Today The New York Times published my letter to the editor headlined “A Monkey With Good Taste.” The letter comments on the Times story on August 14 headlined “Will No Cage Hold Him? Monkey Again Escapes Zoo,” which describes the adventures of a 9-year old capuchin monkey named Oliver who has escaped twice from the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo in Mississippi. Here’s the text of my letter:
Image: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
To the Editor:
Re "Will No Cage Hold Him? Monkey Again Escapes Zoo" (news article, Aug. 14):
Oliver, the 9-year-old capuchin monkey who has escaped twice from the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo in Mississippi, may be sending his captors a message about diet -- and we'd all do well to take notice.
Kirk Nemechek, the zoo manager, reportedly tried luring Oliver with "chips, candy, Fruit Loops, anything." However, Oliver was spotted looting a vegetable garden. Clearly, the monkey has more sensible food preferences than his human captors. It's a reminder that the best ideas often come from beyond the usual sources.
Evan Rosen, San Francisco, Aug. 15, 2007
The last line ties in with The Culture of Collaboration. Great ideas come from all kinds of sources. For a collaborative culture to flourish, people on the front lines or the factory floor must feel comfortable contributing to key decisions. Too often, however, organizations become mired in silo syndrome, as I describe in The Culture of Collaboration book. The syndrome is that sales people rarely interact with marketing folks, marketing rarely works with R&D, and facilities almost never deals with public affairs, and so on.
Effective organizations ensure that decisions reflect broad input regardless of department, level, region, business unit, function—and, as Oliver the Mississippi monkey has taught us, species. J
For more on Oliver and his fight for freedom, check out this excellent post on the blog called Baudrillard’s Bastard.