PwC’s The New Equation: Convening leadership to build trust and drive sustainable outcomes

A strategy to replace Vision 2020 and underline everything with trust  

In October TBR met with PwC’s JC Lapierre, chief strategy and communications leader; Shannon Schuyler, chief purpose and inclusion officer leader; and Joe Atkinson, vice chair and chief products and technology officer. In a wide-ranging discussion that built on previous briefings and TBR’s continued analysis of PwC, TBR questioned the three specifically on The New Equation, PwC’s long-term global strategy announced earlier this year. Among the highlights:

  • PwC hopes that after it has fully executed against The New Equation people will consider the firm to be the most significant conveners of those who can lead and are leading to change.
  • The internal organizational changes for the U.S. firm that are necessary to implement The New Equation started years ago and will continue to be refined, but The New Equation does not merely equal organizational change.
  • The newly launched PwC Trust Leadership Institute may prove to be a significant differentiator at a time when the Big Four firms appear to be increasingly alike.
  • PwC’s approach to technology, even with the advent of PwC Products and tighter alliances with technology giants like Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Google (Nasdaq: GOOGL), remains rooted in people and business challenges; technology alone cannot transform companies and drive sustainable outcomes.
  • Everything circles back to trust, the most raw and simple value driving PwC’s relationships and underpinning the firm’s purpose.

Chapters, playbooks and constructs: Physical images for The New Equation

Using a five-chapter book as a metaphor, PwC’s leaders said the firm’s new global strategy included choices around trust and sustained outcomes, investments to help the firm better serve clients, a rewiring of the organization and how PwC works to better serve its clients, enhancements to the firm’s people experience, and extensions into the larger community — essentially an explicit understanding of the obligations and responsibilities PwC takes on across its entire ecosystem.

Of these five “chapters,” PwC’s leaders explained that the third and fourth — how PwC works and the employee experience — shifted the most from pre-pandemic plans and idea to their current form in The New Equation strategy. In both areas, the realization that “taking care of people” had to be a fundamental aspect of the firm’s larger purpose became clearer when the pandemic focused attention on employee safety, health and well-being.

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