Contract - July 2009 - (Page 38)

essay life is a circus Contract: Lyn, you talk about how you search for talent and about how you go around the world and find people who are talented, but they also really have to want to be part of a team. Heward: That’s one of the big keys for Cirque. You can take the most talented, most gifted people in the world, but unless they want to be a member of a team, they’re not going to last long in the company. We have an expression, which is a little bit of kitsch, but we say that the show is the star. When you go to a Cirque de Soleil show, you don’t see anybody’s name associated with the title of the show. At the bottom of the page or the program, you might see the name of the director of the show or the person who wrote the show, but you don’t see the name of an individual artist. And that’s because Cirque chooses a collaborative team approach to creating, and that applies not just to the artists on the stage, but also it applies to the team of creators that we put together each and every time we build a show. Rockwell: So the whole notion of collaboration is, in some ways, about setting the context in which people are comfortable collaborating, and creating the context in which people can improve and do their best work. It seems that the key part of collaboration is setting that kind of mission and spirit in which people are willing to take risks. What are the key components of creating that trust among the collaborators so that can happen? Heward: First of all, I believe in strong visionary leadership. We go out and target whom we want to have as a writer/director at Cirque. The director is also the writer of the show. That’s the person who conceives the show. And that new director is extremely important. There’s a meeting of the minds going on there. There’s a building of confidence. There’s an understanding of how each person works and likes to work. Contract and HOK invited designer David Rockwell to interview Lyn Heward, creative director and consultant at Cirque du Soleil, about collaboration in performance art and the importance of taking risks Design Thinking: is a creative process driving innovation based around the “building up” of ideas unlike linear analytical thinking. The seven stages are: define, research, ideate, prototype, choose, implement, learn. The second thing is offering the director of the show team workers, people with whom he or she may never have worked before, but would like to work with, as a set designer, costumer designer, composer, lighting designer, sound designer, prop designer, etc., and giving them a little bit of a comfort zone—maybe they’ll choose one or two people that they’ve worked with before—and then challenging them with a few other people who have other diverse experiences. They might come from different parts of the world. One may come from the world of live entertainment, and another comes from the world of cinema. Rockwell: So clear leadership obviously is important—visionary leadership, a team that is inspired by each other, with some unexpected elements that you add. And we like to think of that, in our work, as the radical free agent that will add to a more stable condition. 38 contract july 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - July 2009

Contract - July 2009
Guest Editorial
Resources: Alpha Workshops
Green Building Goes Global
The Collaborative Workplace
All For Fun
Group Practice
Caring Collaborator
Life is a Circus
Cohesive Spaces in Public Places
On the Landscape
Castles in the Sand
Face to Face
Heart and Soul
Project Management
Dream Team
Ad Index

Contract - July 2009