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When Mr 4% grabbed 100% of my attention

As regular readers will know, I'm always on the lookout for inspirations in unusual places.ย ย Often, that's museums.

Earlier this week, I visited the Neanderthal Museum, located in the middle of the Neander Valley, where the world's most famous human fossil was found in 1856.

There I met this gentleman, Mr. 4 Percent, a very realistic-looking replica of a ๐˜๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ด. Dressed in a suit, I mistook him for a fellow museum visitor until I spotted the rather primitive weapon in his hand.

It's exactly why Mr 4 Percent is there: to highlight the fact we're all a tiny bit Neanderthal, and some of us (๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด) have up to 4 percent of their DNA in us.

While I learned lots of things I didn't know before visiting โ€” for example, the fact we have smaller mouths than they did, because we learned how to cook food with fire, making it easier to chew and therefore requiring smaller teeth โ€” it's Mr 4 Percent that's my abiding memory of a fascinating museum.

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜'๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜†?

I've often used the term Neanderthal pejoratively to describe something incredibly primitive that's not adapted to the modern world. What I learned from the museum, and in particular Mr 4 Percent, is that they were far more sophisticated than I'd ever given them credit for.

Perhaps, I thought mischievously to myself, we need a Mr 4 Percent equivalent for Compliance. After all, ask the average employee what their gut reaction is to hearing the C word, and you're likely to hear something less than positive.

Since he's got into my head, I'm going to give Mr 4 Percent some more thinking time. Maybe there's something the remaining 96% can learn from.

Oh, and if you're ever near Dรผsseldorf, do pay him a visit.


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