Fostering Innovation at PWC

How can digital transformation at professional services firms be supported by a culture of experimentation and innovation? And how do firms create that culture?  Stuart Pugh, IT Director at PwC, provides a number of insights focusing on the balance between what to do at the centre and what to delegate out.

To get the most out of innovation, Stuart thought that there still needed to be centralised governance. “We balance that with an element of delegated financial approval. So, each business unit has an amount that they can spend on innovation,” he said. There are also funds at the centre: “And that might align a service, a territory, or globally. And then you can progress through gated funding like a normal investment process.”

PwC has a system to surface innovative ideas from the bottom up, using a platform called Pollien8 for people to submit ideas. “Other people can come in and upvote or downvote, so there’s that social collaboration. It allows people to see an idea that they want to be a part of and to reach out,” said Stuart. And once they have an idea that they think is innovative, another platform – ‘Digital Labs’ – allows people to share that idea: “The assets submitted go through a curation process to make sure that they have the right risk controls, or are at a particular standard.

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Stuart Pugh

Stuart Pugh

Stuart is an experienced technology leader with a background in software development and IT management in a complex multinational organisation.