By John Immel
Five monkeys inside the cage
A banana on a string is all the covetage.
One climbs the stair to reach the prize
Five splashed with water to realize
It matters not which compatriot climbs
The penalty of wet they all must find
Tread up the rise will one primate go
Four then pounce in a monkey row
Fear they will the dastardly spray
Show they will corporate dismay.
No more water to come from above
Insert new thinker with his want of love
Monkey sees, and monkey do
Climb the stairs for his primate food
Surprise and horror and wonder and shock
As friends go ape and put him in the dock
Assaults persist till the lesson is learned
Tread not the stairs or suffer the spurn
New comes again a chimp to the congregation
Straight for the Banana not thought of sedition
Hazing and vitriol and violence expand
The previous victim raising the most energetic hand
Primates arrive till the first five are gone
Violence ensues but who knows the wrong
Water never comes; a penalty of ambition
But the conformist mind will not broach tradition
From beyond the grave the dead rule the mind
For those who live are forbidden to find
A path, a way, a means to above
To possess what is given, the object of love
Ask why we tread not upon the rise,
Is it the sacred that compels: “Be still our minds”?
Or the fear of force, the historic demagoguery
The senseless fraud of Monkey Orthodoxy?
The poem above is based on a well known business metaphor featuring monkey corporate behavior research. The business application addresses corporate culture and the implicit failings of “We’ve always done it this way,” management methodology. You can read a standard presentation of the business version here .
The poem is mine copyright 2009 and is not for use or transmission without express written permission.