SME Innovation | Profession: innovation management consultant

He is the founding president of the Circle of Innovation Leaders in Montreal. He plays a similar role in New York as well as in Paris. On a daily basis, he advises business leaders and decision-makers. And he learned to cope with a very busy schedule! Portrait.

Dave Caissy, 48, has had a career in innovation management for a quarter of a century. Manufacturing companies, large government corporations and the main economic players, both in Quebec and abroad, know where to find it when it comes to defining the major issues of innovation.

“I can say that in this industry, I am quite well known”, admits without pretension the associate director at Audax Innovation.

The company of six specialists, which he runs from his Montreal offices – since the pandemic, he has opened a small office in Deux-Montagnes – fulfills consulting mandates with around 100 companies per year .

“We have a global mission,” he explains. Our customers are distributed in a proportion of 40% in Canada, 30% in the United States and 30% in Europe. We serve mandates in India and the Philippines. ”

What about Quebec?

In the Quebec market, what does he observe when we ask him for advice? What does it offer its clients who seek to establish an innovative “strategy” that will be crowned with success?

“In many cases,” he replies, “business leaders who consult me ​​are faced with a dilemma. Either they say they are ready to invest time and money to improve their processes and their working methods, or they intend to take a shortcut to buy a start-up which already occupies the desired niche. ”

The latter approach, according to him, “is much less attractive, from an economic point of view”, considering the often very high price to pay to buy a business.

I would even say that the world of start-up takes advantage of the situation, of the slowness of established companies to take the necessary measures to innovate and expand further in their markets.

Dave Caissy, Founding President of the Circle of Innovation Leaders

This is where his role of adviser in “innovation management” comes in and is confirmed, in a more concrete way.

“It is not easy, establishing an innovation plan. This is why, before getting started, you have to structure your approach, measure the impact of the decisions that will be put forward, ensure that it will be profitable, in the end, ”he argues.

“In my work, I often advise business leaders who want to innovate, but who have no plans and who underestimate the workload that such an approach requires. ”

One thing is certain, notes the innovation management advisor, Quebec companies “are very innovative”, but they do not have all the financial means to achieve their objectives.

“I would say they are moving forward according to the financial means at their disposal,” he said. We are talking about small and medium-sized businesses here. Quite often the owner is easily accessible, and easier to convince that this is the route to go. ”

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