An experiment in corporate culture

Here’s an old blogosphere lesson in corporate behaviour


A group of scientists placed five monkeys in a cage and in the middle, a ladder with bananas on top.

Every time a monkey went up the ladder, the scientists soaked the rest of the monkeys with ice cold water.

After a while, every time a monkey went up the ladder, the other ones beat up the one on the ladder.

After some time, no monkey dares to go up the ladder regardless of the temptation.

Scientists then decided to substitute one of the monkeys. The first thing this new monkey did was to go up the ladder and immediately the other monkeys beat him up.

After several beatings, this new member learned not to climb the ladder even though he never knew why.

Then a second monkey was substituted and the same occurred. The first monkey participated on the beating of the second monkey. A third monkey was changed and the same was repeated. The fourth was substituted and the beating was repeated and finally the fifth monkey was replaced.

What was left was a group of five monkeys that even though they had never received a cold shower, they continued to beat up any monkey who attempted to climb the ladder.


Why, you ask?

 Because in  their minds… that is the way it has always been!

 This, my  friends, is how many corporate cultures operate… and illustrates why, from time to  time, all of the monkeys need to be REPLACED AT THE SAME TIME.

Don’t miss the opportunity to share this classic from the blogosphere with others as they might just be asking themselves why we continue to do, what we are doing, if there is a different way out there.


Just tell the customer…

Bizarrely, there are staff that still seem to think customers care about nonsensical internal processes. That the customer should be grateful that we are to entertain their business.

Just tell the customer… That’s not how we do it, or perhaps, that’s not when we do it.

It may be something as simple as a variation to a contract, a slight change in a required solution or even a customer’s timeline, that unleashes the wrath of the back office. It is at this point that we are told just how important a process/person actually is and more likely this real pearl of wisdom… this is how you should manage the customer through this sale (really?)

In most businesses we have these people, the first to point out how Sales and Marketing just don’t perform or how the customer just doesn’t get it, yet are the first to go out of their way to scupper any new business opportunity before its even begun. Its almost as though each new customer is really just another load of hard work, best dealt with in the adversarial way their inconvenience deserves.

It is in these businesses too, that we see a truly remarkable Sales behaviour come about. The one where after hitting their heads on internal brick walls repeatedly, the seasoned sales pros, hightail it out of there…

Oddly, this is usually followed by a similar customer behaviour, but does the back office ever actually understand this?