View Full Version : Five Monkeys

12-04-2008, 11:20 PM
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 he touches the stairs, spray all of 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 it.
Now, put away the cold water.
Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one.

The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs.
To his surprise and horror, all of 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 one.
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 one, then a fourth, then the fifth.
Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.
Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed 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 done around here.

And that's how company policy begins...

12-05-2008, 08:23 AM

I have an idea...

make the cage a bigger one. put me and five of the hottest strippers in the cage and a few Benjamins hanging from the top of the stairs. (oh, add a pole next to the stairs)

well you get the idea....

Phillip Allen
12-05-2008, 08:41 AM
it's a lesson lost on some of the smartest folks here

12-06-2008, 08:49 AM
Always thought, as to why the young generation does not benefit from the experiences of the elders and why do they want to learn from their own experiences, mostly.
Well, isn't it one of the things what make the human kind different from monkeys.

12-06-2008, 11:36 AM
Reminds me of something an old timer once told me about company handbooks and rules in the workplace. He said " Going way back, the company had no rule book, but then an employee did something stupid, so the company made a rule. Subsequently, other new rules were added because some employee (who was probably fired) did something else that was stupid. Eventually, you ended up with this big book full of rules, but the people who caused these rules to be written are long gone."

George Jung
12-06-2008, 12:17 PM
I suspect we've all encountered this mindlessness when 'interacting' with Admnistration. Recently, I was negotiating 'the right' to attend a medical conference, out of country. We've always been able to do it before, or so I thought. (My friends are 'allowed').

"It's against company policy".

"Okay, so who makes company policy".

"We do".

"So.... change it..."

Dead silence. It's as if once you've boxed yourself in, there's no chance of creative thought. Particularly ironic when one of my regional managers favorite exhortations is "ya gotta think outside the box"!

George Jung
12-06-2008, 12:43 PM
"But they're such good rules.... "

And Administrations likes everyone (but themselves) on a short leash.

Peter Plones
12-06-2008, 12:59 PM
perhaps the same principle is valid for the credit card behavior of US citizens?(see other thread down here!!)