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 marie-eve.chartrand@talsom.com. 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.

 

Talsom at C2 Montreal 2019 : three pillars to help build TOMORROW

May 22nd through 24th 2019, Talsom’s whole team will once again be onsite at C2 Montréal 2019, an immersive event that transforms the way things are done in the business world. This year, C2 Montreal’s theme, “Tomorrow”, draws upon the mission that we try to embody at Talsom; creating a positive impact through people, innovation and technology.

So how do we create this positive impact of “Tomorrow”, right now, and not ten years from now? Each of us, in our own way, in parts of our own lives, has the power to act towards creating a more sustainable future; after all, we are the ambassadors of Tomorrow.

That’s why Talsom contributes to the future through three key pillars.

Taking action for tomorrow is…

1-Ensuring continuity for our Quebec companies

Creating tomorrow means ensuring that our Quebec enterprises can continue on strong, with the next generation taking the wheel and ensuring our longevity and value creation in the future.

What can we do for our companies to ensure that they are long-lasting, from one generation to the next, all the while creating value for Quebec?

To help equip us with answers and solutions for this first question, we’ll be joined on May 22nd by the Business Families Foundation whose mission it is to promote the success and the longevity of family companies through  a worldwide partner network comprised of family entrepreneurs, academia and family company consultants.

At 1pm, Ken Tencer, author, intrapreneur and household name on the topic of of innovation, will speak with us about his intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial experiences. He’ll also get into what’s called the 90% Rule®, a proven innovation process he co-developed to help companies identify, filter and put into action growth opportunities.

This podcast will be broadcast live on our Facebook page. At the end of the day, a publication featuring some of the challenges around company longevity and inheritance through generations will be available for download on talsom.com.

2-Facilitate the journey of women towards tech

Creating tomorrow also means recognizing and cultivating how women feel empowered in the business world and more specifically the tech world, so that more of them can play an impactful role in the leadership and success of our organizations.

How and when can we can we have an impact on the journeys of girls and women to foster their interest in tech and grow their leadership in the field?

For this second day focused on women, a Design Thinking Workshop, built around the C2 program, will be led by our innovation consultant Adil Mansouri, in partnership with L’effet A which aims to empower and take concrete action for women. L’effet A offers a vast program of professional development to companies and women to help highlight female talent, foster their ambition and help them advance in their careers.

At 11am, about a hundred attendees will participate in an ideation session. Their goal will be to help identify solutions that help women surmount obstacles on their path to leadership and decipher ways to help them enter the tech world, in addition to the development of their career in the field.

At 12:30pm on the Talsom balcony, we’ll host a discussion on diversity and inclusion with Marie-Josée Lamothe, former Director General of Branding at Google Canada, Julie Lachaine, vice-president of change management at Talsom, and Olivier Laquinte, Talsom’s president and a member of L’effet A. How do we leverage our differences to maximize the value that each one of us brings to society and the business world?

This podcast will be broadcast live on our Facebook page. At the end of the day, a publication outlining the insight that emerged from the talk will be available online at talsom.com.

3-Tearing down silos through the actors of the innovation change to stimulate growth

Creating tomorrow also means giving a hand to all the players in the innovation chain, from the plucky start-up all the way to leadership, to help understand the challenges that come with innovation and break down silos to see our tech innovation projects to fruition.

Since C2 Montreal is, after all, a place to meet one another, Talsom chose, for its final day, to take on the role of moderator and bring together different actors in the innovation chain. Together, we can understand the main challenges each actor is facing, the lessons they can share and tomorrow’s actions they can contribute to.

At noon on the Talsom balcony, Paul Kruszewski, CEO of wrnch, Patrick Gagné, CEO of the Osmo innovation hub, and Stéphane Goyette, vice-president of Innovation at CAE will discuss challenges of growth vs risk in an open innovation environment. The session will be moderated by our vice-president of innovation, Eric Dupont.

This podcast will be broadcast live on our Facebook page. At the end of the day, a summary of the challenges and solution tracks for each actor in the innovation chain will be published on talsom.com

Keep up with all of our activities at C2 Montréal 2019 :

@TALSOM ? https://fr.linkedin.com/company/talsom

@talsom.moments ? https://www.instagram.com/talsom.moments/

@TALSOMinc ? https://fr-ca.facebook.com/TALSOMinc/

Why did we become B Corp ?

What’s better than starting this new year in force by setting new goals? Even better when it comes to responsible goals that focus efforts on common well-being, creating a positive impact for employees, partners, the environment and social in general.

In this regard, we are proud to announce that Talsom has become the first technology consulting firm in Canada to join the B Corp community. Since doing the right thing is one of our core values, we now look forward to having a certified responsible mission that will allow the company to reconcile its desire for social impact success with a positive environmental footprint.

B Corp, what is this?
B Corp is a certification for companies that meet the highest standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose. This certification was established by B Lab, a non-profit American organization, which aims to use the business world leadership to change practices and bring society to a new level in terms of social and environmental responsibility.

From a social perspective, the B Corp community strives to reduce inequality, reduce poverty, and create stronger communities and high-quality jobs. It puts forward good governance and transparency practices of companies. From an environmental level, community members are committed to putting in place concrete policies to meet the highest standards in this area. Their goal is to align the mission of companies with innovative corporate structures by ensuring a look at the policies and actions they undertake.

b corp assessment - list and standard

A new generation of responsible companies
The movement of corporate social responsibility has grown in recent years, so much that certifications of all kinds have emerged, sometimes leading to a lack of interest in the meaning of these.

Beyond being a responsible certification, B Corp brings together an international and global community of more than 2600 companies that follow strict and responsible behaviors to positively impact all stakeholders in their ecosystems. B Corp’s ripple effect using business power to address social and environmental problems is without a doubt the right way to lead sustainable change.

2655 certified companies  -150 industries – 60 countries

Why this drives us?

“This certification is the concrete result of what we want to embody through our mission; create a positive impact through people, technology and innovation. This is a recognition of the basic principles upon which Talsom is founded and it will guide the policies and procedures to be put in place in the coming years to ensure that Talsom becomes a model of the industry.”  – Olivier Laquinte, President of Talsom

For Talsom, the purpose of any organisations goes beyond the simple search for a profit. We believe that it is the responsibility of every company to ensure involvement beyond its daily activities. A monetary implication is always good, but we find the participative implication even more striking. An important aspect of Talsom’s business reality is not only meeting the needs of its customers, but also having a real social impact on communities and the environment. We are therefore seeking to go beyond the monetary contribution. What motivates us is to have a real impact with people and/or causes in need to improve our society. The members of the Talsom team adhere to these same values and constantly seek to make useful interventions.

“In a company like Talsom, which offers advice and therefore knowledge, we feel the need to be motivated by a cause, because we have the opportunity to create a positive impact, and to feel it. The idea behind all of this is to put all of our knowledge, skills and ways of working to help organizations and communities find solutions.” – Olivier Laquinte, President of Talsom

Becoming the first Canadian technology consulting firm to achieve the B Corp certification pushes us to surpass ourselves by adopting responsible and innovative behaviors. According to the B Lab, it is this competition to become the “best responsible” that will ensure that the business community becomes even better at sharing prosperity in a more sustainable way.

So, let’s not only be the best companies in the world, but better for the world. 

B Corp Lab at Talsom Canada

How to be certified B Corp?
This process does not happen in a few days and involves a lot of effort. It starts by making sure to meet the performance requirements that are quite demanding. It involves a global analysis of the company’s procedures and their impact on stakeholders (employees, customers, community, governance and environment). In case of non-compliance with corporate and legal requirements, work needs to be done on the redesign of these policies. The time spent on this process is well worth the work and allows you to obtain a global vision of your company, little update that is always beneficial.

We are proud to be a part of the B Corp Community