The Organizational Zoo metaphor techniques have been used to improve the performance and enhance team relationships in a large number of commercial, government and charitable organisations.
Some of the organizations we have helped include:
- Australian Institute of Management
- Davenport Financial Services
- CPA Australia
- Cadbury Schweppes
- RMIT University
- Australia Post
- Forensic Sciences Institute
- Victorian Government departments (Finance, Human Services, Transport, Police, Justice, Corrections, Legal services)
- Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratories
- Royal District Nursing Services
- Real Estate Institute of Tasmania
- PSN (Production Systems Network)
- Knowledge Management Roundtable
- Victorian Public Service Continuous Improvement Network
Professor Derek Walker
Design and Social Context, RMIT University, Melbourne
This witty and thought provoking book makes ideal reading for students of the many courses available in management as well. The book outlines characters inhabiting what Shelley calls the ‘organisational zoo’. People are characterised as various animals moving from A to Z.
He shows great insight and wit and one of the valuable features of this book is that through the animal metaphor he makes it easier for us to recognise some of the motivations of our co-workers, clients, and those we depend upon. My own perspective on this book is coloured by my project management experience.
I can see how viewing project stakeholders as well as the many team members we interact with as various animal species helps make sense of organisational cultures and a given situation’s ethos. The book also has several appendices, one with a management game that can be both fun and instructive. I will be using this as a management text as well as recommending it as light reading.
Project Director Knowledge Management, Strategic Management Division Victorian Department of Treasury & Finance
This book has tremendous potential to be used in all types of organisations large and small. Having a tool that people can use to identify themselves or others in a non-threatening way helps to break down many barriers that exist around cultural and behavioural issues. Hey, let loose and have some fun with it!
Dr. Rod Dilnutt
Principal, William Bethwey & Associates
An excellent resource. In my 25 years consulting I have been in many organisational zoos! Arthur’s fun approach to understanding the personalities in the workplace is unique and engaging. Beware the animals.
BAppSc, M.D. Organisational Effectiveness Consulting Pty. Ltd.
The Organizational Zoo is a refreshing and highly entertaining contribution to the sombre discipline of organisational behaviour. For those wanting to enhance their self awareness and find a humorous way to decipher the humanness around them, this book will provide the insight they are seeking. Having taught many of the creatures at a tertiary level, I now have validation that the truly successful ones were those who found their natural habitats.
Author of A Leader’s Guide To Storytelling, adviser to organizations worldwide on knowledge management and organizational storytelling and former Program Director, Knowledge Management, at the World Bank.
A fresh approach to organisational culture development.
Dr Kate Andrews
Disarmingly simple; chillingly accurate; creates a compelling typology of business jungle inhabitants.
Director, Seifen Consulting Pty Ltd
One of those thoroughly enjoyable books you can pick up at anytime, open anywhere and instantaneously relate to your working world.
Dr Hilton Deeth
University of Queensland
This book has something for everyone; for some it will be a lot of fun while for others it will be a didactic window into the workings of organisations. Most of us at some time have played a private game of matching people we know with members of the animal kingdom. However, Arthur Shelley has very skilfully taken this game and applied it to an organisational setting. With this book we can still play our little games, but the author has given us an excellent and expansive framework with which to play. From a bit of fun has come a very useful and insightful book for the work place.
Senior Business Journalist, The Age Newspaper Melbourne
Read the book over the weekend and enjoyed it. Love those insects! And the difference between the Lion CEO and his Eagle counterpart. Also liked the way the book in the end was an exhortation for people to develop some self-knowledge. I suspect it will be a winner.
I can vividly imagine the whole thing coming together….how to successfully utilise each person’s strengths to get a productive outcome. You don’t try to change the natures of these beasts but rather accept them for who they’ve become or chosen to be, and then work within that paradigm.