You 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, all of the other monkeys are sprayed 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 monkey that has not seen the
spraying. He sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs.
To his surprise 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. 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 have just been taught it is the thing to
But after replacing all the original monkeys, none of the
remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water.
In fact none even know the cold water was ever used nor that
it is a potential threat.
What will happen?
Click here for the answer.
As Aesop established hundreds of years
ago with his timeless fables we remember
words best when we become engaged in a
story. Max has compiled an anecdotal
story collection designed to generate “ah-
ha” moments during coaching sessions,
presentations, and meetings. Click here to
©2007 Max Impact, Rochester Hills, Michigan,USA