Opinion: Is the zoo like the business world?

Sarah Sharples, partner at FS Accountants, compares and contrasts her working day with a look inside the animal kingdom.

Sarah sharples

At a recent visit to Chester Zoo, I was intrigued by the animals' behaviour. Each animal enclosure reminded me of different businesses that I've dealt with.

The lions have one very definite top dog (or cat, perhaps). What he says goes, whether it be right or wrong.

The pack does the hunting and brings the food back. It reminded me of those businesses where one person makes all the decisions and nothing happens unless that person approves it.

It might be an efficient system, and it might lead to great output, however it isn't always great for morale.

The meerkats are almost the polar opposite. They might be small creatures at greater risk of predators than the lions, but the way they work together as a team makes them strong.

Some meerkats look out while others gather food and they take it back to the den to share.

Some businesses really take this to heart; they include the team in decisions which can lead to great output because eeryone feels responsible for each other.

And finally there were the otters. They dashed here, there and everywhere then took a break to play.

They look to have a great time but once food was introduced, it was each otter to itself. Perhaps on the outside it looked a cohesive group but internally they didn't achieve much and didn't seem to get on.

There are many businesses that seem to spend time on pointless activities and don't have a productive environment or team.

So which animal do you think you are most like? Tweet me at @sarahfsaccount and let me know. Sarah Sharples Partner FS Accountants