LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Friday, 4 July 2014

How to run a circus with three decisions in a minute - Zippos circus

Training for Scotland's Commonwealth Youth Circus
But there's more to running a circus than
jumping through hoops.

If you want to run a circus you have to be able to think quickly.

According to Martin Burton of Zippos, his staff can make three decisions in under a minute.

"I have spoken to businessmen who look amazed and say, 'Well, in my company that would take six months to make those three decisions'. Yes, well, learn how to do it. If there's a problem, solve it," says Burton.

"We used to plan ahead. We had planning meetings and planning meetings and planning meetings and then at the last minute, everything would change.

"Then one day I had one of those eureka moments, and I said we are never going to have another planning meeting because we always change at the last minute. So what we are going to do is every senior staff member is going to be taught crisis management."

Burton was speaking to BBC News Scotland for an item about the business side of running a circus that looked Zippos and also the Commonwealth Youth Circus.

Would you like to know more? Click here to read the article online.

And for a really deep look into the running of traditional and contemporary circuses, read Circus Mania, which includes my in depth interviews with showmen such as Martin Burton, Dr Haze (of the Circus of Horrors), Jasper King of the Chippolatas, Brian Austin (Chinese and Moscow State Circuses) and Gerry Cottle; as well as clowns, sword-swallowers, trapeze artists and tiger trainers.

Click here to read the customer reviews on Amazon.

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