What teams can learn from wolves

If you think that there is not much human teams can learn from nature think again! Temple Grandin in her amazing book Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior (p303-307) puts forward the incredible theory that early humans only became today’s successful homo sapiens because they learned to act and think like the wolves they co-habited with.

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Temple describes how wolves and early humans co-evolved together in a unique symbiotic inter-species relationship.

As a result the wolves became domesticated dogs but the early humans became enhanced social beings.

She goes on to say:

  • Wolves hunted in groups; humans didn’t
  • Wolves had complex social structures; humans didn’t
  • Wolves had loyal same-sex and non-kin friendships; humans probably didn’t
  • Wolves were highly territorial; humans probably weren’t.


Temple Grandin is one of the nation's top designers of livestock facilities.

She is also autistic. In her 1995 book Thinking in Pictures, she described how her inner-autistic world led her to develop an empathy for how animals cope. Temple is currently an assistant professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins.


About the Author

Ken Thompson is an expert practitioner in the area of bioteaming, swarming, virtual enterprise networks, virtual professional communities and virtual teams and has published two landmark books:

Bioteams: High Performance Teams Based on Nature’s Best Designs

The Networked Enterprise: Competing for the future through Virtual Enterprise Networks

Ken writes the highly popular bioteams blog which has over 500 articles on all aspects of bioteams (aka organizational biomimicry) - in other words how human groups can learn from nature's best teams.

Ken is also founder of an exciting European technology company Swarmteams which provides unique patent-pending bioteaming technologies for all shapes and sizes of groups, social networks, business clusters, virtual/mobile communities and enterprises. Swarmteams enables groups to be more response and agile by fully integrating their mobile phones and the web with bioteam working techniques. The latest Swarmteams implementation is SwarmTribes which helps musicians and bands form a unique collaboration with their fans for mutual benefit.

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8 Comments

very very interesting

I want to know what led you to the conclusion that humans could not have the same things as other species in the past. We all follow an evolutionary chain, which means that the wolves were just as low as us in that day and time

I think if you read the article again and check out some of the other posts you will see that I am saying exactly the opposite to what you think I said! Thanks for commenting.

how the following animals walks called

mice. horse, lion, wolves, ducks, frogs and wrens

hey there this is the most beautiful picture that i have ever seen in the whole world i love wolves they are like a wonder of the world if i could turn into one every full moon my life would be complete

I think wolves are amazing animals - the way they work together, the she-wolves have wonderful maternal instincts, and they're just plain gorgeous! I completely agree with srividhya - if i could be a wolf instead of a human, i would be without hesitation.

I THINK WOLVES ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFULL ANIMALS IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!

i think we might have hunted together why would we go out in the wilderness to hunt without back-up,and we might have been territorial if we weren't then why would we use dogs to guard our land back then. other then this wovles are very beautiful animals and know how to stand up for themselves, and i for one respect that.

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