3 Takeaways from Elevate 2018

I left the beautiful city of Quebec a couple of weeks ago to spend one week in Toronto. I met lovely people, discovered a great city and ate delicious food. But most of all, I gained an incredible amount of knowledge during Elevate 2018.

Elevate is a week-long innovation festival that takes place throughout the city of Toronto. The event is a must for global professionals, tech leaders, investors and creatives with its wide variety of inspiring speakers and leaders of innovation.

Here are my 3 takeaways from Elevate Toronto 2018.

Innovation in Canada


I was surprised to learn that Toronto has created more jobs than San Fran and New York in recent years. It makes a lot of sense when you think of all the talent that is emerging from the Universities in the area.

We need to be the founders (owner) of the businesses that will feed our economy and we have all the tools necessary to become leaders in innovation. We should aim to become the creators and not the consumers.

Successful Business Culture


Creating a successful business culture is a recipe that is adaptable but there are key ingredients that you can’t skip. It is a process that requires constant effort and adaptation and it is essential. We hear a lot about diversity and it is definitely a key ingredient.

Diversity is not only cultural, but it is also a part of the different professional and personal experiences individuals bring to a team. Diversity nourishes creativity and innovation and so does autonomous self-driven teams.

Autonomy is the other ingredient for success and giving complete autonomy to your teams is not an easy thing to do and it is not always possible depending on your business context. But when it is possible to do so it leads to pride, empowerment and increased happiness. Autonomy doesn’t come without occasional failure and you should embrace failure. It is a learning path that is essential for growth.

“ It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people to tell them what to do.; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” - Steve Jobs

Customer Obsession

customer obsession

I noticed a shift in business mindset in recent years where Customer Satisfaction is present more than ever to the point where we now call it Customer Obsession.

In 2018, customer satisfaction is not enough, you need to be able to predict your customer’s future needs.

1. If you live and breathe Customer Obsession you will be successful.

2. Focus on your customers and you will be successful, focus on making money and you will fail.

Don’t assume you know what your customers want because you are not your customer, listen to what they have to say, they will give you insights on the future of your product or service.

It may be sometimes expensive to do the right thing for your customers but always remember that by doing the right thing you are building trust and is hard to copy.


Customer Obsession starts at the top, lead by example (I stole this in an Uber presentation).

I guess I should mention the speech by Al Gore, former vice president of the United States and environmental activist because this has been my personal highlight.

Gore talked about the environment and global warming and said

“We’re in the early stages of a sustainability revolution”.

I found an interesting article on the subject if you want to know more. We are Earth Inc and we are all in this together

Inspired by Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend, I want to end with how grateful I am to live in a beautiful country like Canada where diversity and inclusiveness make us stronger and better every day.  

Tronno, I will be back!


Genevieve Lamontagne, Business Development Manager, INGENO