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A Successful Digital Transformation

November 4, 2020

Since March 13, 2020, much has changed at Executive Education HEC Montréal.

We have completely overhauled our service offering in order to meet the changing needs of the business community. It’s time to take stock of what we’ve achieved and look ahead to the future.

As the lockdown began, we initiated our digital transformation by pivoting to an online-only format for the courses that HEC Montréal already had planned. Our instructors worked hard to rethink the content and organization of their courses to remain relevant and engage participants using this new approach.

In less than two weeks, we also created 20 new courses to address the needs of professionals, executives and leaders in the midst of this crisis.

In keeping with the latest trends, we equipped our classrooms with cutting-edge technology in June 2020. With help from X2O Media, we were able to set up a virtual platform that provides an immersive experience, whether in the classroom or online. We are the very first school in Canada to adopt this system, which offers an engaging virtual experience for participants and instructors alike.

In September, we rolled out the new Executive Education HEC Montréal program lineup. In addition to our in-class courses and customized in-house training options, we have added two new ways to learn: online courses and a hybrid online/in-person format. So what do people think so far?


“The blended learning format using X2O Media’s technology is quite impressive. Réal Jacob and I used it to deliver the seminar we are probably best known for, “Cross-Functional Management: Principles, Processes and Success Factors Associated with a Matrix or Collaborative Organization.” Up to 10 participants can be there in person, and 16 to 32 people can attend virtually through stations set up on each side of the room. Each person has a webcam to be able to interact directly with the instructors. The sound comes from the participant’s screen when they talk, so we can orient ourselves and actually look at the speaker. The interactive whiteboard and graphics are wonderful as well. We also did exercises with Miro charts and virtual post-its galore.”

Jean-Marc Legentil, President of Bell Nordic and Executive Education HEC Montréal instructor.

“It was at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, and everyone was on lockdown. So the online environment was definitely unique. It was a great opportunity to share ideas and information within a small group. Sylvain Lafrance is an excellent communicator, and he has an incomparable level of expertise. He took a very structured approach, providing us with tools to guide us every step of the way and a number of examples that really resonated with me. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.”

Catherine Megelas, participant in the online “Communicating Effectively in a Crisis” course.

“I just finished teaching a two-day executive education course in the blended learning room at HEC Montréal with everyone logging in remotely. It was absolutely incredible! There were real back-and-forth discussions. The virtual activities were done in breakout groups. The co-construction exercise worked like a charm online. The whole thing went off without a hitch. We had participants from across the province, who didn’t have to leave home to get here, which is a huge plus for lots of people. With this new technology, we can have groups of 15 to 20 participants in the classroom and 10 to 15 online participants at the same time. People who live outside the greater Montreal area can have access to state-of-the-art programs, premium-quality content and high-level discussions – and all without the hassle of travelling to get here. What a great opportunity to extend our offering to French-speaking professionals around the world!”

Réal Jacob, Honorary Professor, HEC Montréal, and Executive Education HEC Montréal instructor .

More than 5,000 people have already taken advantage of our new online programs. Post-course surveys confirm that participants appreciate this approach and that our high standards of quality continue to be met.

Embracing online education is an excellent opportunity for us to help executives and companies build knowledge and broaden skill sets. Now professors, instructors and participants can enjoy what we have to offer, no matter where they are in the world!

Key facts and figures

Since March 13, 2020:

online participants from across Canada, Asia and Europe.

participants in our free webinars.

participants in our online courses.

participants in our blended learning courses.

courses available online.


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