Monkey Business in Your Business?
Could this be happening in your business? Do you have habits, work actions, traditions or expectations that no one really knows why they are required? Maybe…the Monkeys know a thing or two about it!
Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as they touch the stairs, spray all the other monkeys with cold water.
After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result – all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent him.
Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new monkey. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new monkey. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new monkey, then a fourth, then a fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, they are attacked.
Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why thay are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been spayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that’s the way it’s always been around here.
And that, my friends, is how a company policy begins.
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