Case Study

Art of creative leadership: Diaghelev and the Ballets Russes, early 1900s

21 pages
June 2002
Reference: IMD-3-1053

This case, to be taught in conjunction with the case “Art of Creative Leadership: Taranda and the Imperial Russian Ballet, 2000” (IMD-3-1054), has been written to demonstrate that business might have something to learn from leadership in the arts, and vice-versa. The great impresario, Sergej Diaghelev, brought the Ballets Russes to Paris in 1909, and transformed ballet worldwide as a result. The case provides a rich panorama of Diaghelev’s life, work, and leadership – and implicitly demands comparison between his life, work and accomplishments and the lives, work and accomplishments of our business leaders. There are also sharp contrasts with Taranda, who is trying to follow in Diaghlev’s footsteps a century later. Key leadership learning points revolve around the definition of personal and organizational purpose, leadership competences and capabilities, and how these are acquired as well as latent, and the fit between an epoch, its opportunities and leadership ambitions. A video and a teaching note complete this case series.

Organizational Purpose, Strategic Redefinition, Performing Arts
Published Sources
© 2002
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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