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Current News

Corporate Culture (joke)

Corporate Culture (joke)

4/3/2009 1:31:16 PM
 Steve Simpson outlines how Unwritten Ground Rules (UGRs) affect your corporate culture

‘In a growing number of companies, ‘team players’ are seen as those whose car is first into the car park each morning and last to leave at night. In one company a senior manager walks around the car park at 7.30 am and feels the radiator in every vehicle – those still warm earn a black mark on the personnel file of the owners.

In a work world where the fear of being overtaken by ambitious colleagues keeps many chained to their desks, acts of deception are practiced that in a less fraught context would seem laughably childish. Some US office workers for example, advance the times shown on their emails before surreptitiously leaving by a rear entrance. One New York banking executive is reported to bribe security guards with hot stock tips in return for their looking the other way in return for looking the other way as he creeps from the building around 7.30 each evening.’

The Tale of Five Monkeys

Behavioural scientists are said to place five monkeys in a cage. In the cage is a ladder, and at the top of the ladder is a bunch of bananas. The cage is normal, except for the fact that it has sprinklers in the ceiling through which water can flow.

Not long after being placed in the cage, the monkeys spot the bananas. They begin to climb the ladder, and the behavioural scientists press a switch that turns on the sprinklers. The monkeys get drenched.

The monkeys try again, and the same happens. The sprinklers are turned on and they get drenched.

This happens again and again. Eventually the monkeys give up trying to get the bananas.

The scientists then remove one of the monkeys and put a new one in the cage. The new one spots the bananas and naturally begins to climb the ladder. A fascinating thing happens. The other monkeys aggressively jump on the new monkey and pull it down. The new monkey tries again, and again it gets set upon. Again it tries – the same consequence. Eventually the monkey ceases trying.

The scientists then take another of the original monkeys out and replace it with a new one. The new monkey tries to climb the ladder and it is set upon. This happens time and time again, until the newest monkey stops trying to climb the ladder.

Eventually each of the original monkeys is replaced.

The scientists then place another new monkey in the cage and it is jumped on aggressively and pulled down by the other monkeys.

Why? Not one of them know…

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