Jean-François Langlais – The inspiring communicator

Head of Strategic Communications, Office of the President
Combining curiosity and know-how, Jean-François Langlais leverages communication to help people and the company evolve.

In his day-to-day work, Jean-François supports the President and Chief Executive Officer in all aspects of communications, sees to it that executive committee meetings run smoothly and promotes communications best practices throughout the company. For Jean-François, communication is a means to achieving a given end—right down to meetings with colleagues. And his motivation is to help others get their messages across effectively.

An outstanding communicator, Jean-François is naturally engaging and approachable. Despite his busy schedule, his colleagues know that he’s always available—and willing!—to take a good idea to the next level!

Curiosity as a driver of change
With a background in sociology, Jean-François began his career as a strategic advisor. After fifteen years, his curiosity drew him to business intelligence and he began developing data management solutions.

“It was an unusual career move at the time. The goal for me was to learn how to understand the world through data. As I like to say, a dashboard is ALSO a means of communication!”

It was in a data management role that Jean-François joined iA Financial Group in 2017.

But his deep interest in people and social dynamics led him back to strategic communications. As an expert in this field, he shares his insights far and wide with contagious enthusiasm. Ultimately what he conveys is a way of thinking and acting. “Communication is a means—not an end—to interacting with and shaping the world around us.” An idealist with his feet firmly on the ground, Jean-François’ natural gift for leadership brings people together and inspires their trust.

In a role like his, there’s no shortage of tasks requiring a host of skills to bring them to fruition. Good communication skills are essential, but interpersonal skills are just as important. The key to success is sound judgment and to thrive, wide-ranging curiosity is a must.

Learning new things has always been a driving force for Jean-François. “As long as I have something to discover or develop, I feel like I’m moving forward, which I can leverage for the benefit of those around me and my career. There’s just so much to know and to do!”

People have different learning styles, and for Jean-François, taking courses and applying what he learns works like a charm. Not only has he taken courses in philosophy and finance over the past few years, he also finished a master’s degree during the pandemic.

“When I realized how much time we would have confined to our homes, I thought I might as well buckle down and do something productive!”

Efficiency in everything to support others
From the moment he stepped into the role of Head of Strategic Communications, Jean-François has thrown himself into the position, putting his positive outlook and influence to work for the company. His overarching communications goal is to align the perspectives of executives, managers and employees toward a shared vision and a renewed culture of openness, collaboration and excellence.

“My highest aspiration is to leave the world a better place than I found it. My work consists in helping others succeed, and when I see people making progress, I feel truly satisfied. Their growth ultimately nourishes my own.”

With his deep thirst for knowledge, Jean-François is an early riser. Often awakened by ideas and a desire to know more about the world, he spends the early hours of his day reading and working. Then, to energize body and mind, he takes an hour-long walk in the woods before waking the rest of the household, often sharing his morning’s musings at an hour when most people would still be asleep.

“I make the most of my walks by listening to a podcast or audiobook. Otherwise, I listen to some music to help get my thoughts flowing. I let my mind wander, and, along the way, an idea pops up or a new angle of communication takes shape.”

Expressing gratitude by giving back
Thankful for what he has been given, Jean-François gives back in turn. On the philanthropic front, he’s long been involved with educational organizations, which, given his background and interests, have always been close to his heart. A long-time board member of his daughters’ childcare centre, he now serves on the board of the Université TÉLUQ, where he is active in the strategic planning and governance committees. “I’m very privileged to be working for a thriving company that gives me so many opportunities to flourish, so I see it as my duty to give back to society in return.”