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COE Innovation Hub

Business Challenge 2014


COE Innovation Hub 1
Contents
Executive Summary .............................................................................................. 2
Introduction to The COE Innovation Hub ................................................................ 3
Our Objectives ..................................................................................................... 3
Research ............................................................................................................. 4
Incentive Programme ........................................................................................... 5
Incentivisation .................................................................................................. 5
Autonomy ........................................................................................................ 5
Mastery ........................................................................................................... 6
Purpose ........................................................................................................... 6
COE Recommendations based on Research .......................................................... 6
Brainstorming Methods ......................................................................................... 7
Ad Play ............................................................................................................ 8
Mind Mapping ................................................................................................... 8
The Failure Bow ................................................................................................ 9
Business War Games ....................................................................................... 10
Brainstorming Sessions ...................................................................................... 11
Rationale ....................................................................................................... 11
Advantages of Brainstorming ........................................................................... 11
The Trial Session ............................................................................................ 11
The Approach ............................................................................................. 12
The Application Process .............................................................................. 12
Interview Stage .......................................................................................... 13
Training Process and timeline ....................................................................... 13
Departmental Rotation ................................................................................ 13
Website Design ........................................................................................... 14
Overall Experience ...................................................................................... 14
Survey ....................................................................................................... 14
COE Survey ................................................................................................... 15
Floor meeting ............................................................................................. 15
Survey results ............................................................................................ 16
Review .............................................................................................................. 17
Initial Goals .................................................................................................... 17
Progress: A Rocky Road! .................................................................................. 18
Outcomes ...................................................................................................... 19
Acknowledgements ............................................................................................. 20



About this report
The COE was established in 2014 to
assist in developing a best-in-class
process for executing global statutory
audits and group reporting. This
report provides a deep analysis of
Brainstorming sessions and how they
can help The COE gain a competitive
edge amongst the Big 4 through
enhancing a collaborative, problem
solving atmosphere. Our findings are
backed by academic studies and a
number of surveys carried out within
EY to members of staff.

Learning from our Global
Peers
In order to develop a framework to
foster innovation through
collaboration the team first reviewed
other Global innovative firms such as
MasterCard and Google. The lessons
learnt are that The Innovation Hub
must view the establishment of an
innovative culture as a continuous
process rather than a once off-
implementation. Both Google and
MasterCard have maintained a
competitive edge in their respective
industries through the implementation
of schemes conducive to innovation,
i.e. Googles 20% scheme and
MasterCards Labs R&D centre. If
successful in emulating a similar
innovative methodology, EY and The
COE can similarly differentiate from
their competitors.

Incentivisation
Through a thorough investigation of
both monetary and professional
incentives in return for successful
pitches of new ideas to The COE, the
team reached a somewhat unexpected
conclusion.
It was noted that 95% of managers
described monetary gain as an
important driver in motivation.
However, the work of Edward Deci
and other management theorists
bolsters the argument that monetary
incentives negatively impact on
creative thinking.


Trial Run
To test the theoretical benefits
associated with brainstorming, the
team ran a trail session between a
group of interns to identify issues and
solutions associated with the student
recruitment process. This trial run
was an outstanding success and
verified our research regarding
brainstorming's benefits.

COE Floor Session
Given the success of the trial run the
team set about looking at how such
methodologies could be implemented
into The COE in the most beneficial
manner.

How do you get COE to innovate ?
Get us talking!

Given the close relationship between
COE, FAAS and Data Analytics the
team proposed a COE Floor session
to members of The COE in a
randomised survey. The response
regarding this session was incredibly
positive, with over 83% wanting a
weekly or bi-monthly floor meeting to
take place. Furthermore, the survey
also indicated that such a meeting
would be most beneficial if it took
place using of our proposed
brainstorming methods.

Though beyond the time constraints
surrounding writing this report we
were successful in organising the
inaugural COE floor brainstorming
session on the 25
th
July 2014, a true
indication of the success of our
research and an appetite to uptake
the new methodologies surrounding
brainstorming which we set out for
The COE
Primary conclusions

The COE Innovation Hub recommends
that in order to foster innovation on
an ongoing basis, communication
between the COE teams is
encouraged through brainstorming
and interactive meeting style sessions
which emphasise the values of
autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Incenivisation: Core Ideologies
As a result of this investigation The
COE Innovation Hub produced a
definitive list of methodologies
required to generate a framework
which would incentivise creativity
within The COE team; namely:
Autonomy - Giving members of the
team control over their own work
Mastery The personal incentive to
master a specific goal. Though a
proven concept, COE must maintain
engagement of the team to capture
its true benefit
Purpose The sense of being part of
an important project and making
significant progress and input.

Rather than proposing a monetary
incentive for idea generation, the
team recommends that if a member of
the team proposes a clever idea they
should then be given the opportunity
to lead and work on it with The COE
team. This should help foster an
atmosphere of intrapreneurship.

Brainstorming
In order to fully utilise the brain power
of The COE team, it is proposed that
the current format of meetings be
revised. In addition to weekly catchup
meetings between members of The
COE, regular brainstorming sessions
are proposed. These can take a
number of formats, including:
The Failure Bow Both an ice
breaking session and one which helps
develop a healthy failure environment
which is conducive to creative energy
Ad Play An exercise in redesign, a
key focus for COE given the
importance placed on rethinking
processes
Mind Mapping The utilisation of
whiteboards during sessions to
visualise a problem path
Business War Games - A competitive,
thorough SWOT analysis of a problem





COE Innovation Hub 2
Executive Summary

This summary provides a brief
breakdown of our findings and
recommendations regarding
Innovation in The COE

Brainstorming advantages
Solutions can be found rapidly and economically
Results and ways of problem-solving that are new and unexpected
A wider picture of the problem or issue can be obtained
The atmosphere within the team is more open
The team shares responsibility for the problem
The implementation process is facilitated by the fact that staff shared in
the decision-making process
Introduction to The COE Innovation Hub
Established in 2014, the Center of Excellence (COE) is an international, diverse, multi-lingual, and rapidly
growing team. The primary function of the COE is to assist in developing a best-in-class process for executing
global statutory audits and group reporting. It coordinates the global audit process for large multi-national
companies and facilitates EY teams globally across different service lines. It also advises audit teams of local
laws and regulations affecting statutory audits. The team has developed, and continues to develop,
technology that helps to provide a superior global audit service.
The key value add concept of the COE is simple:
Consistent client experience globally.
One dedicated point of contact for worldwide or regional statutory and group reporting.
Full or part management of the statutory and group reporting processes centrally creating major
efficiencies in the process.
Business War Games Central management of the entire fee portfolio and risk management process.
Clients statutory audit and group reporting spend will reduce following centralization.






COE Innovation Hub 3
Our objective
The challenge proposed by Theo Laverty, Jonathan Daly, and Kim Johnston to the business team was to
create excitement around the COE. The team was asked to consider the establishment of facility where our
EY colleagues can present their ideas to the COE team. Should their idea be chosen to be further
investigated by the COE team, they may also have the opportunity to be involved in the actual
development of the idea into a real process or service.

The purpose of COE Innovation Hub is to redesign processes within EY through brainstorming sessions.
The team intends to identify and address issues in all departments of the company in order to provide
solutions which will improve services to our clients, increase efficiency, and provide EY with a competitive
edge amongst the Big Four. In order to add value to EY and its clients, the COE must have a collaborative,
problem solving atmosphere. The aim of these brainstorming sessions to foster an atmosphere of
inclusivity and autonomy, where EY members at all levels and all departments are given the opportunity to
create.
COE Innovation Hub 4
The COE, established within EY Dublin, will help
cement EY at the forefront of the global audit
process. EY follows in the footsteps of other global
firms such as Google and MasterCard in creating a
unique work environment to promote innovative and
collaborative thinking amongst employees.

Nurturing a culture that allows for innovation is a
core element to success in todays competitive
market. EY can learn from the successes of other
firms such as Google and apply similar principals in
our offices. The COE has taken a step in the right
direction with the establishment of the Innovation
Hub. It is important to acknowledge however, that the
establishment of an innovation culture is a
continuous process rather than a once-off
implementation. The process to emulate a similar
innovative culture and ultimately crown EY as the
most popular global audit firm has begun, but there is
a lot that could be done to advance it. In fact, on our
introductory visit to the COE, we asked a member of
staff what they would like to see from our project.
Her response was simple, Get us talking!.

Google, the worlds most popular search engine
continues to far outdistance its competitors thanks to
its ability to innovate. Googles most famous perk is
its 20% time, which allows employees to take one
day a week to work on side projects.

Along with 20% time Googles workspaces consist of
brightly coloured hangout spaces, perfect for
informal and ad-hoc meetings. These spaces are
furnished with grass carpets, swings and think pods.
All 14 floors of Googles European headquarters in
Dublin are designed around a different theme. Google
encourage employees to relax and unwind in their
offices in the hope that this will allow them to develop
an innovative and creative mind-set.

In order to remain competitive EY must maintain the
agility to make innovative shifts in their businesses
and take advantage of windows of opportunity. In
2010 MasterCard Worldwide announced the launch
of MasterCard Labs, a new global Research &
Development arm dedicated to bringing innovative
state-of-the-art payment solutions to the market with
greater speed than ever before market. MasterCard
assembled a globally diverse research and
development team tapping into the broad knowledge
of MasterCard payment experts and technologists
worldwide.

The launch of MasterCard Labs will allowed them to
generate, incubate and test new ideas. This keeps
MasterCard at the forefront of advancing commerce.
The Labs have supported breakthrough innovation
efforts which. This has been pivotal in differentiating
MasterCard from its competitors, and key to
sustaining their competitive advantage in the
marketplace. The COE will be a core element which
will differentiate EY from other Big 4 Companies by
adding value to clients.

Research
Innovation Hubs
Collaboration
Creativity
Opportunity Global
Innovation
Incentive Program
As part of the brief for this project, it was suggested
to examine the possibility of the establishment of a
prize fund in order to attract new ideas and new
personnel to the COE. The idea would involve regular
Elevator Pitch sessions where employees from all
branches of EY Dublin have five minutes to present
their ideas for new products or processes to the COE
team with the hope of their idea being chosen for
further development. This prize could take the form
of monetary or professional gain. While we had initial
thoughts of our own as to which would be more
beneficial, we explored both with equal enthusiasm. It
became clear from our research that one was proven
to be a much greater incentive for the type of work
required by the COE.
COE Innovation Hub 5
Incentivisation
The introduction of money as an incentive has been thoroughly examined in management theory. The
overwhelming feedback is that for creative work, the introduction of monetary gain is in fact a negative
influence on employee performance. Psychologist Edward Deci ran a number of puzzle experiments on his
students regarding incentivisation. Decis studies revealed that the introduction of a monetary incentive
actually made students less interested in working on the puzzles after being paid. Meanwhile, another group
of students, who had not been paid, worked on the puzzles longer and with more interest. Decis research
acted to highlight the disparity between extrinsic motivation, the kind that comes from an outside source, and
intrinsic motivation, the kind that comes within oneself.

Despite the evidence, when 600 US managers were surveyed by psychologists Teresa Amabile and Steven
Kramer, 95% percent still identified salary, raises, and bonuses as important drivers of motivation for their
workers. This seems to suggest that there is a disconnect between what workers identify as their main
motivators and what actually drives their performance (Perceived vs Actual Motivation) In order for the COE
to differentiate itself from other firms and to be a true Innovation Hub, all levels must inherit some key
concept of motivation:
Autonomy - The urge to control the who/what/when/where of work.
Mastery - The drive to get better at what we do.
Purpose - The sense of connecting to something bigger

Autonomy
Autonomy means giving people control over how they work. That includes what they work on, when they work
on it, how they perform the work, and who they perform it with.
The financial services sector is lagging behind on all of these measures. However, there is one sector of the
economy that recognizes the power of empowered, self-organising teams. That sector is the software
industry, and in particular, the Agile software development community. The fundamental concept behind
Agile companies is the trusting of employees. Managers assume that their employees are smart, self-directed,
and creative. However, when smothered with endless meetings and micromanagement these same employees
become demotivated and unimaginative.


COE Innovation Hub 6
Mastery
The personal satisfaction resulting from challenging oneself and achieving a set goal, in our personal or
professional lives, acts as a significant incentive to improve. This is mastery. While the idea of mastery is a
proven concept, a recent study has shown that almost 69% of employees are actively disengaged from work.
Some of the key components opposing a persons natural thrive for mastery are as follows:

Politics - Jockeying for position in the hierarchy is a feature of command-and-control organizations,
preventing you from getting new and interesting projects approved.
Repetition - Most employers hire you to do the same thing over and over again, instead of actively
investing in your development.
Risk aversion - The fear of failure drives many organizations, making the environment inhospitable
towards experimentation and challenging oneself at work. We feel this point is most relevant to our
Brainstorming proposal. It is key that a non-critical, free flowing atmosphere is created.
Purpose
The quest to find meaning and purpose in our careers. The concept of a work-life balance is a fallacy. The idea
is based on premise that we want a clear, impenetrable division between our work and our home lives. The rise
of freelancers, independent contractors, and entrepreneurs in recent years has acted to dispel such notions.
Instead of a work-life balance, the 21
st
Century sees a time of work-life integration where people use all hours
in a week to their advantage.

Purpose plays a big role in that mission. When work has a greater purpose, we dont feel trapped by
meaningless tasks and meetings that go nowhere. There are two key components of purpose: making a
positive contribution to others, and making progress every day.

Center of Excellence
How can COE management apply these concepts within the COE? While most Agile companies fall under
the technology bracket, the proven concepts of autonomy, mastery, and purpose need to be applied more
thoroughly by the Big 4. We recommend that the COE adopt and implement these core principles in order
to be successful.

Therefore, the team proposes that in place of a monetary incentive, should a persons idea be chosen for
further inspection, they will have the opportunity to work in the Center of Excellence and develop their
idea with the COE team. Each of the team spoke with members of their floor informally and asked whether
this would interest them. These conversations, coupled with the extensive research that was available to
us, suggests a non monetary model would be successful.
Brainstorming Methods
Aside from regular Elevator Pitch sessions with
members from other teams within EY, it is proposed
that in order to fully utilize the existing COE teams,
and to ensure the team remains engaged and present
at all meetings, the current format of regular office
meetings be reviewed. In addition to weekly catch-up
meetings within the Center of Excellence, regular
brainstorming sessions will take place between key
team members in order to create a culture of
sustainable innovation and creativity.

These brainstorming sessions may take a variety of
formats, including:

Ad Play
Mind Mapping
The Failure Bow
Business War Games


COE Innovation Hub 7
COE Innovation Hub 8
Ad Play
Ad Play is an exercise in redesign and innovation. In the session, the facilitator tears out advertisements
from recent magazines or newspapers and hands one out to each member. The group is given five minutes
to reimagine the ad. After sufficient time, the person must present their own version of the advertisement.

The idea of redesign is crucial to the Center of Excellence. As with the centralization of global statutory
audits, the COE needs the team to be open to reimagining existing process and products and identifying
how to improve these services.

Mind Mapping
Mind Mapping is a powerful technique that encourages effective learning and improves the way ideas are
recorded during a brainstorming session.

Through Mind Mapping, the structure of a problem can be quickly identified since all the relevant
information is clearly displayed. Mind Maps are a great way to visualize the progress of a session as they
provide a full view of all the topics relating to the problem. The non-linear format of Mind Maps also allows
you to add additional information and make associations easily, thus generating new ideas.

Within the COE the whiteboard walls can be utilized for these sessions allowing for maximum visualization
of the solution being discussed as well as providing participants opportunity to review the key points of the
discussion.
Brainstorming Methods
COE Innovation Hub 9
The Failure Bow
For many failure has purely negative
connotations. Through developing an innovative
environment with the development of new ideas
and processes, risks must be taken and hence
some failures must be expected.

The suggested formats for such meetings require
attendees to cite an example of where they had
failed.

This exercise not only acts as an ice-breaker for
the sessions but also highlights issues within the
firm. Questions may be raised about existing
protocols and systems in place, providing the
team with topics from which solutions can be
devised.
COE Innovation Hub 10
Business War Games
A Business War Game provides an opportunity for the team to perform a SWOT analysis of their company
in a dynamic way. The process allows the team to build a better understanding of industry issues and helps
them to identify emerging opportunities and threats in their business sector. The War Game allows key
members of the team to not only develop a strategy for how they will react to problems, but also analyze
how their competitors will react to the problem.

War Games typically involve a number of teams with each representing different players operating in the
industry environment. Generally, but depending on the actual purpose and scope of the game, these teams
represent different competitors. However they can also include key customers, or other organizations such
as regulatory bodies. War Games usually take a full day to complete, are ideally conducted by a
brainstorming facilitator and are broken down into hour-long sessions, each representing a six-month
period.

Business War Games are often intense sessions and provide invaluable insights into the current situation
including the opportunities, threats and issues that may arise in the short to medium term of the market.
They also allow management to devise strategies for the future direction of the team and provide a testing
ground for ideas. The session also allows the team to identify missing intelligence and corporate blind-
spots.

Our team proposes the employment of a third party brainstorming professional to chair these Business
War Game sessions in order to fully utilize the time of the COE team. Companies such as Polus Intelligence
and Thousand Seeds are possible options for providing facilitation for such sessions.
Brainstorming Session
Rationale
The purpose of brainstorming is to free individuals from inhibition, self-criticism, and criticism by others in
order to respond to specific problems by producing as many ideas as possible. The rationale is that the more
ideas that are produced, the probability of creating an effective solution is augmented.

The ability to present our findings to the COE, along with research for the implementation of such events was
the driver for organising a brainstorming/idea generation session.

Advantages of brainstorming
The table below list the primary brainstorming advantages the team has identified. The brief described the
need for us to help drive innovation within the COE, upon analysis the different drivers for innovation we
believe brainstorming is the most relevant method for COE.




COE Innovation Hub 11
No. Description
1. Solutions can be found rapidly and economically
2. Results and ways of problem-solving that are new and unexpected
3. A wider picture of the problem or issue can be obtained
4. The atmosphere within the team is more open
5. The team shares responsibility for the problem
6. The implementation process is facilitated by the fact that staff shared in the
decision-making process
The session
One issue which we were all familiar with was the Student Recruitment process. A working trial thus
presented an opportunity to identify these problems and help resolve them. Also it was a chance to
document our findings, inform HR of them and illustrate how a session like this would be advantageous to
the COE.

The session was carried out on the COE floor so that any member of the COE team could observe. It was
believed that this was the most apt way of resembling a session that would take place in the COE.

Advantages of brainstorming
COE Innovation Hub 12
The approach
Ideas for the development of the Student Recruitment Process were recorded by a minute secretary. The ideas
were grouped into themes to examine how each theme aligns with various elements/stages of the process. This
discussion drew on the flaws of the process and how might they be resolved.

The themes discussed in the session are listed below. Each theme is discussed in the rest of this section of the
report, detailing the impact of the problems and potential solutions.

The application process
All of the ideas generated under this theme are aimed at improving quality of applications and include:

Restructuring the online application.
Reducing the length of the application.
Altering the format of answers.

Various issues and challenges were identified with these ideas. Firstly, the application was not user friendly.
Dropdown boxes were suggested to improve the speed at which users could complete the process. The length of the
application was reported to be too long, in comparison with other Big Four competitors. It was suggested to
introduce a bullet point format. It was difficult to stay below the word count and this format would be mutually
beneficial to both the reviewer and the applicant.

Application
Process

Interview

Training
Process &
Timeline

Departmental
Rotation


Website
Design
Overall
Experience

Brainstorming Session
Interview stage
This faired as one of the strongest parts in the recruitment process. Ideas such as taking small groups for a pre-
interview coffee (only certain people received this) were considered extremely beneficial. The only aspect lagging
behind in this area was the brevity of notice for the interview (two days in most cases).

Events such as the quiz night and case study competitions were very well received. The participants believe that this
is the best opportunity to demonstrate ones skillset and competencies. It was one of the deciding factors for interns
choosing to work for EY.

Training process and timeline
Although training is necessary for each individual into a new organization, ample improvements could be made in this
area. These areas include:

Reducing the amount of virtual training and the number in the training group.
Providing more training from seniors and a more thorough introduction into the work done on the floor.
Completing the training prior to entering the office.

Participants felt that the majority of training was covered by their buddies or colleagues in the first few days and thus
reduced the impact of the sessions.

Departmental rotation
Understanding the core values and operations of EY is critical. It was difficult to understand what each service line
embodies, and was thus difficult to decide what sector to apply for. The department leaflets were criticized in this
regard as they were felt to assume too much prior information. A position that samples all four service lines is
something which the group would like to see happen. Although, certain members (in advisory and tax) had alluded
that they were offered a rotation to different projects.

COE Innovation Hub 13
yes
no
Improve
SRP
Would the changes discussed
improve the student
recruitment process ?
Website design
The website, according to the group, contained areas
for improvement; namely the layout and lack of
information on each service line. Increased visual and
interactive aspects would result in a more attractive
website.

Overall experience
The experience was very positive from all participants
both in terms of enjoyment and insight each intern is
obtaining. All members believed they were part of their
team and that every member of EY has been very
welcoming to the interns. The open plan office allows
for great interaction between seniors and
interns/graduates. Furthermore, this allows for
increased collaboration and communication between
everyone.

Survey on participants
Following on from the brainstorming session, a survey
was carried out with each participant to assess the
effectiveness of the meeting. The key indicators of this
survey are detailed in the charts. 90% of participants
believed that ideas generated in the session would help
improve the Student Recruitment Process (SRP). This
is a clear indication of the impact of the meeting.
Innovative ways to adapt and adjust the SRP were
suggested and the majority of the students (70%) said
that these ideas would not have emerged without the
brainstorming session taking place due to the ability to
bounce ideas off one another until an applicable
solution had been proposed.

This session enabled the team to realize the potential
of such a meeting. Solutions gathered from this
enabled us to provide solutions in the process of
application that might be difficult for the student
recruitment team to gather from their surveys and
feedback.


COE Innovation Hub 14
yes
no
Tell
SR Team
yes
no
Best Way
Best method of brainstorming?
Would the participants give the
same results to Student
recruitment ?
COE Survey
COE Innovation Hub 15
Floor meeting
The team set about investigated the idea of a floor
meeting between the COE, FAAS and Data Analytics.
These teams work closely on improving the
experience for G360 clients. The idea of this meeting
is to get the members of the different teams
collaborating with each other both formally and
informally in order to induce the atmosphere for
innovation.

The team researched different meeting formats in
section 5 which may benefit The COE. Furthermore,
increased communication between the three teams
would likely nurture collaborative innovation.

Our group felt that brainstorming would be the best
option having previously run a session on student
recruitment with 8 interns. Through changing the
atmosphere of meetings, we believe members of the
team may be more willing to offer up ideas and
participate. The introduction of food or a different
type of meeting can act as an ice breaker which may
make members more likely to share ideas that are
perhaps more outside the box or failures.

Yes
No
Floor
Meeting
Survey
The team surveyed 19 members of COE, FAAS and
Data Analytics using simple random sampling. The
following three questions were asked:

Would you be interested in participating in a
COE floor meeting?
What type of meeting would make you most
likely to attend?
How often do you think it would be beneficial
for the COE team to meet in an organized
setting?

The COE floor meeting had an outstandingly positive
response; seventeen of the eighteen people surveyed
said they would attend. Brainstorming proved to be
the most popular option of the suggested meeting
types.

COE Innovation Hub 16
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Weekly
Bi-Monthly
Monthly
Quarterly
Frequency of Meetings
Weekly
Bi-Monthly
Monthly
Quarterly
Type of Meeting
Standard
Breakfast
Brainstorm
Conference
Pizza
Review
Initial goals
When the team first met, the concept of the COE was new to all of us. Thus, dissecting the project description was
difficult. We unanimously decided that we would do our own research into the COE and then try to explain this to one
another. From doing this, we all had the same understanding of what needed to be done. Our project lead Jennifer
asked the room what three key deliverables we wanted to achieve by the end of the project.

Our initial goals were:
Create hype within EY offices about the COE in response to a perceived office-wide lack of knowledge of the work
which happens there.
Establish a precedent in brainstorming sessions including when they would be used and conducting a trial run to
see what works best. We received advice to aim for the highest level and to attempt to hold a session for the
GCSP on their visit to Dublin.
Provide recommendations to COE Innovation Hub based on detailed research into similar projects in other
companies.

We all felt that these were three key things we could work on and deliver within the time provided. We were very keen
to really add value to the new COE Innovation Hub and to not simply go through the motions. We wanted to challenge
ourselves to the greatest extent, and for this reason we aimed to culminate our project with a brainstorming session
including the most senior staff in the firm, the GCSP.

COE Innovation Hub 17
Progress: A rocky road!
We ran into a number of difficulties with our project from the outset.
As the COE itself is newly established, it was difficult to ascertain exactly what could be done to improve the
quality of service provided. After receiving advice from senior members of staff, it was suggested that
brainstorming and recommendations would be the two best paths to follow. It was not of great importance to
COE that it was well known throughout the office as it deals on a global level rather than on a purely Irish
focus.

The initial goal of the Innovation Hub project was to target the GCSP Conference on the 30th and 31st of July.
The purpose of this conference is host the Global Client Service Partners for the COEs biggest clients,
including Coca-Cola, Abbott, and Gilead. The conference is set to be a landmark week in the life of EY Dublin.
In order to fully showcase the potential of the Center of Excellence, the team devised a proposition to host a
brainstorming session for the attendees, allowing the partners to provide input through their vast experience
and knowledge. Ultimately, the agenda for this meeting was already set and our session was unable to be
inserted to this conference. We quickly accepted this as a team and began working towards establishing a
framework for brainstorming sessions at a less senior level.

We were very keen that our project would make a real impact on the newly formed Innovation Hub, and so we
met with our mentor, Johnathan Daly and together we came up with new goals and a plan to achieve them. It
was noted that we had an opportunity to really add value in places where other staff did not, due to their work
load and time commitments. We emerged from that meeting with renewed urgency to complete the following
deliverables:

Establish a framework for future Brainstorming sessions, research into best practice and to conduct a
trial run based on these results.
Present our findings and make a recommendation based on the above to Mr. Theo Laverty.
Research into other Innovation Hubs to learn from the successes and failures of others.
Research alternative meeting methods, incentive schemes and other systems to keep the COE innovation
hub fresh and maintain a constant stream of new ideas.


COE Innovation Hub 18
Outcomes
COE Innovation Hub 19
We were successful in accomplishing these goals and
as a direct result we were able to organising the
inaugural COE floor brainstorming session to take
place on the 25
th
July 2014. This session will consist
of a viewing of a video from Simon Sinek and a
discussion of how similar ethos and methodologies
surrounding inspirational leaders and can be
implemented in The COE. Furthermore, though we
were unable to chair our own session with The GCSP,
this session will also help to discuss The COEs goals in
terms of the opening speech on the first day of the
summit.
This progression made, although small, is the
foundation we have build in order for idea generation
and brainstorming to prosper within The COE.



Overall we feel our project was a great success and we are confident it will contribute substantially to the
development of the Innovation Hub. In particular, we feel the framework we have established for a bi-monthly
brainstorming session will result in a large boost in productivity and the emergence of clever, practical ideas from
staff at all levels.


Despite our early difficulties, we are satisfied that we completed each of our tasks to a high level and more
importantly, that we made sure COE staff are aware of our findings. Furthermore, given that The COE have
decided to implement our main recommendation a COE floor brainstorming session, we believe this is a true
indication of success in communicating our proposal to The COE. Full details on the completion of our goals are
detailed in the relevant sections above but for emphasis, our key findings are outlined in the executive summary,
on page 2 of this document.


Acknowledgements
COE Innovation Hub 20




Project completed by:

Jennifer Dillon-Murphy
Cormac McManus
Aoife Kirrane
Adam Jordan
John Lynch
Claire Mac Sharry

We would like to personally thank everyone at EY and The COE for their constant help throughout this project;
in particular we would like to thank the student recruitment team, our mentor Jonathan Daly for being a
wonderful support over the course of the project and Theo Laverty for proposing such an exciting assignment
for us work on. Furthermore, a special thanks to Hermann Sidhu for allowing us to have access to his
exceptional team.
EY | Assurance | Tax | Transactions | Advisory
About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services.
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about our organisation, please visit ey.com.
2014 Ernst & Young. Published in Ireland. All Rights Reserved.
The Irish firm Ernst & Young is a member practice of Ernst & Young Global
Limited. It is authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in
Ireland to carry on investment business in the Republic of Ireland.
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Information in this publication is intended to provide only a general outline
of the subjects covered. It should neither be regarded as comprehensive
nor sufficient for making decisions, nor should it be used in place of
professional advice. Ernst & Young accepts no responsibility for any loss
arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone using this material.
ey.com
EY | Assurance | Tax | Transactions | Advisory
About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services.
The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence
in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop
outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our
stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better
working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.
EY refers to the global organisation and may refer to one or more of the
member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a
separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited
by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information
about our organisation, please visit ey.com.
2014 Ernst & Young. Published in Ireland. All Rights Reserved.
The Irish firm Ernst & Young is a member practice of Ernst & Young Global
Limited. It is authorised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants in
Ireland to carry on investment business in the Republic of Ireland.
Ernst & Young, Harcourt Centre, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Information in this publication is intended to provide only a general outline
of the subjects covered. It should neither be regarded as comprehensive
nor sufficient for making decisions, nor should it be used in place of
professional advice. Ernst & Young accepts no responsibility for any loss
arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone using this material.
ey.com