2020 Influential Businesswoman Awards

18 Acquisition International - 2020 Worldwide Finance Awards sabelle Perreault is the founder and CEO of Differly Inc, a management consulting firm that helps business owners and leaders become more competitive in a digital economy. She has a mindset that has seen her succeed unimpeded, even in industries that are classically male dominated. With an ear to the ground, Isabelle predicted that there would be a growing demand in the market for digital transformation expertise and knowledge of how to manage that kind of change across the enterprise. She focused all of her efforts on the development of a framework from which to approach transformation and building a team of executive leaders to form Differly. Isabelle refuses to think in terms of ceilings and limits. Instead, she built a reputation as a risk-taker and change-maker. Before founding Differly in January of 2018, one of those risks was leaving a safe, salaried job to head the digital team at the Ottawa Senators NHL club, on a 12-month contract. However, nine years later, she had carved out a role for modernizing fan engagement, customer acquisition and creating cross functional views of tech enabled processes. Speaking of her risk-embracing nature, she said “I have always taken roles that involved higher stakes. This has made me adaptable, humble and incredibly curious to find better ways of doing things. It has also served me very well in a digital-by-default economy, especially in times of immense change and disruption.” The nature of entrepreneurship has changed, according to Isabelle. She said that it is now much more accessible and available as an option to young women than it was when she began her career. For her, it is all about intention. “Every step I take is toward a specific goal. Sure, I’ll likely take two steps back at times, but it will always be followed by another step forward. My vision is simply to do better and be better than I was yesterday.” What is at the heart of her success? Isabelle believes that there are attributes and characteristics that all leaders, not just women, will need in order to survive the next decades. Firstly, an ability to zoom in and zoom out. Leaders who will successfully navigate the next decade will be those with an innate ability to envision the future, whilst being able to see the gaps between it and the present. They’ll be compelled to close those gaps. Isabelle describes it as a bimodal way of being that many people find uncomfortable. You must be able to see the big picture, while also having a sense of what it will take to get there. From the boxing ring to an NHL team and now CEO, Isabelle Perreault is a strong and discerning leader who knows what she wants and sets out to get it. Having launched her own company two years ago, Isabelle knows a thing or two about being a woman at the forefront of business. Most Innovative Woman in Digital Transformation Consulting (Canada): Isabelle Perreault I Of course, you can only get to that envisioned future if you are willing to “change course while flying the plane”. Isabelle said, “you have to have a rigorous framework for risk and reward. When you have a vision for the future, you will face naysayers and resistance and you must deal with this information strategically. Taking risks is imperative to success and will foster a culture of experimentation. No progress is ever accomplished with the status quo.” “Last but certainly not least,” she added, “I always tell the younger women that I mentor to remain voraciously curious and proactively seek out diverse opinions and points of view. I believe great leaders set aside ego. The ability to thoughtfully consider everyone’s opinion does not diminish your ability to decide for yourself.” As a successful leader, we asked Isabelle what she thought her career’s crowning achievements were. Firstly, she said that having the courage to take a 12-month contract created an incredible opportunity for learning and growth. But launching and growing Differly has been by far the biggest accomplishment. “The calibre of the people that have since joined Differly makes me incredibly proud. Not only are we helping business owners and leaders become resilient in the face of break-neck change and uncover opportunities to be more competitive, we also provides a place for talented people to fully own their career path.” Isabelle emphasizes that she doesn’t view her career as a series of achievements. Rather, as a continuous journey of growth and improvement, one she hopes that many other women in business will be able to replicate in the years to come. Company: Differly Inc. Contact: Isabelle Perreault Website: www.differly.com