The Novaconcept team comprises more than 50 experienced consultants with a range of expertise to guide you in developing your teams and leaders and meeting your organization’s transformation challenges.

Portrait d'Isabelle Bérubé

When Isabelle Bérubé joined the Novaconcept team, she brought her many years of experience in management, organizational development and leadership coaching. A long-time collaborator at Coaching de Gestion as a Coach Leader Trainer, her extensive experience in management in the field goes hand-in-hand with her insightful and people-focused approach. I can feel her energy throughout our meeting, she’s not afraid to challenge the status quo in her ideas. It’s clear that she listens carefully to her clients to compassionately help them with their challenges.

Isabelle passionately starts talking to me about the challenges she sees in organizations and the urgent need for organizational transformation. Clearly, the old hierarchical management model is no longer sustainable due to issues related to market volatility, labour shortages and a changing workforce profile, union partners, governance and new health and safety legislation. Organizations have no choice but to adapt to the values and profiles of new generations, which means transforming their culture and leadership. We need to make performance and change management more empathetic by putting people first.

Above all, employees are looking for a meaningful job and mission. Performance and financial rewards are no longer enough to retain employees and foster their commitment to the company’s mission.   People have been saying this for some time, but it could not be clearer today.  Employees want to be involved in development and decision-making. They need personal recognition and a better quality of life, including more flexible working hours. While employees are still capable of creativity and a high level of performance, the means to achieve them must change. Isabelle observed that organizations and leaders who put people at the heart of the organization’s mission and transformation saw many benefits in terms of retention, health and well-being, performance, and employee and customer experience.

For Isabelle, the solution lies first and foremost in a changing culture and developing leaders who dare to question things. Leaders need to use their team’s creativity to find solutions and establish a people-first performance culture. I point out that this is a big job with a lot of unknowns. She looks at me kindly and answers with conviction:

“The culture must allow for mistakes, coaching, feedback, and learning support for managers at all levels. Give them the flexibility to try new approaches and projects and to reach out to employees on the ground to establish a collaborative approach.”

Above all, she recommends practising openness to reconcile performance with people. We need to rethink how we organize work and implement a collaborative approach that includes practice, coaching and co-development communities.  These approaches encourage creativity, collaboration, a sense of autonomy and empowerment, collective intelligence and peer learning. They help employees be engaged and creative in finding solutions, and performance will naturally follow.

People still have the desire to grow, move forward and make a  difference—what is changing are their reasons for doing so. Money and self-actualization throughout people’s careers are no longer the main drivers. They’re only one set of motivations among many others. Isabelle told me many stories about it, often from high-performing young managers who are already exhausted. They have many questions about whether their presence and contribution make a real and positive difference to their workplace and society. She points out that regardless of their level, these managers share the need to be valued and have their work recognized. The solution also lies in offering support and guidance to ensure that they are committed to the objectives of a given decision. When these conditions are met, their loyalty and performance are second to none.

Isabelle looked me in the eye and says:

“But for that, Anne-Marie, you need leaders who are not only open and willing to listen but, above all, who are consistent. They need to walk the talk, as they say! Authenticity, humility, credibility and transparency are great management strengths that make all the difference in the transformation of both organizations and our vision of performance.”

By the end of the meeting, Isabelle made it clear that while there are many challenges for organizations at the moment, they all share an urgent need to make people their top priority. This conviction leads directly to her mission to guide leaders through the current major transformations to adapt their leadership to their organizational context and influence and engage their teams using people-focused change management.

Despite the scale of the challenges, Isabelle has a range of solutions. I came away from the meeting feeling invigorated and optimistic. With her benevolent but determined approach, Isabelle embodies a view of performance and work organization that is very similar to mine. There is no doubt that in her daily practice, she walks the talk.

Organizational Transformation | Novaconcept

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Did you find the interview with Isabelle Bérubé as inspiring as I did? Novaconcept and Isabelle Bérubé are there to help you walk the talk by supporting you in your organization’s transformation and leadership development.