Have you ever used the expression “Time is Money”?
That means you have used a very powerful business metaphor. I want to tell you a short story, spin a metaphor, so you can visualize what this project is about:
I once had three dwarf chicks. They are so called bantam chickens and are only about one fifth the size of a regular chicken. The oldest chick, a blue cochin, was about 2 months older than her two sisters. We asked for three hens, because our urban neighborhood only permits the female version. Three months later we expected Darla to start laying her first egg. The nest box was already in place and we had changed the chick-size food to layer ration. She was loved on my wifes instagram and her feathers just looked gorgeous. – Well and then she started to crow one day. The breeder suggested, that she had changed into a rooster by transforming her second oviduct into gonads. Which is an about 1:10.000 chance. Or, maybe she had been a rooster the entire time time?
Isn’t that a unique situation, just like the ones you are running into every day at your job? How would you handle this kind of situation? Sell the rooster? Butcher this beautiful pet-size creature or try to keep it, and break the rules? And now don’t forget to calculate your corporate identity into the equation.
“A flock of chickens gives you an abundance of metaphors that you can utilize to create a better workplace”.
Chickens are amazing animals that can teach us a lot about ourselves. Let them serve as a mirror to get management and employees to reflect on their own environment and behavior.
With this framework, you and your company will benefit on a business level, on a social level and on a personal level as well.
I had ZERO chicken experience before I got my first flock. In fact, I never kept any other animals before that.
Not even a dog or a cat. All I knew was from sources like this one – but I quickly made my own experiences and received help from a huge online chicken community, whenever I needed it. I came up with this concept while taking breaks, as an online marketer working from home. Sitting in front of a computer screen for 10 hours a day wasn’t for me. Being outside quickly relieved stress and watching the chickens in a lawn chair put my mind at ease. Often, out of the blue, while admiring the chickens, many great ideas for ongoing projects would pop into my head. Even in the winter, the coop draws me outside and I enjoy the cold air, while collecting eggs or raking wood chips.
With each day that I observed my chickens, it became more and more clear to me, that they would be perfect for a business place. It could easily give employees a place to take a break and find happiness.
Having worked in the event-marketing field for years and studied numerous motivational and leadership tools, it did not take long to make an even bigger connection. I quickly realized that chickens are highly social animals and their interactions could be used as metaphors in a business context. There are a lots of unique and great motivational or kick-off events, but they lack a long lasting effect. Because they are “events”. It’s a temporary highlight to inflame your employees motivation: Employees are being reminded to take themselves back and listen to other team members. The “coolness” of the company is celebrated and the next day everything goes back to normal.
Some employees even smirk at leadership seminars, because the contents often contradict workplace-realities. As in “oh, nice theory that you are preaching – our reality here does not allow for x, y, z because of: *fill in your own argument to prevent change*.”
I am aware of those road blocks and that is why I have started this project. My belief is that positive transformation can only occur from your staffs acceptance within. Third-party consultants often have the problem to achieve real acceptance because they are recognized as a threat. Why are they here, they do not know our business, what good can come from their advice anyways? Chickens on the other hand, will rather be perceived as joyful animals with individual characters.
To achieve a sustainable momentum and keep it going, I believe it is necessary to make efforts every day. With a chicken coop on your property, you can visibly manifest your own values every day.
I am currently finishing my book “Chicken Management – How to use a chicken coop for leadership, team-building and motivation”. It is a guide that provides all necessary information to start a chicken coop in your company and use it to cultivate a better and more productive work environment. While all informative parts are already written, I am doing more research and gathering feedback from companies currently. Please get in contact if you need help getting started with your own coop.