What on earth is the Organizational Zoo I hear you ask – well, this well researched and developed set of metaphors created by my friend Arthur Shelley, enables you and your organisation to enhance performance and reduce stress. Each animal or plant in the ‘zoo’ represents intuitively recognisable behavioural styles commonly encountered in organisations and social settings. By developing an understanding of the animals and how they interact, you will learn to how to behave in ways that secures the optimal outcomes for all parties.  

I have used the Organizational Zoo in workshops to get great conversations going about organisational culture and supported (and unsupported) behaviours.  It is a great technique and one that we at the ARRC are committed to sharing more widely in the NRM sector.

Zoo Philosophy highlights that modern organisations are like zoos: they are unnatural environments where animals not naturally associated with each other are clustered into small cages and forced to interact, sometimes against their will. This unnatural environment causes stress that can lead to difficult situations and generate a negative and political culture.

The Organizational Zoo metaphor can relieve these stresses by providing a different perspective and a fun way to build relationships and generate positive change. Years of research and practice on these natural (animal and plant) metaphors, has shown that they can be used to enhance the performance of individuals, teams and organisations. The methods are simple and intuitive for workshop participants when delivered by a trained Organizational Zoo Ambassador (like Siwan and Nerida at the ARRC!).

We are now partners with the Organizational Zoo and will be running workshops next year using these techniques, so stay in touch with our blog and also visit the Zoo website for more information.