Aesop & Business: Not Everything You See Is What It Appears To Be
The Dancing Monkeys
A PRINCE had some Monkeys trained to dance. Being naturally
great mimics of men’s actions, they showed themselves most apt
pupils, and when arrayed in their rich clothes and masks, they
danced as well as any of the courtiers. The spectacle was often
repeated with great applause, till on one occasion a courtier,
bent on mischief, took from his pocket a handful of nuts and
threw them upon the stage. The Monkeys at the sight of the nuts
forgot their dancing and became (as indeed they were) Monkeys
instead of actors. Pulling off their masks and tearing their
robes, they fought with one another for the nuts. The dancing
spectacle thus came to an end amidst the laughter and ridicule of
“Not everything you see is what it appears to be.”
In the business world, you will often come up against a situation where a competitor appears to have suddenly changed tactics, or has begun to act irrational. While every company has moments of irrational behavior, it is better to assume that there is reason behind the madness, investigate the situation, determine all of the strategies the “irrational” behavior could be a part of, then react accordingly. When faced with irrational competitive actions, we all too often react in a similar irrational way, which very well could be exactly what the competitor might have assumed that you would do. Always remember that reacting in a predictable way is one of the most dangerous threats to long-term success. Great businesspeople may also flip this fable on its head and determine that being unpredictable can be one of the most effective weapons against traditional competition as well.
Posted on December 24, 2011, in Aesop's Fables & Business, Business Strategy and tagged advice, Aesop, business, Business Strategy, competition, fables, small-business, strategy. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.