Belles-Jeudis of Femmessor Montreal with France Senécal: “A real gazelle, in business and in the desert!”

Holder of a bachelor’s degree in computer science, a master’s degree in management information technology and a diploma of specialized graduate studies (DESS), France founded, in 1998, Merkurium, a computer company whose main product soon became the software flagship of strategic planning in schools in Canada and then in the United States.

In 2007, with its success and notoriety, it attracts the attention of a large firm to which it decided to sell its business to take a new take off. She continues her career as an entrepreneur in strategic management consulting through various business projects.

In 2003, the adventure calls him. This is the moment to pause in his career and embark on a new challenge: the rally Aïcha des Gazelles, rally-raid  in the desert of  southern Morocco which is open only to women. That is 2,500 kilometers covered with the only help of a  compass  and 1 / 100,000th s maps to trace its route between checkpoints: GPS , binoculars  and  mobile phone prohibited … The winning crew is the one who totals the Fewer kilometers to the odometer between checkpoints while achieving the best time …

For an hour that seemed very short, France Senécal unrolled with energy, enthusiasm and creativity the thread that connects the epic Merkurium and the rally of the Gazelles, two adventures a priori quite dissimilar …

The link? For France it’s obvious: planning!

If the race itself will only last three and a half weeks, the preparation will take more than a year and a half! Who says preparation says planning:

  • Set specific goals (get 5 tags each morning in the desert)
  • Identify the best strategies (calculate distances, progression, etc.)
  • Measure (analyze where you are, in the desert as well as in companies, you measure all the time, you need indicators: temperature, distance, tire pressure, etc.)
  • Adjust because, beyond expectations, anything can happen at any time (wiping a sandstorm or facing an unexpected competitor.) In 2005 Merkurium is No. 1 on the Ontario market but a competitor reversed the steam Merkurium gets $ 600,000 in contracts instead of $ 7 to $ 8 million.
  • Celebrate when the goal is reached!

But for France, the cement of the success of any project is communication! It’s important to know what’s happening at all times. Talking to one another continually allows one to make the necessary adjustments or to rectify one’s position as is the case in the desert.

Finally the lessons of gazelles are simple and adapted to all environments:

  • Surround yourself, surround yourself (strong allies, personal, professional), network …
  • Develop, maintain, structure, prioritize, adapt, persevere, measure, take the pulse …
  • Communicating with your entire team …
  • Never burn bridges: it does not leave any good traces!

Paradoxically, France feels that she has let herself be carried away by life.

Projects? She does not miss it: continue the advice service, start a new company in October 2014 and produce a One Woman Show to contribute in its own way to draw attention to the degradation of our beautiful planet … “A more playful way than the policy to bring positive messages of change to society! “

By Anne Labrosse, Communications Manager, Femmessor-Montréal