What Chickens can Teach Us about Company Culture

June 26, 2015
Brittany Nanney


What Chickens can Teach Us about Company Culture

The organizational patterns of a chicken coop may not be the most likely place to model company culture. But what happens when you model a chicken coop after stereotypical hierarchy in a high-achiever focused company culture? Biologist William Muir found out, and the results were grim; the chickens at the top peck each other to death.

What does this mean for companies with competitive achievement incentives and tightly structured power tiers? Margaret Heffernan believes in the concept of helpfulness to promote teamwork, face new programs and reach new goals. “Helpfulness means I don’t have to know everything, I just have to work among people who are good at getting and giving help,” Heffernan explains.

Getting to know your peers and coworkers on a human level creates trust and leads to a strong, helpful chicken coop … ahem, company. Watch Margaret Heffernan’s “Why It’s Time to Forget the Pecking Order at Work” Ted talk here.