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Do not let monkeys inhibit change

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Don’t let monkeys inhibit change

Long ago, five menacing monkeys were placed in a cage. In that cage was a ladder that led to a ripe bunch of bananas. The catch was that a powerful water hose was connected to the ladder.

When the first monkey raced up the ladder to reach for a banana, the entire cage was drenched with water. Another curious monkey made an attempt. She rushed up the ladder, greedy to grasp the yellow bundle, but she too triggered a shower on the cage. At this point, it became clear to the monkeys that if one of them reached for the bananas, they would all get soaked.

Each time one of the original monkeys was swapped out of the cage for a new monkey, the newcomer would immediately race toward the alluring fruit, but the group would beat him down before he made it up the ladder. This cycle repeated each time a new monkey was introduced to the cage.

Later the fire hose was removed, but it didn’t matter. The monkeys already had their lesson hardwired: don’t reach for the bananas. One by one, the monkeys were replaced until none of the original five were in the cage. The same behavior persisted.

Why? Because that’s the way we do things around here.

The old way of doing things and fixed expectations are the enemies of adaptation.

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The above excerpt was from Jeremy Gutsche's book:
EXPLOITING CHAOS - 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change.


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Jeremy Gutsche

Jeremy is an innovation expert, host of Trend Hunter TV, keynote speakers, and the founder of TrendHunter.com [More]
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