Book Review - A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink
I'd heard quite a bit of buzz surrounding the book A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age by Daniel H. Pink, so I decided to check it out at the library. He makes a strong case for the emergence of "right-brained" individuals in what could be called the post-information age, a.k.a, the "conceptual age".
Part 1 - The Conceptual Age: Right Brain Rising; Abundance, Asia, and Automation; High Concept, High Touch
Part 2 - The Six Senses: Design; Story; Symphony; Empathy; Play; Meaning
Afterword; Notes; Acknowledgements; Index
According to Pink, there are three trends that have reshaped the information age. Abundance means that we have a wide array of goods at affordable prices. Asia denotes the rise of information workers in developing countries who can do process labor (information worker tasks) at wages far less than we make. And automation is the term that stands for the power of the computer, and its ability to take on more and more tasks that can be distilled to a set routine. The information age has provided the fertile ground for all of these, but the side effect is that these very benefits have made the "left-brained" information worker less of a resource and more of a commodity. Pink contends that the skills needed to prosper now involve the blending of left- *and* right-brained thinking, the ability to see the whole and make connections in new and innovative ways. The person who does the coding can be outsourced. The person who comes up with the ideas and sees the trends is the one that an organization needs in order to innovate and differentiate themselves. People don't want the raw facts any more.... There's too much of that. They're looking for "stories", for a blending of facts into a relevant application. The people who can provide those stories are the ones that will be in demand.
I found this book fascinating. While I don't necessarily agree that the information age is over, I do agree that the ability to bridge the technical and emotional aspect of life is becoming increasingly important. At the end of each one of the senses chapter, there's a portfolio section that outlines a number of steps you can take to explore that area in more depth. I now have a list of (what else?) books that look very interesting and that should take me a bit further down this road.
A recommended read for anyone looking to make sense of what life skills you need to stand out in today's world...