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Creativity with Cirque du Soleil Executive Daniel Lamarre

Daniel Lamarre

Daniel Lamarre

25 minutes

May 26, 2024

Creativity with Cirque du Soleil Executive Daniel Lamarre
Interview Highlights

McKinsey studied companies with high scores for being creative and found that they did better than others in terms of making money. For instance, 67 percent of these companies had better-than-average growth in revenue that comes from their regular business activities.

Creativity is super important for businesses because it helps them come up with new ideas and ways of doing things, which are key for growing. Even though a lot of focus nowadays is on using data to make decisions, ignoring creativity can stop a company from innovating and doing well in a tough market.

Daniel Lamarre, the Executive Vice-Chairman of the Board at Cirque du Soleil, shares valuable insights on how creativity fuels business success. Lamarre emphasizes the importance of creativity as a driving force for innovation and growth in today's competitive market.

Here are some of the key highlights from his thoughtful interview with us.


Nurturing Creativity across the Organization:

Lamarre recounts his experience of nurturing creativity within Cirque du Soleil, emphasizing the need to foster creativity throughout the entire organization, not just within the show department. He believes that creativity should permeate every aspect of a company, from human resources to finance, as it contributes to overall innovation and success.

Openness to New Ideas and Innovation:

When discussing the differentiation between successful and struggling companies in leveraging creativity, Lamarre emphasizes the importance of being open to new ideas.

He contrasts the fate of Kodak, which resisted digital technology, with that of Apple, which continuously reinvents itself. Lamarre stresses that without creativity, there is no business, underlining the pivotal role of creativity in driving business success.

Balancing Creativity and Commercial Success:

Lamarre discusses the balance between creativity and commercial success within Cirque du Soleil, highlighting the importance of clearly defining business parameters for creative teams. He suggests providing creators with freedom within set parameters to ensure a balance between creativity and structure.

Turning Challenges into Opportunities:

In nurturing creativity and encouraging risk-taking, Lamarre shares a story of turning a challenging situation, such as the closure of a show at Disney, into an opportunity for innovation.

By reframing the situation and focusing on Disney's animation legacy, Cirque du Soleil created a successful show that celebrated creativity.

Continuous Innovation for Sustained Success: 

Lamarre emphasizes the importance of continuous innovation in sustaining success, citing Cirque du Soleil's investment in research and development and collaboration with partners like the Beatles and James Cameron.

He underscores the significance of curiosity and diversity in fostering creativity, highlighting Cirque du Soleil's diverse workforce as a strength.

Practical Advice for Fostering Innovation:

Finally, Lamarre offers advice for businesses striving for innovation, stressing the importance of staying informed about industry trends, investing in research and development, and fostering a creative environment.

He emphasizes the need for clear mandates and specific challenges to encourage creativity within organizations.

The Bottom Line:

Lamarre's insights shed light on the vital role of creativity in driving business success and offer practical advice for businesses looking to foster innovation in today's dynamic landscape.

Official Transcript

When McKinsey looked at the financial results of companies whose Award Creativity Scores were in the top quartile, they found they performed better than peer firms on three key measures, one of them being that 67 percent had above-average organic revenue growth.

The absence of creativity poses a significant problem for businesses as it hampers innovation, a key driver of growth. Despite today's emphasis on data-driven strategies, sidelining creativity stifles a company's ability to innovate and succeed in a competitive market. To address this issue, businesses should focus on specific practices: prioritizing creativity in daily operations, fostering a deep understanding of customer needs beyond traditional methods, embracing agility to swiftly act on insights, and continuously adapting based on market feedback. 

By implementing these practices, companies can create an environment conducive to fostering creativity, thereby driving innovation and sustaining business growth in today's dynamic business landscape.

Our guest today is a genius at transforming creativity into unparalleled riches, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Board at Cirque du Soleil, Daniel Lamarre.

Daniel, thank you so much for being with us today.

Daniel Lamarre: You're welcome. It's a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk about my favorite topic, Cirque du Soleil.

Could you share a pivotal moment or story from your journey and co-creating Cirque du Soleil that reflects the importance of creativity in business?

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