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Company Policy

I saw this somewhere, and I've had it for awhile. Where better to archive it than my blog? Cuz currently it's a text clipping floating around my hard disk.

It starts with a cage containing five monkeys.

Inside the cage hangs a banana on a string with 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, my friends, is how a company policy begins.

10 Responses to "Company Policy"

  1. Superb! That made me laugh out loud.

    ...and it looked like such an interesting science experiment too...


  2. We Fear Change

    Erik at NSLog(); posted a text clippling titled Company Policy which is sadly, all too true. Companies, large and small...

  3. What happens if you place a monkey in the cage that can fight off the other monkeys when attacked and is not scared of water.

  4. Ron: He'll become the new (interim, and then permanent)CEO. 😉

  5. That's funny. I like that.

  6. Ryan: I think that's an incomplete scenario! I think he'd immediately come in, pronounce the banana as completely inadequate saying that the reason all the monkeys were fighting was because the banana was based on "shit" old technology. He would then embark upon a project to recreate a new banana that was DRAMATICALLY different than the old, yet based on an even OLDER less complete genetic brethern of the banana. Eventually the steps leading up to the banana would get an overhaul (although the new banana still wouldn't QUITE be edible), and he would pronounce the banana as the greatest banana ever created, capable of curing all sorts of maladies and ailments--with little evidence to back it up. But the other monkeys would believe him, and all drool pavlovianly over the new banana. They'd want it; it wouldn't be compatible with their current digestive tracts, and it would take longer to eat than the old banana, but HAH! it would be better. It WAS better. Then they would start producing all sorts of tentatively banana-related things--tools to make banana photos and banana music and banana movies. (The banana still wouldn't be ENTIRELY edible, but banana pictures are NECESSARY to drive adoption of the eating of the new banana!)

    Meanwhile, all those other monkeys rotated in and out of the cage are sitting back enjoying buffet quantities of other fruits that aren't quite as good but that deliver much more nutrition, much more diversity, and are easier on the digestive tract. But hey, that banana sure looks good!

  7. And here, between Ryan's post and Scott's, we see humor - and the lack of it - brought clearly into the light of day.

    As for your little hidden message, Scott, Mac OS X is better than Mac OS 8/9, was the moment 10.0 hit the streets, and I don't care what other monkeys say. I can make my own judgments. If you're going to mess up the joke, at least leave an email address for corrections.

  8. Besides, some of us were working on the really old banana before either the old banana or all the other fruit were ever released; so we're just pleased to finally have both types of bananas under one peel, no matter which monkey came up with the idea. 🙂

  9. Sounds self-inflicted with a lack of sound leadership. I don't believe it's the nature of the corporate environment but what people bring to it.

    For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice - NIV James 3:16.

  10. Sounds self-inflicted with a lack of sound leadership. I don't believe it's the nature of the corporate environment but what people bring to it.

    For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice - NIV James 3:16.

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