Rhesus Macaque Macaca mulatta in Kinnerasani W...

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There’s a story about an experiment that took place with five rhesus monkeys that were placed in a cage together.

There was a ladder in the middle of the cage and a bunch of bananas was placed at the top of the ladder.

One of the monkeys saw the bananas and went to climb the ladder.  As soon as it did, ice-cold water was sprayed over all of the monkeys.

This pattern would repeat itself.  Every time a monkey would start to climb the ladder, ice-cold water would be sprayed.

It got the point where whenever one of the monkeys would try to climb the ladder, the rest of the monkeys would start to beat him up.

At this point, the researchers took one monkey out and replaced it with another one.

The new monkey started to climb the ladder, only to be set upon by the others.

Another monkey would then be replaced with similar results, and this was repeated until the last of the original monkeys was replaced.

When the newest of the monkeys started to climb the ladder to get to the bananas, the rest of the group started to beat him up.

However, none of the group knew why they did this, they had never been sprayed with ice-cold water.

They just knew that it was wrong to climb the ladder, but didn’t know why.

Does this ever happen at your work?

Are there certain things that you are not supposed to do, but no-one knows why?

Is there a bunch of bananas within reach but everyone is too afraid to reach for them because of something that happened in the past?

Do people regularly use the line, “That’s not how we do things around here.”

Let’s challenge this way of thinking.

Let’s find a way to do great things without fear.

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