Do not confuse the relaunch of economic activities with economic recovery

Article written by  Olivier Laquinte

Not only will there be a before and after COVID-19, but the crisis we are going through gives rise to a host of “turning points” in history. With this in mind, you can circle April 10, 2020 in your calendar as an important date.

Why? Our governments have made it clear that there will be no return to “normal” before a vaccine. It wasn’t the first time we heard this, but it was the first time that there had been talk of a possible resumption of economic activities following weeks of containment.

For business leaders, there are two messages to decode. The first is that certain sectors of the economy will be given the green light to restart soon. It’s good news. The second is heavier with meaning and consequences. The sustainable economic recovery will take months. The main condition for this sustainable and lasting recovery will be the availability of a vaccine.

Because we will all have to operate in an uncertain environment for several months, the control phase of the crisis now becomes even more important. What should we do to adapt during this period? Three things:

  1. Analyze our business model and the identify which modifications we can make to it. Think about distribution channels, market segments, products and services, partnerships, etc. Everything should be subject to adjustment. Nothing is untouchable.
  2. Define a transformation roadmap that will allow you to identify and prioritize your actions based on organizational / human changes, adjustments to your processes, and technological changes that you must make.
  3. Adopt agile management principles … you have no choice. In times of instability, you need to make sure you can adjust to the upheavals that your ecosystem will undergo.

Some agree that the wave of contagion we are currently experiencing is only the first. Like earthquakes which are followed by aftershocks, we can expect new outbreaks of contagion in the coming months, especially in the fall. The following graph, by Ashley Tchute epidemiologist for the health care system in Ontario, demonstrates this phenomenon.

I would add that we must also adopt an open door policy in the face of the crisis. You need to communicate more with the stakeholders in your ecosystem: your employees, your customers, your suppliers, and even your competitors.

No one has ever faced such a situation. We are facing a health and economic crisis and, in a few months, it is a safe bet that our governments will face a financial crisis. As business people, collective intelligence and teamwork are our best weapons against this threat.

Virtual employee experience: how to keep an innovative spirit in times of crisis?

At Talsom we like to say that we are “agile”, it is in a way part of our culture, and we apply it almost everywhere, both with our customers and in our daily activities in the office. It almost became a “running gag” in our internal jargon!

We put it even more into action in times of crisis like the one we are currently experiencing with COVID-19. Fortunately, our team members are used to this “anti status quo” mindset. They were therefore not very destabilized when we proposed the following initiatives to them. On the contrary, they were the first to launch ideas to motivate themselves from a distance …!

  • ? From the first days of imposed remote work, we set up a training* on the best teleworking practices as well as on the functionalities of the various virtual work tools we have (Ex: Microsoft Teams).
  • ? Keeping human and personalized contact is, in our opinion, the best communication strategy to adopt in times of crisis. This translates into virtual meetings with the whole team (yes 80 people!) at the end of each day to keep everyone informed on the latest changes. We also took the time to contact each employee, one by one, to find out their apprehensions about what we are going through, which allows us to establish a reassuring psychological proximity. (crisis news, Talsom news and the good news of the day to stay optimistic!)
  • ? The coffee break may no longer be around the espresso machine in the office, but we are not changing the good habits of informal communication. A new communication channel called the “Café” has been created to address various subjects that the members of our team would like to share … It quickly took a humorous turn which is good for morale. Virtual 5 @ 7were also planned every two weeks!


  • ??? Since we like to “pivot” and that nothing is impossible, even from a distance, we have set up virtual training sessions during lunch time in order to motivate all of us to stay active at the House.

Other initiatives will certainly appear as the situation evolves. One thing is certain, the creativity and innovative capacity of our team members allows us to successfully chase away isolation!

 * Notice to those interested, if you want more details regarding our telecommuting training you can write to In times of crisis, we stick together and share our tips and tricks!

Talsom on-demand, or consulting in the age of Covid-19

Article written by Olivier Laquinte

If you had told me, on March 2nd, that Talsom would offer services at $100 through a transactional site, I would have gently suggested you go to the SQDC! But here we are… a month later, the world we lived in “at that time” is no more.

In the face of uncertainty, the only thing that is certain is that the reality in which we live will never be the same again. Eternal optimist, I firmly believe that humans will adapt and, if we do things right, the world of tomorrow will be better in many ways than the one we are leaving behind. If there is one thing that the COVID-19 crisis will have taught us, it is the fragility of the human being and of the system that we have collectively put in place.

Like all organizations, Talsom is also impacted by the crisis. Our clients work mainly in the retail, manufacturing, transportation and distribution sectors. Being hit by both supply chain disruptions and government actions, many of our customers are experiencing a significant slowdown. The result: projects slowing down and start dates shifting over time. The consequence for us is major, and requires a significant reduction in our expenses. Unfortunately, the structure of a growing business does not match today’s reality.

That being said, once we are passed the initial shock, we roll up our sleeves and look forward. The goal is to get back into a growth position as quickly as possible, with all that that implies.

This is where Talsom on-demand comes in. A way to help companies master certain operational elements of this crisis, while creating a positive impact; easily and quickly.

  • Do you want to improve or validate your internal communications?
  • Do you have a large workshop and want to ensure you get results?
  • Do you have questions and would like an expert’s opinion?
  • Do you have other issues? Submit them to us. If we can help you, we will.

We agree that “Talsom on-demand” will not make up for the income we lose compared to our traditional business model but that is not the objective. However, it allows us to help companies to operate in this period of crisis, while helping an NPO (the Bonneau Foundation) which serves part of the population and which will need greater support in months to come.

 Welcome to consulting in the era of COVID-19.