Three years ago, almost to the day, we went to Miami and saw something truly new, an “Experience Center” that PwC built to physically embody its emerging idea of coalescing consulting engagements around business, experience and technology. Saying we were impressed would be an understatement. Here’s what we said in our March 2016 special report on PwC Digital Analyst Day: “In addition to obtaining the right people and managing them well … the firm built an innovative office for the Experience Center team. PwC leadership explained the office design fosters collaboration, sparks creativity, celebrates success yet encourages failures along the way and upholds the firm’s values all in a comfortable environment — so comfortable that leadership hopes employees are more comfortable at work than they are at their own homes.”
Since that March 2016 visit, we’ve been to PwC Experience Centers in Frankfurt, Singapore, Shanghai, Tokyo and Toronto. And with every visit, we have chronicled the way PwC’s BXT framework has evolved, leading to our assessment that PwC has stopped playing “consulting roulette” as “BXT evolves from grand idea to engaged approach.”
We haven’t just visited PwC’s digital transformation immersion innovation centers over the last few years; we’ve visited centers with SAP, Accenture, EY, Capgemini, Atos, NTT and IBM. We’ve noted similarities and huge differences, as well as shared unknowns, like how to best determine the value these centers bring the consultancies and their clients. We continue working to understand the three pillars of these centers — clients, talent and partners — plus all the small-but-critical elements that make the differences between success and average vanilla “blah.” We’ve spent a tremendous amount of time discussing leadership, for example, and the impact on talent, culture and clients.
One more quote from three years ago, because this one jumped off the page, knowing what we know now: “By operating on a more global level, evidenced by its employees being encouraged to connect with their colleagues to bring alternative perspectives to address clients’ specific business needs, the firm works smarter. PwC shares success stories across its Experience Centers, slightly varies the talent mix at each center, and encourages mobility between the centers to further diversify the teams.”
We’ve met PwC folks who’ve migrated from Miami to other Experience Centers, bringing that special sauce with them, and suspect this approach will be replicated by PwC’s peers as they continue building out their own cadre of experience-innovation-immersion-digital transformation center professionals.