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Cirque Du Soleil

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This report is based on the case study Cirque du Soleil ( “Circus of the Sun”) is a Canadian entertainment company, self- described as a “dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment”. The company operates globally, it was found in 1984 by a 24 year old entrepreneur Guy Laliberte. The aim of this report is to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of team work and team effectiveness in the context of Cirque du Soleil. The emphasis on team have been a critical success factor in the establishment of Cirque du Soleil, this is also evident when the former director Lyn Haward states that: “it is the show itself that is the star rather than the individuals who perform in it or the employees who create it”.

For the purpose of the assignment we have selected the “Production Team” , which consists of three members, who are responsible for developing the show. Their responsibility is quite comprehensive and requires a collective team work. For example the three members are responsible from the size of its cast to the type of music that will be performed.

The first part of the report will provide two examples of inputs and two examples of processes (throughput) by referring to the open-system model, in relation to the operation team at Cirque du Soleil. The second part of the report will provide some explanation of how the inputs and process chosen will impact (influence) team effectiveness (output) at Cirque du Soleil.

Part one

The two examples that we have chosen for the inputs are organisational setting and membership characteristics. Inputs:

As you can observe from the diagram above. The production team consists of three member directors (show production, Stage and creative). They are collectively responsible for the overall running of the show, from the size of its cast to the type of music. It consists of three main people: 1.A production director, who is responsible for the overall running of the show, he makes sure everything fits together to produce a unique performance.

2. A stage director, who is responsible for everything that happens on stage. He manages the rehearsal schedule of the artists and the technical aspect of the show. He closely communicates with the lighting and elevation crew who create the image spectator see on stage. 3. A creative director, whose main focus and responsibility is to create an environment where several essential artistic components correctly combine to create a show. He will interact with the costume designers to inform them on what type of style is needed, music producers to make sure the type of music used reflects the multi-cultural aspect of the show and, finally, the coordination of the performers and their talents.

Therefore it is vitally important for the members to work collaboratively as the action of one member affects the performance or action of the other members or groups. Together all these three members report to the business executive who is responsible for the financial side of the company, ensuring that the shows provide reasonable returns, in order to support the viability of the show in the long run.

Membership characteristics play an important role in how Cirque du Soleil operates. Due to the way the show is run, the members come together to perform a single show involving the participation of all individual members. It is therefore quite important for the members to be able to work in teams rather than individually. The diversity comes from the talents and abilities of each employee due to their cultural background and this helps directors view arts from all around the world on which they can build ideas and coordinate a performance. Every employee feels valuable. Processes (throughput):

Two examples have been chosen for the process in relation to the production team in Cirque du Soleil which are communication and decision making. Decision making is a process within the production team. Each director will be expected to make decisions concerning their specific area of expertise for successful production as a whole. For the production team to produce an artistically unique and creative show there has to be good communication between the production, stage and creative directors. The production director concentrates on the overall planning, controlling and coordinating of the show. The creative director deals with the type of music a particular act will use and the number of people needed for the act, from there he would communicate with the stage and production director on what he has come up with. From there the stage director comes up with the different positions as well as the different technological effects, suitable for each of the acts performed.

He can then communicate these ideas to both the creative and the production director. The creative director can use plans/ideas given to him to in order to begin shaping the performers, designers and technicians, into an artistically unique performance associated with the design laid out by the stage and production director. Communication within the Production team is vital as it helps create an effective team which in turn results in artistically unique show. The production as a whole would be affected by the communication and decision making of the team, where each member will coordinate their acts. Planning would be essential for categorising tasks in order of priority. This will put forward the demanding tasks first such as the layout of the infrastructure, power and water supplies and the well the decor of the entire production. Less demanding tasks will then be assessed and implemented in order of need.

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