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.


Email is not a job

“Doing email” is not a job…OK?

It will never be in your job description, and along with essential activities like making coffee, taking toilet breaks, greeting your fellow workers, watering the office plants and refilling the coffee machine, you do not get paid for it. “Doing email” for several hours each day means you are wasting time. It’s the same as opening envelopes in the old days: instantly throwing out the junk; reading and filing FYIs and simple notifications; and putting the rest in your in tray for future action. This doesn’t take hours; it’s a task that should be done quickly and effortlessly, rapidly sorting wheat from chaff.

Your are however paid to communicate constructively with your colleagues, your customers and your suppliers. Imagine handwriting a letter to your most important customer. You think about the paper (120gsm, bond white), the pen (fountain pen, royal blue ink), take care with your script, sign your name with an elegant flourish. A lot more care and attention than you employ when wielding the letter opener and skimming inbound correspondence. A bit more effort and positive thought than the sigh, scrunch and toss elicited by yet another conference advertorial / stationery catalogue / (insert favourite junk mail item).


Why is it when you sit down “doing email” for hours each day you include writing critical communication in this activity. “thanks”; “ok”; [delete]; and then a casually defensive reply to a customer complaint, oops another one just popped up, yes I would like pizza for lunch, no it wasn’t our fault you must be mistaken.

Be honest with yourself. Your email has become poly-filler for your calendar, expanding foam in your brain. It has swollen to fill all available thinking time, making you very, ahem, busyjust remember, email is not a job!