LittleBIG Connection now operates in Europe, Asia, and has just started in North America! At the beginning of 2019, Léanne took over managing LittleBIG Connection in Montreal for the North American market. Léanne shared some of her experiences with us to help us learn more about her daily life in Montreal.
Why did you choose to join LittleBIG Connection?
After studying at a Montreal Business school and working in business development for various private and state owned companies, I decided to focus my career on international development. This lead me to various extracurricular projects with the United Nations before getting a master’s degree in World Heritage Preservation & Cultural Projects for Development from UNESCO in Turin, Italy.
Subsequently, I joined Engineers Without Borders Québec where I worked as a General Manager for 3 years. As manager of the development and growth of this organization, I had the opportunity to travel to various African countries and implement an international cooperation program for young people. I also had the opportunity to set up specialised consulting services for the United Nations, the World Bank and the governments of partner countries. Working with leading experts and ensuring that their knowledge is at the heart of global development endeavours has made me realize the importance of knowledge transfer and access to expertise.
It is precisely for this reason that I joined LittleBIG Connection: to ensure that intellectual assets are accessible and transparent and that data is used to support the best human development efforts, as well as technological, economic, cultural and social ones.
Today, I am the Director of North American Operations and my goal is to develop skills and areas of expertise and to make them as accessible as possible.
What are your responsibilities as the new Regional Director?
I am very happy to be back in Montreal working with LittleBIG Connection and to be able to contribute to its development in North America! At the moment, it feels like I’m handling a startup; my days are very busy and everything is moving quickly. On the other hand, it is also this adrenaline that makes the process so much fun and makes the experience so challenging. Moreover, unlike a company starting completely from scratch, I know I can count on the support of a committed and attentive team who motivate me to move forward every day. All of this pushes me to make sure I fulfil LittleBIG’s full potential and rise to the challenges faced by all the international teams working to develop its technology.
On a daily basis, I try my best to produce a clear, concise message, explaining in simple terms the functionality of our platform and all its intelligence. I aim this message at all clients looking for certain skills, while teaming up with the best talent that Montreal has to offer. Besides developing business opportunities, it is important to adapt LittleBIG to the North American markets. In fact, there are still some differences between Montreal and France that need to be addressed in order to make LittleBIG a product that is just as tailored to the Montreal market as it is to the French one.
What are these differences?
When we compare Paris and Montreal, the cultural differences between the two regions quickly become apparent. Such differences wouldn’t be surprising between Montreal and the rest of the world, but it’s surprising considering the two are considered “cousins”.
There are actually a number of cultural differences between them and not all of them are obvious right away. However, since I have been back and forth between France and Quebec several times over the past decade, these differences are now part of me. Whether it’s the words people use, the kinds of expressions that are generally misunderstood between the two regions, or the way interpersonal relationships are developed, the most important thing is to be aware of these differences, because if they exist in one sense, they will certainly exist in the other. For example, here it’s the French people who are considered to have the funny accent! Despite all the back and forth and numerous dissections of the language’s variations, the beauty of these differences lies in their eternal presence, and I am still learning from them every day. It was only when I went to LittleBIG’s Paris office last January that I discovered the French expression “mouton à cinq pattes” [lit. “the five-legged sheep” – the non-existent holy grail of candidates]!
In your opinion, what are the advantages of working in Montreal?
Montreal is a great city to explore, both surprising and dynamic at the same time, and one that is slow to reveal its true beauty. You quickly discover a certain gentleness, as the people here are super friendly and the working hours are more flexible to allow for spare-time activities. On the flipside, Montreal is full of dynamism and enthusiasm that encourages innovation and creativity. The link between these two things, combined with the range of extreme seasons, makes this city unpredictable and invigorating. Such an environment can only foster innovation and diverse, flexible lifestyles.
All these factors not only encourage many IT professionals to work independently. Furthermore, the current economic and political conditions encourage more people to opt for a job as a consultant, freelancer or be self-employed. Montreal has a thriving community of experts in all kinds of technologies, and there are many opportunities for talented people to shine in different contexts.
LittleBIG is contributing to this momentum and hopes to simplify the talent search for all companies affected by the current labour shortage, while offering self-employed workers the opportunity to find contracts that match their potential!
What will LittleBIG Connection bring to the North American market?
LittleBIG’s collaborative and transparent nature is changing the status quo in the consulting and information technology world.
For large companies, LittleBIG will simplify their procurement and management processes for IT services. This will help desaturate the market while increasing access to skills.
As for freelancers and consultants, LittleBIG will provide transparent and fair access to tenders by allowing the best talent to overtake those dominating the market. Also, we will continue to help freelancers by completing its service range with more partnerships aiming to constantly improve the service providers’ working life. We already count about ten companies among its proud collaborators, including WeWork, Uber, Babbel, etc.
In short, LittleBIG will contribute to developing the future of work in the North American market!
Do you have a more personal anecdote to conclude?
On a more personal note, I like reading novels on the subway, doing all sorts of trail runs and enjoying a drink with friends! I therefore feel very at home in the Montreal culture, but equally I don’t hate the Parisian one!
Thank you for downloading this document !
You will receive it shortly via email.