if you were trained in a zoo it's hard to survive in the jungle

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Were you trained in a zoo? You probably were. I know I was.

I came across a blog post on the metaphor of zoos and jungles by management consultant Sonja Blignaut. It nicely contrasts the mindset in an industrial era hierarchical organisation and a more modern, networked organisation. The former assumes a predictable and neatly organised world – senior managers focus on long term predictions and central planning. The latter assumes a chaotic world where agile experimentation has become a key way to figure out what to do and how to do it.

It’s scary for zoo folk to suddenly unlearn former certainties and ways of doing things.

Metaphors + storytelling = sticky messaging

Sonja is a big fan of metaphors in organisational change context – this is just one of them. She told me she is building a bank of metaphors and will put on her website at some point – definitely something I would find useful as I spend quite a lot of time finding appropriate visual metaphors when turning strategies/reports/concepts into visual stories.

Metaphors together with storytelling help ideas stick more effectively than diagrams or talking heads.