Hey is that your monkey?

by Ashvini on April 14, 2011 · 7 comments

in Leadership

In corporate world, there is a term called as passing a monkey. It is about how skillfully you can duck a problem ( or a monkey ) that gets thrown down your way either by management or your coworker. It is reasoned that monkey should be passed on as soon as possible because if you try to feed the monkey( or solves the problem) you are hit by

1) More monkeys

2) Your monkey gets so much bigger than you can’t feed it anymore

A monkey will attract more monkeys and soon you are going to be flooded with them. So the best idea is to send the monkey back to where it came from or on some other poor guy who cannot pass it further.

Innovation however cannot be done by passing the monkey. If you pass the monkey not only the product is shoddy but also it does not perform as required. Innovation means someone stepping up and is willing to take monkeys and feed them properly. Corporate culture however discourages rewarding person who takes care of monkey but saddles him with more monkeys.


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Veronica Cervera November 5, 2011 at 5:21 am

I think the monkeys are there for a reason. It’s unfortunate that most cultures in a corporate setting does not reward people who do feed on the monkeys. However, it just does not make any sense to keep dodging these monkeys. Ultimately, the right thing to do is to make the most out of what can be learned, solved, and developed in the monkey.

Anna April 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm

In order to be successful you have to know how to pass monkeys, otherwise, you’ll stay forever somewhere in the middle level and will never become a boss. A boss (director, manager, etc.) is a person who knows how to delegate ‘monkeys’ to others leaving only some pleasant ones for himself.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

Hi Anna,
Thanks for commenting. Yes people do choose monkeys for their own benefits but great leaders and managers never. Also when someone is innovating, passing the monkey is almost impossible.

Aswain April 15, 2011 at 12:46 pm

Lol…sounds like a serious monkey business :D:D
I myself have been into corporate culture for the last 3 years. Not much but yes it does happen at times. Passing your monkeys can never be a solution to your problem. All your monkeys need to be dealt wisely so that there aren’t more monkeys to be faced in future.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena April 20, 2011 at 11:36 am

Real leaders never rush away from tackling a serious problem. Unfortunately tackling a monkey in bigger corporation does not mean much these days. They are more like government organization with large bureaucracies.

Alka April 14, 2011 at 11:50 am

Honestly, I was aware of passing the buck but not monkey…..lol.

software buzzer April 14, 2011 at 1:05 am

nice share man :D

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