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Depth, breadth and so much more than tech: How Accenture has surprised me

October 25, 2021

Lewis Curley joined Accenture Talent & Organisation after relocating to Australia from the United Kingdom. With experience at other consulting firms, he’s embraced the chance to use his skills to be an advocate for digital with clients and colleagues.

My Accenture story starts with my wife. She’s Australian and after many years living in the United Kingdom, we’d decided to relocate back to Sydney. I was excited for the change, not least of all because moving to Australia would give me the chance to play around with BBQ culture and do some travel to the various Aussie wine regions!

          A man sipping wine while looking at the garden
          A man sipping wine while looking at the garden

          Visiting Aussie wine regions

          My wife is also a consultant and when she was interviewing with Accenture my experience, both as an independent consultant and at one of the Big 4 firms, came up. Next thing we knew, I was in conversations with Tenielle Colussi, the managing director for Talent & Organisation in Australia and New Zealand, about the opportunity for me to grow a team to better support clients with digital HR transformations.

          My wife started with Accenture as soon as we arrived in August 2020, while I took a three months to smooth our adjustment into Australian life. I came on board with Accenture in November, hitting the ground running on client projects and getting up to speed on Accenture ways of working.

          Here’s some of the ways Accenture has helped me to thrive and adapt in my new role.

          1. Global thinking
          A big reason why I joined Accenture, rather than another consulting firm, was the recognition of my global experience and how it could benefit Australian clients. I’d worked on projects to design and implement HR technology strategies across a wide range of organisations and could help local clients to speed up their digital HR transformation projects. Other firms that I interviewed with were more concerned with my experience with Australian clients and didn’t seem to be able to see that fresh perspectives from other countries would add value and help clients avoid some of the mistakes of their global peers.

          Since I started, I’ve also found that compared to my previous consulting experience, Accenture truly operates globally. While other firms I have worked at have a global brand, in practice I found that they operated as individual companies in each market. In contrast, Accenture makes it easy to access people globally to tap into their skills and expertise. Tools like the Accenture portal streamline sharing knowledge, showcasing previous work and building a network globally.

          2. A commitment to learning, development, and supporting people to grow
          Talent & Organisation offered me the chance to build an offering to clients that had a strong focus on how our clients could use digital HR platforms. But as well as the client opportunities, I’ve been impressed with the quality of digital training offered internally. Programs like TQ (Technology Quotient) have wowed me. TQ is a learning series covering a range of technology topics like cloud, artificial intelligence, automation and more. It’s about ensuring everyone at Accenture doesn’t just know about technology, but knows how to talk about technology: the what, the how, and most importantly, the why. The content is well-produced, polished and engaging, and reinforces Accenture’s position that digital is everyone’s job. Despite already having a deep knowledge of the digital space, I have enjoyed watching all the TQ courses and it has given me new ways to present information to clients. I have now become an advocate for the training within Talent & Organisation, encouraging colleagues to undertake the training and working with them to communicate that knowledge with our clients.

          As well as the training available, I’ve been impressed with how well Accenture works digitally and supports our people to stay connected. Joining in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the transition to hybrid working models and collaborating on documents remotely has been seamless. In my experience, Accenture is proactive in practicing what we preach to clients when it comes to workplace technology and digital ways of working.

          3. Being the change
          Talent & Organisation is not just about the HR function, or technology, but about taking a big picture view of an organisation’s culture, its people and its goals to drive change. In my role, I’m helping the people function of organisations understand strategically how to use technology to deliver a better experience for people. It’s a holistic approach that is tailored to each client’s needs. No two projects are the same, and we need to listen to what a client really needs, what they want to achieve, and design an approach that is tuned to their requirements

          For example, for a recent project with a banking client, we submitted a proposal that was not just a response to what they said was needed, but a provocative approach that showed them what was actually possible. Instead of just replacing the HR system, we built a business case for how a new suite of technology would improve the employee experience, increase productivity and ultimately save money. The result? The client said our approach moved them further in 12 weeks than they would have expected in a year.

          4. Breadth, depth and near-endless opportunities
          Before I joined Accenture, I had the preconception that it was all about technology. But I have been surprised by the breadth of experience and skills offered across Accenture. Consulting means that there’s always new things to learn and responding to client needs means we’re constantly working to improve our offerings to the market.

          Our work across industries and client projects also gives huge scope to grow professionally. Projects can span finance transformation, strategies for mergers, HR systems and more – anything where it impacts an organisation and its people, we can get involved. That means there are a lot of opportunities to experience different types of projects and skills, as you work out what’s right for you.

          5. A supportive team
          Accenture is a large organisation, which means that there are a lot of people you can draw on to help. I’ve found that people are supportive, friendly and willing to help out. Building an offering around my global digital HR transformation experience means that I’m working with people across Talent & Organisation and helping them to learn and grow also. Seeing junior team members enjoying the projects, learning more about workplace technology and discovering new opportunities within Accenture that they didn’t know were possible before keeps me feeling motivated.

          Even while working remotely, we’re working as a team and finding ways to still be social, too. For example, we recently did a virtual cocktail masterclass and were sent the ingredients to make cocktails at home. It was a great way to build camaraderie, despite not being able to get together in the office.

          A man in a suit posing on the bottom of the stairs
          A man in a suit posing on the bottom of the stairs

          Outside the Opera House

          Are you looking to make a move to an organisation that will support you to be your best, while you make a difference to your client organisations? Let’s start a conversation about how Talent & Organisation could be your perfect fit.

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          WRITTEN BY

          Lewis Curley

          Senior Manager – Strategy & Consulting, Talent & Organisation