The founder of multimedia production company Realisations, Roger Parent may be considered a serial disruptive thinker. He is, for one, a highly motivated (and motivating) individual. Following the insights shared by Harvard’s Clayton Christensen in his book “The Innovator’s Dilemma”, this means that companies like Parent’s are incessantly busy identifying niches that remain unoccupied by the larger players, and to develop an expertise to fill these market segments with novel products and services. As writes Christensen, “motivation is the catalyzing ingredient for every successful innovation. The same is true for learning.”
Roger Parent was one of the early supporters of the MosaiC project when it was launched by Patrick Cohendet and Laurent Simon in 2007. “If you’re doing something crazy, I want to be part of it”, he reportedly answered. An active creator, a businessman who sees himself as an artist, the former Cirque du Soleil executive is also giving significant thought to economic and financial affairs. His lexical analysis of economics as expressed in the English language reveals the many contradictions which dominate the field, and the disruptive potential that lays within the current system of production.
An unusual businessman, Parent admits to not aiming to achieve growth. The goal is rather, he says, to reach a form of stability. As the appropriation of ever-increasing resources by select individuals is undoubtedly a macro-economic source of imbalance, Parent choses to apply his diagnostic to his daily life and to his company’s own activities. “The mediated world is taking a more important place in our lives and we need to know what this does to us, to find balance”. Balance, for Realisations, is found in movement, in search, in an endeavour that aims to explore the confines of experience. Artists have a duty to be dealing with mediation. A duty to learn. And in the combination of art and social study, Parent finds a meaning he makes his own.
This text is part of a series written in the context of the Fifth edition of the Montreal-Barcelona Summer School on Management of Creativity, organized by Mosaic HEC Montréal and Universitat Barcelona, July 9 to 24, 2013.
Illustration by Studio 923a. Read all posts in the series at blog.fandco.ca/yulbcn.