by: Ellie Syracopoulos, manager, graphic communications, Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil’s dazzling performances begin with a spark of an idea and a focused team. As manager of the graphic communications team at Cirque, it’s just as important that our team off the stage be as centered and on-task as our performers are on stage. Our work is often the first impression someone has of the show, and can be the tipping point for a ticket purchase.

To get the most out of the team, I focus on fostering an environment that allows creativity. The tools that help me build this type of environment are not so different from those that the performers use on stage: open communication, flexibility and gratitude.

For our work to stand up to Cirque du Soleil’s reputation for innovation and excellence, we need every person to contribute their most creative thoughts. To encourage this, I often walk around and visit individual designers to demonstrate that communication channels are open. Making sure everyone knows their ideas will be heard and valued helps us produce the best work.

Rigid structure and processes can limit creativity. Flexibility is something I encourage my team to focus on daily to meet the deadlines we face each week.

Having gratitude for the opportunity to work for a company like Cirque du Soleil, helps our daily work have meaning. We’re even given the perk of previewing new shows that are launched in Montreal, home of our International headquarters in Montreal. When the team joins in the fun, that enjoyment is reflected in their work.

When it comes to simple tactics, here’s a rundown of what I do to keep myself and team focused:

  • Turn off email notifications
  • Turn down your phone ringer
  • Do not bring your cell phone to a meeting and take copious notes
  • Block off time each day to focus on hot projects, and stick to it!


The content shared in this blog post is the author’s opinion and does not necessarily reflect the views of Xerox.  #FocusFriday is a weekly conversation helping people with productivity in the office.  Posts can be at the same time fun and serious, in the spirit of the Xerox’s Business of Your Brain app, yet always focused on what matters most, Real Business.