Saturday Jan 12, 2008

Being Monkey! - A Sad Reality of Teams and Workplaces

Please take two minutes to read this story... and at the end of it ask yourself if it sounds familiar!


This story is about an experiment which a group of scientist conducted in order to study the behavior of monkeys in terms of team play. The setup of the experiment was quite simple. There where five monkeys kept in a cage, with a ladder kept in the middle of the cage. A bunch of bananas was kept on top of the ladder!



 Now, the moment monkeys saw the banana on top, they tried to climb up the ladder and grab the banana. But what the scientists did was, the moment any monkey tried going up the ladder, they would shower freezing cold water on rest of the four monkeys.



 After a few cold shower, the monkeys understood that they are subjected to the cold showers only when any of them try to go up the ladder. So next time any monkey tried going up the ladder, the rest of them would beat him black and blue!



 After several beatings, every monkey gave up tried going up the ladder, even after having the temptation of the bunch of bananas right in front of their eyes!



 Now the scientists brought a change in the setup. A monkey from the set of five, was replaced with a new monkey. This new monkey, the moment saw the bunch of bananas, tried to go up the ladder and grab it!



 Upon this, as per the usual practice, rest of the four monkeys gave him a severe beating! After couple of such beatings, the new monkey also gave up trying going up the ladder and grab the bananas, without ever knowing why he was being beaten for going up the ladder and grabbing the bananas..


Now the scientists made more changes and replaced one of the old four monkeys with a new one. This time, same as the last time,first thing the new monkey did was to try going up the ladder and grab the banana! But upon this, he was severely bashed. This time, even our last replaced monkey, joined in beating the new monkey. Neither the new monkey knew why he was being beaten on trying to go up the ladder, nor our last replaced monkey knew why he is beating the new monkey on trying to climb up the ladder!


 Going ahead with the experiment, the scientists kept replacing old monkeys with new ones and every time the beating  was repeated.


After some time what was left was a group of five monkeys who never received a cold shower but which never tried climbing up the ladder to grab the bananas and kept beating any monkey who tried climbing up the ladder and grab the bananas!



 


If it was ever possible to ask these five monkeys why they beat any other monkey who try to go up the ladder and grab the bananas, I'm sure the answer would be.. “I don't know... but that's how things are done over here!




In life, most of the time we would encounter people, at work, among friends, peers, even family members, who would throw their solid fist on you every time you try to go up the ladder, without any justifiable reason or point! But unfortunately... “That's how things are done around here!




We have a choice... either we can continue being a monkey and go on with bashing and beating.. or stop being one and start climbing the up the ladder!!



Only two things are infinite.. the Universe and Human Stupidity, and I'm not so sure of the former!” -Albert Einstein.


 


Copyrights, if any, are acknowledged and respected.


Your comments are invited! :)

About

I am Abhishek and I work for Sun/Oracle! In this blog, I share my interest in systems, solaris, linux and other technologies :-)

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