innovation | September 24, 2014

Learning through Failure: Cirque du Soleil's Welby Altidor on Innovation

Welby Altidor, Executive Creative Director for Cirque du Soleil, recently sat down with the Globe and Mail to discuss learning, creativity, and innovation. In the video, which is embedded above, he spoke about the importance of failure as a necessary step in the learning process. "I think of my daughter and how she learned to walk, and that’s what she did most of the time: she failed," he says. "I remember the first time we went on the ice rink—the first thing I showed her to do was to learn how to fall, so she could get that part out of the way and start to really learn. Failure is profoundly linked to the learning experience." It's a process he embraces in his work at Cirque, and one that the whole company is constantly learning from.

Another method that is particularly useful for Cirque is out-of-the-box collaboration: bringing people together that might not otherwise every have the chance to work in partnership. "The future of innovation is about groups that sometimes don’t have connecting responsibilities," says Altidor, "but come together to create something greater than what they could do on their own."

This is especially evident in one of Altidor's newest projects: C:LAB, the creative laboratory of The Cirque du Soleil Group. The lab's first project is SPARKED, a beautiful and unusual short film that features 10 quadcopters and unites humans and flying machines in choreography.


More about the making of SPARKED:

In his talks, Altidor explains how a creative mindset can help businesses and organizations solve problems, challenge the status quo, and be more successful than ever. To book Welby Altidor as a speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency.

Up Next

work | September 16, 2014