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Mind Set!: Reset Your Thinking and See the Future Hardcover – October 3, 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When Megatrends was first published nearly a quarter-century ago, Naisbitt was hailed as a cutting-edge futurist. Today, however, he's more like your crotchety grandpa, complaining about how he can't get through the voice-mail system to talk to a real person. Naisbitt's latest book reads like a manuscript that's been stuck in a drawer since 1985, as his insights into the future—corporations are becoming more powerful than nation states, video games are an art form—are embarrassingly behind the times. Although he touts 11 principles to help readers cultivate forward-looking thinking, these turn out to be banal guidelines like "focus on the score of the game" and "don't add unless you subtract." Tangential rants about hysterical environmentalists and free market capitalism as the only way to organize modern society reveal a creeping conservative mindset, but even here Naisbitt is bringing up the rear, touting Friedrich Hayek long after everyone else has moved on to Leo Strauss. In his eighth predictive tract, the author coasts on his reputation. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Naisbitt, prescient "futurist" and best-selling author of Megatrends (1982) and Megatrends 2000 (1990), reveals the process behind his ability to anticipate global trends. Naisbitt broke away from his small-town Mormon roots to become a top executive at IBM and Eastman Kodak and was an assistant to both presidents Kennedy and Johnson before becoming a global philosopher, studying trends by monitoring hundreds of daily local newspapers. In part 1, his 11 mind-sets reveal ways to approach the processing of information without the constraints imposed on us by preconceived ideas and popular culture. Mindset Four, "Understanding how powerful it is not to have to be right," is a prime example of how stubborn thinking, particularly in the fields of politics and medicine, puts huge constraints on the abilities of leaders to solve problems. In part 2, Naisbitt smashes many of the preconceptions we have about globalization and our perception of change. David Siegfried
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperBusiness; 1 edition (October 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061136883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061136887
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,625,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By James A. Hatherley on October 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really wanted to like this book. It was Naisbitt's "Megatrends", and Peters' "In Search Of Excellence" that had initially turned me on to business/culture books that provoked interest and thought and dialogue, and helped develop personal growth.

There is just so much to learn from someone as distinguished and experienced as John Naisbitt. In fact, Mr. Naisbitt does take his readers on a global tour as attendees of his speeches and meetings. And yet, there is something missing that (at least for me) created a sense of ennui and paragraph skipping. At one point I felt so guilty that I was not giving the book a fair enough shot, I decided to begin anew and retrace the first 76 pages to revive my personal mind set. It still didn't happen for me.

For one thing, the book is a bit confusing. The majority of the book involves a description of 11 "mind sets" on which readers could evaluate past, present and future events. Fair enough. But the eleven mind sets were not especially insightful (e.g., Focus on the score of the game, Resistance to change falls if the benefits are real, Don't add unless you subtract et als.), and (too) often the examples were just too old/dated for too many people. (As a point of reference, I am nearing 60, and I am stunned by the lack of understanding of the historical significance of Viet Nam by bright young people under the age of 30. How, then, can many readers tie in the references to things happening at Harvard in the 50's, or when the author was part of the Kennedy Administration?).

And, then the author tries to connect his eleven mind sets to future trends. This part was pretty sketchy.
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Format: Hardcover
Before considering if you want to read Mind Set! please realize that this book is quite different from Megatrends, Megatrends Asia, and Megatrends 2000. Those books attempted to describe the key elements of the future world that were still new and unfamiliar at the time: That's the key task of futurists.

Mind Set! by comparison, is a book about the methodology that Professor Naisbitt applies to take the information he gleans from local newspapers to discern the face of tomorrow. Mind Set! concludes with five brief examples of how to uses these methods.

If you are looking for a futurist's view on 2027, this isn't the book for you.

In fact, it's interesting that Professor Naisbitt has written this book at all: Futurist work and interest in it seems to be at quite a low ebb now.

To me, the book's main weakness is that he says less about how to acquire the information he analyzes than in prior books. You have to wonder how long local newspapers accounts will forecast the future: The local newspaper business is dying. To me, it would have been far more interesting to have looked at how the blogosphere can be used to supplement or replace local newspapers for this purpose.

What are the mind sets he uses? Let me paraphrase them so they make more sense:

1. Unimportant everyday details change a lot: the fundamentals of life remain constant. His caution is to avoid getting carried away with seeing temporary trends as permanent changes.

2. The future already exists: you only need to extrapolate from it. This is a hoary point that I assume he got from Peter Drucker.

3. Focus on the score of the game: look at the actual measures. Politicians and newsmakers try to bend our perspectives away from what's happening.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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