A Q&A with Lionel Laroche, whose firm teaches individuals and employers — large and small — the cultural communication skills needed to be successful in a diverse workplace.
By Eric Heino, Inside Toronto
Already recognized as one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto is an attractive destination for professionally trained immigrants. However, navigating the world of business without understanding the subtleties of Canadian culture can result in even the most skilled and highly educated newcomer missing out on promising employment opportunities.
This is where Lionel Laroche comes into the picture. Born and raised in France, educated in the United States and now residing in the Toronto area since 1991, Laroche is the founder of MultiCultural Business Solutions.
His firm specializes in teaching individuals and corporations the cultural communication skills needed to ensure that even though employees and employers are from different countries, they can both stay on the same page in the workplace. His expertise in training both immigrants and Canadian employers to understand each other and work together has landed him a spot as morning keynote speaker at the Internationally Educated Professionals Conference on Feb. 10 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Toronto Business Times had the opportunity to speak with Laroche prior to his keynote address.
Q: Tell us a bit about what you do as president of MCB Solutions.
A: Our specialization is cross-cultural training. We work with a wide range of organizations and people. On the organization side we work with a lot of large corporations who are hiring people from all over the world. If you are in Toronto that just happens spontaneously.
When people come in from different parts of the world to work together it doesn’t always work well. Our work is to understand the cultural differences in people and how to make their interactions more productive.