Reviewing Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind”

 

My friend and leadership writing partner, Ron Potter, gave me a huge Christmas present when he recommended I read Daniel Pink's A Whole New Mind. I just finished reading it for the second time and I think it's one of the best books on creativity and thinking that I've read in awhile. Pink uses stories, excercises, websites and research to help us understand and appreciate not just right-brained thinking, but how the need for more right-brainded thinking is where we need to go as business or ministry leaders.

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 Here are just a few quotes from the book:

  • "For Businesses, it's no longer enough to create a product that's reasonably priced and adequately functional. It must be beautiful, unique, and meaningful, abiding what author Virginia Postrel calls, 'the aesthetic imperative.'"
  • "[Businesses] will have to master different aptitudes, relying more on creativity than competence,  more on tacit knowledge than technical  manuals, and more on fashioning the big picture than sweating the details."
  • "L-Directed [left-brained] Thinking remains indispensable. It's just no longer sufficient in the Conceptual Age [the next age after the current Knowledge Age], what we need instead is a whole new mind."
  • "Because of Abundance, businesses are realizing that the only way to differentiate their goods and services in today's overstocked marketplace is to make their offerings physically beautiful and emotionally compelling. Thus the high-concept abilities of an artist are often more valuable than the easily replicated L-Directed skills of an entry-level business graduate."

He challenges organizations [and individuals] to examine themselves and ask three questions:

  1. Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
  2. Can a computer do it faster?
  3. Is what I'm offering in demand in an age of abundance?

If our answers to question 1 or 2 is yes, or if our answer to question 3 is  no, Pink believes we're in deep trouble. "Mere survival today depends on being able to do something that overseas knowledge workers can't do cheaper, that powerful computers can't do faster, and that satisfies on of the nonmaterial, transcendent desires of an abundant age."

Pink feels that, "In the Conceptual Age, we will need to complement our L-Directed reasoning by mastering six essential R-Directed [right-brained} aptitudes. Together these six high-concept, high-touch senses can help develop the whole new mind this new era demands."

Pink then explains the six senses which are: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning.

He ends the book by saying, "It seems clear then, that the Conceptual Age is dawning and that those who hope to survive in it must master the high-concept, high-touch abilities I've described. This situation presents both promise and peril."

This is a fine book that I highly recommend to you especially if you are seeking to understand how your sense of creativity and people focus can help you in any organization or personal endeavor.

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One Response to “Reviewing Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind””

  1. Jim Seybert says:

    Pink is one of my “thought mentors” – so glad Ron recommended AWNM for you. He has a brand new one – DRIVE, that examines motivation. Good stuff.

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