what I learned from taking part in the Mosaic HEC Montréal summer school

From June 21 to July 8, I took part in theMosaic HEC Montréal Summer School, a training experience spread between Montreal and Barcelona, where innovation management concepts are discussed and applied.

here are 4 things I realized during his experience of returning to the "school benches".

- Joyce McLean, Summit and Community Relations Manager at MAIN


together, we go further

The premise of the Mosaic Summer School is to team up with other participants to work on a common project for three weeks. Ours: how to bring to life a world-class innovation hub in Montreal, i.e. the recently announced Ax-C project.

my team: students from HEC Montréal, people from different countries, people with backgrounds unrelated to the subject we're working on.

Although I was excited to see who I'd be working with on the first day of the Summer School, I must admit I was apprehensive about spending three weeks with this group of switched-on but mismatched people.

In the end, at the end of our stay, we managed to bring a different color to the project, based on our background and knowledge.

and this enabled us to come up with a reflection that had many more dimensions than I could have worked on alone, even with double the time.

Cirque du Soleil's Echo show
HEC MOSAIC Summer School outing to Cirque du Soleil's Echo show.

we talk a lot about the importance of agreeing on a common destination, but we forget that we sometimes have different motivations for getting there

right from the start of the Summer School, it was agreed that we would deliver 20 slides to present our work. We tend to think that's enough, to agree on the objective.

At one point in the process, I suggested we go round the table to find out what motivated each of us to work on the project we'd been assigned.

the answers were as surprising as they were different: one person wanted to respect academic methodologies as much as possible to validate his master's learning; another was part of the innovation hub and attached less importance to the final result than to the exchanges that enabled us to arrive at the result; and yet another was there above all to have a good time (and that's okay too!).

in a team, we don't take enough time to share what we consider to be a successful experience, beyond the KPIs.

We can both agree that we want to take a trip to the Magdalen Islands next summer. But maybe you want to get there as quickly as possible to make the most of your time there, and maybe I want to take my time and admire the scenery along the way, stopping to see my aunt in Moncton on the way.

Photo of a V-shaped formation of birds, a symbol of benevolence and teamwork.

give generously when it's possible for you to do so, and be kind to those who are having a bad day.

I had a little personal tragedy during the Summer School, and it slowed me down for a few days. I thought at the time that maybe it wasn't worth it for me to join the team anymore.

when i came back, i was greeted with a warm welcome. things had moved on. the project was on track.

I was able, in turn, to keep the project moving forward at a time when other people needed a rest.

that's what a work team is all about. some days, "you're on a roll" as the cousins say. things are moving forward, and productivity is at its peak. colleagues who are not doing so well that day, carry them.

eventually, it's you who'll have the worst day; everyone falls down eventually. and the day you can't give as much as usual, the others will be there to keep the boat afloat.

My team during the MOSAIC Summer School at Tech Barcelona: Gian Paolo (HEC student), Julian (Centech), Joyce (MAIN), Isabelle (CIQ), Alain (CRIAQ), Miquel (Tech Barcelona), Tracey-Ann (ÉEQ) & Maryam (HEC student).

adapt your plans, all the time

I experienced a small frustration during the Summer School: the realization, each day, that I knew even less than the day before.

As we learned new concepts and saw new examples of innovation, we had to change the course of our work.

innovation (or life) isn't like a mathematical formula that can be applied over and over again, with the certainty of having exactly the right answer.

it's important not to get too attached to an idea, to a well-defined plan. we tell startups, "don't fall in love with your product. don't fall in love with your product ".

well, let's not fall too much in love with our well-defined plans. there's hardly anything that's going to turn out the way we planned.

- Joyce McLean, Community Relations Manager

Yves Pigneur, creator of the Business Model Canvas, during a Summer School workshop in Barcelona.