Pay peanuts - get monkeys

THIS week Strictly Boardroom speaks to an age-old conundrum in management.

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An old management story resurfaced while working through the reading pile over the festive break1 – a story that still rings true today. It is a slant on the well-known maxim that if you pay peanuts, you will get monkeys – but with a twist.

Managers in the resources sector need to be careful not to artificially ‘clone’ subservient monkeys. What does that mean exactly? Read on.

The story starts with four monkeys in a zoo pen with a bunch of bananas set high on a pole at the centre of the pen. Upon spotting the bananas, one monkey makes a dash for the pole only to be hosed down with icy water by the zookeeper. Drenched and disconsolate, the monkey retires to the edge of the pen to recover from the ordeal. Just...