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.


Toddlers, with shotguns

Perhaps it’s age, or perhaps a genuine change in corporate behaviour, but where did all the grown-ups go?

The more you look around in today’s corporate management structures, the more it appears we’ve unleashed a bunch of toddlers with shotguns. Primed to have maximum impact on the business, armed to the teeth with great ideas, filled with enthusiasm, but sadly, all self-serving. No more strategic alignment, commitment to customer, sense of moral responsibility or even a touch of fear of consequence.

Today it seems to be about randomness and inconsistency to build, develop and shape the corporate culture. Less about building people up, coaching and mentoring, more about surprising them with profound actions or even a bit of fear.

Today corporate culture seems to be more about cringing, keeping your head down and not drawing attention to yourself… but then again, with those toddlers with shotguns around, who’d blame you..?