Three Lockdown Lessons Business Can Learn from Meerkats

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 27, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- As the lockdown starts to ease across the world, we knocked on the door of Estienne de Beer, a motivational speaker on the USA, UK and South African circuit about his popular Meerkat Motivation message and how it applies to the current situation.

The concept of lockdown is not new to the meerkat species. Consequently, meerkats have become highly skilled and successful at dealing with lockdowns underground and at navigating their uncharted "business world."

There are parallels in the way meerkats handle crises that could be a lesson to organizations that are trying to find their feet and their voices in an unfamiliar and unknown post COVID-19 commercial environment.

"The 'marketplace' of meerkats offers a fascinating insight into the behavior required to survive in times of uncertainty. Their rigorous teamwork and focus on communication are thought-provoking examples that could be replicated for success in companies and associations," says motivational wildlife speaker, Estienne de Beer.

Three key strategies help meerkats become more resilient, agile, and adaptive so that they survive and thrive.

Team Communication

Meerkats lock down for predator threats such as jackals, snakes, and eagles. Environmental perils such as fires, flash floods, dust storms and lightning strikes can also result in lockdowns.

Thus, they must have strong communication protocols if they are to survive. They constantly share information. Meerkats make reassuring sounds and groom one another to make sure that they each feel safe and to maintain their bond as a team.

They are trained to be alert at all times, sniffing the wind, scanning the horizon, and evaluating every sound for danger. 

When meerkats face an uncontrollable threat, they escape down bolt-holes and burrows that they have meticulously dug into a network of tunnels.

Strategy-Driven Leadership 

Meerkats cannot stay in lockdown for prolonged periods. They need a sound exit strategy, or they risk dying of hunger. 

They emerge from lockdown with a clear, battle-tested strategy, always directed by a sure-footed matriarch (CEO). 

Meerkats do not rush out of their burrows and reclaim their territory. It is a gradual and systematic process. They assess risk by popping their heads out of their burrow to check for danger. The experienced leaders (dominant females and males) guide the path to safety through "managerial" practices such as tail signals, scent-marking, and barking sounds.

The impact of lockdown is profound. They must figure out how to protect their "business" resources, adapt to a changed "workplace" and resume "income-generating" activities (foraging). Sometimes they must fight off direct competitors, rival meerkat groups. 

Preparation for Future Lockdowns 

Meerkats know that the next lockdown is coming so they carefully plan and prepare. 

They regularly clean out the burrow and renovate the tunnels for easy movement and safety. Meerkats teach their young survival techniques from early on so that they know what to do when there is a lockdown scare.

Their courageous leadership structure helps the team to navigate from uncertainty to certainty. They future proof their "business" by forward-thinking and preparation for worst-case scenarios.

About Estienne de Beer

Estienne de Beer is a motivational wildlife speaker who presents actionable insights from nature at corporate and association conferences worldwide.

Media Contact:

Estienne de Beer
+27 (0)83 441 5455

Cape Town, South Africa

Meerkat Motivation for the Marketplace


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