MetaPhorage Blog

  • Behavioural DNA of Leadership

    Ambassadors  and Members of The Organizational Zoo Ambassadors Network (affectionately known as OZAN) used the Zoo Character Cards to explore the behavioural DNA of Leadership.  That is, which metaphors best represents the complex behavioural capabilities required to inspire others to follow you when the situation is ideal and the organization is performing well.   Clearly, a successful leader (consciously) adjusts their behavior when the context changes and this I the critical point of facilitating “Conversations That Matter” using the Zoo concepts.  The most valuable insights come from engaging perspectives and leveraging the diversity of views and experiences through the conversation. The creativity and humour embedded into the Zoo Character Cards stimulate conversation and highlight the range of views to generate learning. The final output of the activity is an artifact of that conversation and this in itself generates another conversation as participants can see the entire results of all conversations in the room and compare what their group agreed with others.  These outputs can be compared with other results for the same topic or other topics such as the behavioural DNA …



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.