Thanks to over 30 years of data collected by the Leger survey firm, a mission to paint a portrait of Quebec was commenced. Four major surveys, thirty complementary interviews with Quebec leaders and an interesting semiometry analysis later, Jean-Marc Léger and his colleagues Jacques Nantel and Pierre Duhamel have published a book that unveils the subtleties that characterizes Quebecers. It’s no secret that Quebec has a lot of particularities and remains one of most fascinating places to discover in the world. Its history is rich and its culture has evolved over centuries. To this date, a lot of those two elements transpires through its landscape and its people. Cracking The Quebec Code is an attempt to pinpoint traits that distinguishes Quebecers from the rest of Canada (ROC) and Americans. It’s only after discovering that 71 percent of the attitudes and behaviors they’ve analyzed where similar between Quebecers and the ROC that the focus was turned towards the precious 29 percent. It’s within those percentages that the authors have concluded having discovered what makes Quebecers different from the rest of the population.
Seven major traits were highlighted in this book (the book cover features them): joie de vivre, victim, easygoing, proud, creative, non-committal and villagers. Each chapter is efficiently coded with a color and dives into each of the traits. While some of them sound offensive and unthinkable, they often carry some truth in them. The authors do a fantastic job in explaining their points and back them up with the data they’ve collected. I did find myself wondering about the validity of certain points they were trying to convey, but in the end, I thought these aspects were nice for entrepreneurs to contemplate and decide for themselves of their pertinence to today’s society. Sometimes these data are pretty thin and would definitely need a lot more digging than simply asking a certain random number of individuals about certain topics. It still remains that most of the conclusions drawn are simply statistics. In other words, this book gives readers a great insight into what to expect with three generations of Quebecers, but further research that confirm these findings are much needed. Over the span of 30 years, and during a time and age where change happens a lot faster than we would expect, it isn’t too far-fetched to think that there’s more to Quebecers than what has been stated, especially for the years to come.
The examples that are also given throughout each chapters are always bits that are quite riveting. Anyone who’s had no knowledge of the impact that countless Quebecers have had in several fields (film, video game, transportation, etc.) will be astonished by the information given in this book. There’s a lot of impressive names thrown around, which might also be quite overwhelming and hard to remember for anyone who blindly jumps on an opportunity to read this book. In fact, Cracking The Quebec Code is a book made for entrepreneurs who seek to make an impact among Quebecers. The amount of information you can garner from the insights of Jean-Marc Léger, Jacques Nantel and Pierre Duhamel is impressive. Individuals who seek to understand Quebecers and get a first impression of the kind of people they are trying to target will find this book very handy. It might not represent every single Quebecer on the streets, but it does give you enough ideas on how to sell an idea to us.
Reading this, I definitely felt a political agenda emerge from it. While it wasn’t anything harmful, the idea of showcasing the differences between French Quebecers and the ROC can stir some emotions among Quebecers themselves. Even if this attempt to make Quebec feel like a country (it is a province today) is present throughout this book, there’s no denying that Quebecers have done a lot to claw their way into the view of many. The reputation of this province precedes it, and this book shows you a nice glimpse of all those traits that represents a lot of Quebecers. While the French culture in Quebec is one that fights religiously to survive, most Quebecers—as the authors have brilliantly summed up—come from a French culture, live in an English society and have an American lifestyle. Quebec (especially Montreal) remains one of the most multicultural societies out there. Cracking The Quebec Code is definitely an interesting read and a great place to start off any project that wishes to flourish in Quebec. If you’re looking to take a crack at the Quebec Code, this is definitely a good place to start.