Monkey Business Unveiled: Lessons from the Planet of Apes on Team Unity

Ever wonder what happens when you throw a bunch of people in monkey suits together for a film? Enter the 1968 Planet of the Apes – a cinematic feat that not only involved hours of prosthetic makeup but also unintentionally uncovered the classic human tendency for instant segregation. Chimps on one side, Gorillas on the other. “Us vs. Them” in the blink of an eye. But here’s the kicker—they were all just humans under the fur!

Now, let’s warp this simian drama to your company, where the “Us vs. Them” saga unfolds faster than you can click your heels. Teams scattered globally, diverse as a jungle, and the looming question: Can they come together like a troop of well-groomed apes?

Fear not, intrepid reader, for here are five keys to transform your diverse (or distributed) team into a harmonious force:

1. Split Them! (Not Like a Banana, Though)

Imagine a world where teams don’t have to hold hands and sing Kumbaya. Instead, create interfaces between teams, allowing each to strut their stuff independently. Refactor, redesign, and voila! The problem vanishes like a disappearing act in a magician’s routine.

2. Common Goals and Makeup Mishaps

Remember the film crew and ape actors? What if their common goal wasn’t just making a movie but also scarfing down lunch without smudging their makeup? Reframe your goals to include everyone, making success a collective experience. No makeup casualties, just a united front.

3. Change the Color, Literally

In a world where apes and humans share a lunch table, mandate that each side safeguards the other’s interests. It’s like container reframing, but for your company. Highlight commonalities, create new “team pride,” and watch as the apes and humans stop eyeing each other suspiciously.

4. Add Some Spice—Diversity!

Throw in orangutans, white gorillas, or baby chimps to your mix. Diversity isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a game-changer. Just ask the team juggling Israeli and German cultures, with a sprinkle of Ukrainian flavor. Suddenly, the brainstorming sessions are a cultural potluck of ideas.

5. Enforce Communication, Not Monkey Business

Imagine chimps and gorillas sharing a tent in the Nevada desert. They’d either become one harmonious entity or engage in a fur-flying showdown. Apply this logic to your teams. Enforce communication, bind them together like nylon handcuffs (metaphorically), and watch them evolve from mere names on a list to individuals with quirks, complexities, and shared goals.

Remember, not all keys fit the same lock, but why not give them a spin? As my wise combat master used to say, “Don’t try to stop the waves—surf on them!” Just be ready to duck if someone tries to hit you with a reality wave.

And hey, if you want more wisdom like this, check out my new book “O-ADHD, Win the Organizational ADHD.”
If you’re up for a laugh and some enlightenment, drop me a line at [email protected] to join the book review team.
May your teams be as cohesive as a band of monkeys on a mission! 🐒


    message send