Julie Bédard is the President and CEO of Quebec Chamber of Commerce and the first woman to manage the CCIQ in over 200 years of history.
A lawyer by training and an MBA graduate, Julie Bédard has more than 20 years of experience in the business world, in SMEs and in large companies. Dynamic and results-oriented, she is known for her communication skills, her management skills, her ability to build partnerships and her sense of strategic development.
What is your definition of “innovation”?
Often, we say that innovation is about technologies, but technologies are one part of the innovation. To innovate is a blended way of thinking, the art of being and the way we act. The growth of companies is linked with their ability way to create and innovate. This is about going further and changing the way you do normal things with modern technologies and taking risks.
Of course, the CEO’s and founder’s have to be up to date about new technologies, but they also have to be surrounded with a team that believes in innovation and has an open mind towards change. Most of the time, changes and innovation in companies are complete only when the team support and believes in it.
Why is it important for companies to innovate and invest in modern technologies?
The modern technologies are connected with consumer’s interests. If your company are up to date with modern technologies such as CRM, corporate brand and social network monitoring, you will reach your consumer easier than never before. The cost of being “modern” is important but think of it differently, Can you manage not to be connected? Think of it a long term investment as if it’s done the right way, it will increase your team’s efficiency, and the company’s valuation and a very powerful HR strategy to retain the best employees!
What advice can you give to Canadian businesses looking to make the most out of their investments in innovation?
Taking risks with a clear go-to-market strategy is the first step of innovation. It’s not all about pure technologies, but putting your clients and employees around innovation is the right way to do it. However, you will not win without fail. Never underestimate the strength of a team in the success of your innovation. Consult them. Make them a part of your project.