Book Review - Mind Set! by John Naisbitt
I just had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of John Naisbitt's Mind Set!: Reset Your Thinking and See the Future. There's a lot in this book that I'd like to recommend for those who think everything is "the next big thing"... It's really not.
Part 1 - Mindsets: Most Things Remain Constant; The Future Is Embedded In The Present; Focus On The Score Of The Game; Understand How Powerful It Is Not To Have To Be Right; See The Future As A Picture Puzzle; Don't Get So Far Ahead Of The Parade That They Don't Know You Are In It; Resistance To Change Falls For Benefits; Things That We Expect To Happen Always Happen More Slowly; You Don't Get Results By Solving Problems, But By Exploiting Opportunities; Don't Add Unless You Subtract; Consider The Ecology Of Technology
Part 2 - Pictures Of The Future: Culture - A Visual Culture Is Taking Over The World; Economics - From Nation-State To Economic Domains; China - Will The Dragon Devour Us Or Will It Be The Dragon We Ride?; Europe - Metamorphosis To History Theme Park; Our Evolutionary Era - No Next Big Thing
End Notes; Index
Naisbitt, the author of Megatrends, came up with a number of mindsets that can help someone understand where things are going in the future. From that initial list, he pared down the items until he came up with what he felt are the most important eleven items that matter. These mindsets, if understood, directly affect how you view current events and interpret your surroundings. For instance, it's easy to look at each new technology and think that it will change everything. But in reality, the same underlying forces continue to drive people's lives. Business is in a constant state of flux, but it still ends up being all about buying and selling. In sports, the one-handed jump shot in basketball completely changed the look of the game in 1936, but the game itself was still the same... score a basket. Once you strip away the fluff and hype, it's easier to understand where the general flow of life is going. Or my favorite... don't add something unless you subtract something. Setting a cap on a situation (be it a sports roster or a number of menu items in a restaurant) forces you to weigh the merits of each item, keeping only the things that return value and dropping items that no longer measure up to the others. Something to remember before you make yet another commitment...
Part 2 of the book applies a number of these mindsets to different current events and situations. Personally, I found this part of the book a bit more unfocused than the first. While I understand that the visual is becoming more important in today's society, I had a hard time staying focused on where the chapter was going. He does tie the mindsets into the conclusions he draws, but I found the mindsets themselves to be more personally useful for my own life.
Definitely worth reading, even if you don't necessarily agree with him on how the mindsets play out. I'll be revisiting the mindsets a number of times to get them firmly embedded in my brain. And don't be surprised if I turn down some "adds" because I'm not ready to "subtract" something...