Reviewing Daniel Pink’s “A Whole New Mind”

 

My friend and leadership writing partner, Ron Potter, gave me a huge  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, exercises, 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.”
  • “Left-brained thinking remains indispensable. It’s just no longer sufficient in the Conceptual Age, what we need instead is a whole new mind.”
  • “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 that the easily replicated L-Directed [Left-Brained] skills..”

He asks the reader 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 your answer to question 1 or 2 is yes, or if your answer to question 3 is no, Pink believes you are in deep trouble.

To overcome the trouble, he points us to six “senses” that need to be developed if we are to transition to the Conceptual Age. They are: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy and Meaning.

For each “sense” Pink not only defines it, but at the end of the chapter offers meaningful help to further educate us on each sense.

He ends to 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 [the six senses mentioned above] I’ve described.”

I think he’s right and I highly recommend this book to you if your feeling stuck or need to understand how your own creativity and sense of people will be an asset to any business.

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