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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