Shadows of the Neanderthal : Illuminating the Beliefs That Limit Our Organizations available in Hardcover
- Pub. Date:
- Pegasus Communications
With its engaging use of metaphor and detailed discussion guide, Shadows of the Neanderthal is a must-have resource for any organization on its own quest to break free from the unspoken assumptions that cause conflict and limit progress.
About the Author: David Hutchens writes about organizations and management theory. He has consulted with major international companies in the areas of teams, leadership, learning, and complexity theory. David lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his daughter Emory and his wife Robbie.
About the Illustrator: Bobby Gombert illustrates books, greeting cards, and advertisements, and has won awards for his political cartoons. He lives in Houston, Texas, with his wife, Liana.
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Read an Excerpt
Every year as springtime rolled around, the cave people looked forward to another long, productive season in the cave, painting stick figures on the walls, eating dead bugs, and sculpting ashtrays out of clay. (Yes, ashtrays. The evolving race had yet to master the art of pottery. Thus, despite their best efforts, everything they made came out looking like an ashtray.)
Yet on one soft Spring morning, Boogie woke up feeling restless.
"Boogie bored and hungry," he said, chewing a dried magnolia leaf that had blown into the cave.
Looking around the same old drab walls of the cave, he casually mused, "Boogie wonder what is outside cave."
The others stared at Boogie in shocked disbelief. No one had ever said such a thing before.
Boogie tried to explain: "Boogie just wonder if maybe more food outside. Or maybe more water. Or more room."
"What Boogie talking about?" asked Unga, incredulous.
"Plenty room here!" snapped Bunga.
"And plenty food," added Trevor, sucking on a rock.
"But we only see what inside cave," Boogie said. "What if we not see what really is?"
This question was very disturbing to the other cave people. They began to get angry.
"Boogie challenging what Unga believe," observed Unga.
"Boogie has lost mind!" said Bunga.
"Boogie is delusional and narcissistic," concluded Trevor, who often soothed his own insecurities by labeling others with sweeping psychotherapeutic generalities.
"Boogie want to ruin everything!" accused Oogie. "This could be end of us!"
Finally, Boogie emerged from the base of the tower. He seemed frustrated.
"It all seem so silly," he said to Mike. "Why divide? Why fight over different views? Why not just go in each other's towers, so everyone understand how other sees different?"
"It does seem pretty simple, doesn't it?" answered Mike. "But it seldom works that way. Instead, people divide and work against each other. Why do you think this happens?"
Boogie wasn't sure. But it did appear that people became awfully upset when asked about their beliefs, or when somebody suggested there might be other ways to look at things. Soon came the labels like mad, or barbarians, or cowards . And after that, it seemed that people became very aggressive.
Boogie decided this was another important thing to think about.
Suddenly, Boogie turned from Mike.
"Boogie go back now," Boogie said.
"Where are you going?" asked Mike.
"Back to cave. Must tell others what I have seen. No more dividing; no more hiding in caves; no more eating cereal made of gravel.
"Must give others chance to climb more towers. Must all work together to see more truth. Then we can be great in number again. We can eat meat, and drink wine, and make shelter, and populate all of this land."
"Be careful," Mike warned him. "Remember how painful it was for a curious caveperson like you to leave the cave. Imagine how much harder it will be for the others, who are satisfied to stay there."
"Others not be satisfied when I tell them about great big world, and show new way to see," Boogie said, as he turned to leave. "Others will want to learn more, see more."
"Boogie! Wait !" Mike called after Boogie.
But Boogie was already gone.