Episode 29 Marie-Josée Lareau

[Part I] Innovating from a Distance: Do We Need to Be Together to Create? – S02. E29.

About Marie-Josée Lareau:

With over twenty years of experience in the field of creativity and innovation, Marie-Josée Lareau specializes in the development of corporate events that stimulate ideation, strategic thinking, cultural change and collaboration. She likes to adapt every event, conference, or workshop to offer solutions most adapted to the needs of her clients. She has worked with internationally renowned organizations such as Cirque du Soleil, HEC Montréal, McGill University, Concordia, C2-MTL and Abbvie Canada as Chief Innovation Officer.

Ms. Lareau has completed her EMBA (Executive Master Business Administration) with HEC and McGill University. She has taken The Art and Science of Coaching, a coaching course accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF) offered by Erickson International. She is also a Hatha yoga and Prana flow certified yoga teacher.


Dr. Laura welcomes Marie-Josée Lareau to the podcast to explore creativity and innovation, especially in these times of remote work replacing in-office collaboration. Marie-Josée, who holds an EMBA and formerly worked with Cirque du Soleil, founded InnoveLab in Montreal where she applies over 20 years of experience in the field of innovation to teaching organizations how to stimulate ideation, strategic thinking, and collaboration.

Dr. Laura and Marie-Josée Lareau define exactly what creativity and innovation mean and how they, as concepts, apply to work and business health. Marie-Josée discusses the belief that distance is killing creativity by reframing the issue as one of presence, of being fully attentive in the moment. She shares some wonderful advice for promoting collaborative brainstorming and how organizations can encourage important ideas from people no matter where they are physically located.

“But when we are online, if we apply the right conditions, and if we set up everything, we can do a lot. And I would say the key ingredient to success is really the presence, like your full presence. Because online it’s too easy to be distracted; we all lived it where we were doing this and at the same time we’re trying to type something else. And we’re all over the place. And that is not a condition for creativity. It’s not a condition for innovation. It’s not a great condition for success. And this is what we confuse sometimes because I’ve lived and run sessions where we were all focused, all together, extremely present and willing for this to happen, and it was just awesome.” Marie-Josée Lareau