>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, one of the
>monkeys will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As
>soon as he touches the stairs, all of the monkeys are sprayed with cold water.
>After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result -- all
>the monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, none of the monkeys
>will try to climb the stairs.
>Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace
>it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the
>stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him.
>After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the
>stairs, 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 monkey with a new one, then a fourth,
>then the fifth. 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
>were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in
>the beating of the newest monkey.
>After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys
>have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again
>approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as
>they know that's the way it's always been done around here.
>And that, my friends, is how company policy begins.