MetaPhorage Blog

  • The Behaviours of Creativity: Insights from Creative Bangkok

    The participants of Creative Bangkok 2014 engaged in assessing what “animals” (Organizational Zoo metaphor characters representing behaviours) supported creativity and which were detrimental to it. After a very quick introduction (because we wanted intuitive interpretation and creative open exchange of perspectives with minimal preconception) to The Organizational Zoo, participants allocated character cards into 4 categories for the context of generating creative environment:
    Expected (required for creative outcomes)
    Desired (not absolutely required, but a positive influence on creativity)
    Tolerated (not desirable, prefer not to be displayed)
    Not Tolerated (will have a strong disruptive impact on creativity)

    Five characters were selected for each category, which left six characters out, as being less relevant to the question (not better or worse, just not as applicable to this context).

    Nine groups of 4 or 5 people were given just 20 minutes to sort the cards. Then participants walked around to observe other groups’ outputs and discuss similarities and differences. A high level analysis of the overall patterns of selection is in the table below and a …



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.