Monkey Business

Start with a cage containing five monkeys.
Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string
and place a set of stairs under it.
Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs
and start to climb towards the banana.
As soon as he touches the stairs,
spray all of the other monkeys with cold water.

After a while, another monkey makes an attempt
with the same result - all the other monkeys are
sprayed with cold water.

Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to
climb the stairs,the other monkeys will
try to prevent it.

Now, put away the cold water.
Remove one monkey from the cage
and replace it with a new one.
The new monkey sees the banana
and wants to climb the stairs.
To his surprise and horror,
all of the other monkeys attack him.

After another attempt and attack,
he knows that if he tries to climb the
stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original
five monkeys and replace it with a new one.
The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked.
The previous newcomer takes part in the
punishment with enthusiasm!
Likewise, replace a third original monkey
with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.
Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs,
he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are
beating him have no idea why they were
not permitted to climb the stairs
or why they are participating in the
beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys,
none of the remaining monkeys have ever
been sprayed with cold water.
Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches
the stairs to try for the banana.
Why not?
Because as far as they know that's the way
it's always been done around there.

And that, my friends, is how "company policy" begins.


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