Basket of Bananas

Monkey Experiment

You may have read about the 5 Monkey’s experiment shown above

This shows you the power of mindset and your frame of reference.  Growth and reward doesn’t always come from doing what others are doing (or not doing) and doing what you’ve always done.

Cold calling is a great example of this in sales – most people, who wish to try cold calling as a sales skill will have people around them explaining why it is a pointless exercise.  How it doesn’t work, how clients don’t like it etc.  Yet often, the very people saying it doesn’t work aren’t using this skill effectively, if at all.

Therefore, through reinforcement, change becomes difficult.   Without this, sales teams become stale, doing the same (often mediocre) activities over and over.  They drive themselves to the bottom.

It requires someone with tenacity and belief to shrug these negative views off and try themselves.  Yes, they may fail – but they tried.  More importantly, they may succeed and slowly, over time, change their and their teams frame of reference.

Now – flip this on its head.  What if each time the monkey got to the top of the ladder, not only did they get the banana they thought they were going to get, but they were rewarded with a big basket of bananas to keep or share?  What behaviour would this drive?

Next time you say ‘that won’t work’, ‘we shouldn’t try that’, ‘our customers won’t relate to that’ consider…

Yes, sometimes you may get sprayed with water.  However, you may just be missing out on that basket of bananas because you said you couldn’t, wouldn’t or shouldn’t  – or worse, helping to prevent someone else getting it.


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