazing company to grow your career,” he said. “My leadership has been extremely supportive of my own growth journey here by providing opportunities where I could challenge myself and step outside my comfort zone, and I strive to do the same with my team.”

 

Read MoreHow NBCUniversal’s Operations and Technology Teams are Transforming the Future of Media | Built In

 

 

Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by NBCUniversal.

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