Monday, July 24, 2006

Read This Book

I just finished reading a life changing book by Daniel H. Pink. The book title is “A Whole New Mind – Why Right-Brainers Will Rule The Future”. Pink also wrote a popular book – “Free Agent Nation”. The premise of the book is that organizational and corporate culture is evolving. Pink asserts that US culture is moving from an Information Age dominated by left brain dominant workers. From the introduction “think programmers who could crunch code, lawyers who could craft contracts, and MBAs who could crunch numbers.” He presents an excellent argument that we are moving to a Conceptual Age. Persons of the future are - “creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. These people – artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers – will now reap society's richest rewards and share its greatest joys.” These are the right brain thinkers. Those of us who can find the balance will find success and reward.

Pink's contends left-brain thinkers are beginning to wield less influence, particularly in the US. The reason this is happening boils down to three “A's” - Abundance, Asia, and Automation. The chapters that follow highlight six “senses” that the author feels are worth developing. They are high concept and high touch. Each sense – design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning – takes the reader on a thoughtful path. The examples used are fascinating and readable. Each chapter is followed by a portfolio of ideas, exercises, and possibilities for further study. As expected, much of the added study occurs via Internet. As an aside, Pink was a speech writer for Al Gore. Former Vice President Gore is an avid user of technology. He got a bum rap on his Internet comments – never saying he “invented” the Internet but being alleged to have said it. I won't go into the rest of the whole sordid mess.

I found the book entertaining and highly readable. I could have read it quicker but it was far too enjoyable. I rather enjoyed taking small bites and letting it melt in my conscience.

What I find truly astonishing is the conversation generated on Slacker Manager about outsourcing technology. I posted early and am watching it go back and forth. Steve Rubel, at Micro Persuasion, even checks in.


5 comments:

Mack Collier said...

The book's premise makes sense, as we are entering an age of unprecedented free communication, it would stand to reason that the great communicators will advance faster than the more analytical thinkers.

Great post Bob, thanks for bringing this book to my attention!

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CK said...

Thanks for bringing the book to my attention (and thanks to Mack for bringing your blog to my attention). I appreciate how you read the book in bits, allowing it to fully seep into your conscience.

Thoroughly enjoyed Pink's "Free Agent Nation" so this one is also on my list. If you've not yet read Friedman's "The World is Flat" (and forgive if you're already reviewed it), it's worthy...but a commitment as it's 500+ pages--so you'll want to definitely take it in chunks.

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