MetaPhorage Blog

  • 8.23 a good time to collaboratively reflect

    Umeå Univeristy host a weekly event called 8.23 each Tuesday morning to discuss a paper in development and to share ideas around what resident researchers are working on. I participated in this firstly as someone engaging around other’s ideas and later as the facilitator of my own Organizational Zoo concept.  Both conversations led to stimulating exchange of ideas.  I believe that the concept of proactively engaging others to seek their perspectives though constructive feedback enhances the value and relationships for everyone involved and is enjoyed by the participants.

    Engaging others in exchange of perspectives through conversation, is something I make a conscious effort to practice myself, because it opens our minds to new ideas. 8.23 is facilitated in a way to optimise the outcomes and create a constructive environment. This stimulates trust to interact in a professionally manner and is aligned with the concept of Conversations that Matter. Benefits are generated by challenging the interdependencies between behaviour, conversation and context and their impacts on relationships.
    The benefits of aligning behaviour with context and pre-thinking on what behaviours are optimal …



About The Organizational Zoo

This well researched and developed set of metaphors will enable you and your organisation to enhance performance and reduce stress. Each animal or plant represents an intuitively recognisable behavioural style commonly encountered in organisations and social settings. By developing an understanding of the animals and how they interact, you will learn to interact in a way that secures the optimal outcomes for all parties.

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.

NOTE: OZAN (Organizational Zoo Ambassadors Network) members have been trained to engage people with the OZAN methods for successful outcomes. Although it is possible for experienced facilitators not previously exposed to OZAN methods to use them (providing they create an ethical and “fail-safe” environment), we strongly recommend liaising with and accredited OZAN Ambassador before attempting any interventions. As with any developmental tool, it is critical they be used in an ethical and constructive manner where behaviours are discussed not individual people.