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Cirque du Soleil´s CEO in an exclusive talk with Bancolombia


Por Daniel Lamarre
President & CEO / Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s CEO in talk with Bancolombia

Nota: para leer la entrevista en español, despliegue el expandible de la parte inferior.

As President and CEO for Cirque du Soleil – Canadian entertainment company-, 64-year-old Daniel Lamarre is in charge of keeping the global brand strategy, financial stability and growth in balance, as well as nurturing the integrity of their brand values and culture. When he joined Cirque du Soleil in 2001, the company used to have seven shows and 2000 employees. Ten years later, in 2011, they had developed 22 shows in five continents and hired almost 5000 employees.  

Daniel’s strength lies in his ability to work with the needs and interests of diverse groups, finding positive solutions and outcomes for everyone at all times. He has perfected this ability throughout his career with TVA Broadcast Group, NATIONAL Public Relations, and Burson Marsteller.

He is committed to perpetuate Cirque du Soleil’s success and his strategy focuses on constantly pushing the limits of the company and its members.

Capital Inteligente strongly believes that every industry has the need to reinvent itself, so we are pleased to invite you to watch the full interview and find out how innovation can become the driver to boost growth and development in your company.

What are the 3 things that should not be missing when we create and develop a strategy or experience for the client?

Here are the three key elements:

  • Make sure you understand the clients’ expectations.
  • Make sure you exceed their expectations.
  • Surprise the clients by your innovation.

This is what we always keep in mind at Cirque du Soleil and that helps us move the client’s experiences forward.

In a world where everyone would think that everything is invented, how can we be original?

The heart of this is to breath creativity. At Cirque du Soleil we have a Trend Group that travels the world to find top trends in Fashion, Design, sports and all forms of Art. They are on the constant look out of new ways, new possibilities. We also constantly use the online access to find the best talent, and don’t hesitate to jump on a plane to see artists perform. You have to invent & reinvent yourself, that was the case with circus art for Cirque du Soleil. Curiosity is key.

How to keep innovating if you are one of the most innovative companies in the world?

We have a department at Cirque du Soleil called C-Lab. They are always pushing the envelop of Research & Development. You have to make the decision to structure the company to make R&D a priority. That means the company needs to be constantly investing in R&D, year after year. You observe, discover and when you find good ideas, you have to act on them so that they eventually become part of your offer.

When a company decides that the clients are the main focus, what would be the secret to avoid that this don’t just be on paper and irrigates all areas of the company until it becomes part of the company’s DNA?

You definitely want to train employees and communicate results with them on a regular basis, so that they develop those clients’ experience skills. You want to share clients satisfaction surveys results. At Cirque du Soleil we measure the Net Promoter Score (NPS) after each show (Would you recommend this show to a friend or family member?). That way you know what your guests like the most or would like us to change in their experience. We adapt over and over to keep on raising the bar from a clients’ perspective.

How to make the best out of the talent on a diverse team?

We go worldwide. We find the best of the best internationally. At Cirque du Soleil we have employees from 50 different nationalities that speak 25 different languages. The best ideas and best talent prevail.

How can we innovate with agility?

We like to partner with Universities for fondamental research. Then, we apply that research to what can become part of our product = the shows. It enables us to remain agile. Good examples are the “drones” discovered through research and that eventually becomes applied research as they are used in our shows. Another example is the Microsoft Hololense, that changes the way we create new shows.

How can we ensure a consistent customer experience?

At Cirque du Soleil, it is all about constantly analyzing the quality of the shows. We have 20 live shows around the world. Each show, each representation, each act needs is measured.  We have our own service of Show Quality Assurance. Everyday. The artists still impress me that all the time, they have the spotlight on their work. We are in a culture of quality and excellence.

How do they use everyone's ideas to improve in real time?

Each Cirque du Soleil show is a work in progress. It is the same for more corporate fonction. At Cirque du Soleil, improving in real time in our DNA and part of our mentality. The artists and employees are always thriving at getting better and stronger at what they do. The statut quo is not an option. We are constantly pushing forward.

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