So, are you a monkey?

Here’s the story:
Put three monkeys in a large cage. In the center is a metal ladder and suspended above it a tempting, ripe banana. One monkey climbs up the ladder to get the banana. Unbeknownst to him it is wired to a battery and when part way up a hidden researcher flips a switch shocking the monkey, who skinnies down the ladder.

The second monkey tries to get the banana with the same effect. But when the third monkey starts to go after the banana the other two stop him. They have experienced the shock and want to spare their cage-mate the experience.

The monkeys are then replaced one at a time. As each new monkey is introduced to the group and tries to get the banana (and, by now, the electricity is turned off) the other two stop him. So, after all three monkeys have been replaced none of the group has experienced the shock.Yet each new monkey, when attempting to get the banana, is stopped by the other two monkeys. No monkey really knows why, they just follow what has been handed down.

It raises the question: are you working with – ahem – a bunch of monkeys. Or – heaven forbid – are you a monkey?

Consider–are you, is your team, following the “monkey see – monkey do” paradigm with no real understanding of what or why?

Could that be where the phrase “monkey business” came from?

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