Tech at PwC: A day in the life - Blockchain

Seamus Cushley, director in PwC’s Blockchain team

PwC Belfast
@seamuscushley

 

What does a typical day look like for you?

It’s a cliche but there is no typical day. 

In my current role, I am responsible for leading PwC global clients on a innovation journey of discovery, and experimenting with new and emerging technologies, clients who are driven to understand and apply digital technologies such as Blockchain and AI to new business models.

Digital is disrupting industries that have been operating in the same way for years, and the wind of change is blowing through.

My day covers the complete range of PwC offerings from strategy, design and execution.

The challenge is often that clients start from the premise that digital is "the answer" without fully identifying the problem they're trying to solve. Via design thinking workshops I help them define the problem and articulate the solution.

Many of these workshops and design sprints are heavily focused on the potential of blockchain via a business lens. Helping clients answer the ‘Why?’, why this nascent and disruptive technology should be part of their business strategy in the digital age.

Leading Digital Delivery means I have overall responsibility for the delivery of multiple technology solutions across a number of projects and agile engineering teams.

What is the best thing about your job?

Having the opportunity to lead and develop a world class team of technologists. I believe that the people you choose to join you on your journey are the single most important success factor. For me, this journey can be building a team, a department or a company.

We live in a world that increasingly requires the ability to connect the dots between people and ideas, where others see no possible connection. I get to work with highly talented people within PwC, and with people from client organisations, to define real world problems and connect the dots.

Together, we bring ideas to life, by designing and building new innovative digital experiences.

I believe that the people you choose to join you on your journey are the single most important success factor. For me, this journey can be building a team, a department or a company.

How did you get into your job?

There was no master plan in terms of my career. I started out in my career having an interest in many things, driven by a need to learn continuously, but knowing that I wanted to work at the axis of technology and business.

My career path has taken many twists and turns, but I have been always been open to learning new things. And it’s that curiosity to learn new things that has presented various opportunities.

My experience is one of opportunities, both big and small; and working through if they are the right thing to do. Experience has taught me to just say yes, and learn how to do it later. Learn fast. Every moment has something to teach and to offer, so make the most of it. 

What skills do you need in your job?

There are many skills needed to be a leader in a digital lead business, but they can be distilled down to: attitude, curiosity, flexibility of mind, and grit.

When introducing innovation and digital to clients, the key is to listen respectfully. As humans, we are resistant, by design, to change; and organisations are made up of people with personal motivations. As such, it’s critical to work with people in a collaborative and open manner, in order to lead them through a transformation.

The modern workplace is now much more complex, volatile and ambiguous. This has been driven mainly by the faster pace and scale in which we work. In order to deliver value, having an open, collaborative and safe environment for my team is fundamental.

Put simply, I can’t be an effective leader unless I encourage those around me speak their minds, to bring attention to problems and provide insight.

What's the best advice you've been given?

‘Good manners and a good education are easy carried.’

Which has proven to be true:

  • Treating people with respect and really listening to what they are saying has provided insights and opportunities.
  • Always being open to learn new things and question what you know, learning presents opportunities.

Contact us

Seamus Cushley
Director
Tel: +44 (0) 7843 332944
Email

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