Thursday, May 31, 2007

Spring Reading Thing-Book Review: A Whole New Mind

This is an interesting and practical book by Daniel Pink, the author of A Whole New Mind. There are two parts to the book: Part 1 is dealing with the topic on conceptual age, and Part 2 goes into exploring the six senses needed to develop the whole new mind ready for this new era.

Pink talks about how our future will depend on our ability to ask and answer the following three questions that will determine between who gets ahead and who gets left behind:

  • Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
  • Can a computer do it faster?
  • Am I offering something that satisfies the nonmaterial, transcendent desires of an abundant age?

To cover the above, he explains how both sides (left and right hemispheres) of our brains function, leading to L-Directed Thinking and R-Directed Thinking approaches. We need both approaches to lead fulfilling lives and be productive. L-Directed Thinking used to be the driver--sequential, literal, functional, textual, and analytic. However, the once disdained and dismissed aptitudes of R-Directed Thinking--artistry, empathy, taking the long view--are now the factors of determining who soars and who stumbles.

To further elaborate his point on the importance of R-Directed Thinking, he goes on to talk about abundance, Asia (think outsourcing), and automation (think how computers are doing your work better, faster, or cheaper) which have led to the need of high concept and high touch. Therefore, we must perform work that overseas knowledge workers can't do cheaper, that computers can't do faster, and that satisfies the aesthetic, emotional and spiritual demands.

With that, Pink distilled the six abilities, or senses needed to achieve all of that, and they are covered in Part 2 of the book. The six senses:

  • Design
  • Story
  • Symphony
  • Empathy
  • Play
  • Meaning (Note: Christians may not agree with this chapter)

Those who master them will have a huge advantage, according to Pink. I believe him too. One chapter is devoted to each of these six senses, and he describes how to use them in your business and daily life. Read this book to find out how. A notable feature of the book is the shaded 'Portfolio' section that contains a collection of tools, further readings, and websites to get a better grasp of each of the senses.

I was introduced to many new materials as a result of reading this book. For example in the chapter 'Story', I got acquainted with Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, of which, I will be getting a used copy from There are many other interesting things waiting to be discovered. I would encourage you not to miss it.

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