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A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age Hardcover – March 24, 2005
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The Amazon Book Review
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From Publishers Weekly
Just as information workers surpassed physical laborers in economic importance, Pink claims, the workplace terrain is changing yet again, and power will inevitably shift to people who possess strong right brain qualities. His advocacy of "R-directed thinking" begins with a bit of neuroscience tourism to a brain lab that will be extremely familiar to those who read Steven Johnson's Mind Wide Open last year, but while Johnson was fascinated by the brain's internal processes, Pink is more concerned with how certain skill sets can be harnessed effectively in the dawning "Conceptual Age." The second half of the book details the six "senses" Pink identifies as crucial to success in the new economy-design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning-while "portfolio" sections offer practical (and sometimes whimsical) advice on how to cultivate these skills within oneself. Thought-provoking moments abound-from the results of an intensive drawing workshop to the claim that "bad design" created the chaos of the 2000 presidential election-but the basic premise may still strike some as unproven. Furthermore, the warning that people who don't nurture their right brains "may miss out, or worse, suffer" in the economy of tomorrow comes off as alarmist. But since Pink's last big idea (Free Agent Nation) has become a cornerstone of employee-management relations, expect just as much buzz around his latest theory.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Abundance, Asia, and automation." Try saying that phrase five times quickly, because if you don't take these words into serious consideration, there is a good chance that sooner or later your career will suffer because of one of those forces. Pink, best-selling author of Free Agent Nation (2001) and also former chief speechwriter for former vice-president Al Gore, has crafted a profound read packed with an abundance of references to books, seminars, Web sites, and such to guide your adjustment to expanding your right brain if you plan to survive and prosper in the Western world. According to Pink, the keys to success are in developing and cultivating six senses: design, story, symphony, empathy, play, and meaning. Pink compares this upcoming "Conceptual Age" to past periods of intense change, such as the Industrial Revolution and the Renaissance, as a way of emphasizing its importance. Ed Dwyer
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Top customer reviews
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Or if you as a right brained, intuitive person in your late 40's-early 60's--you might understand WHY you weren't successful during the 70-90's, you'd understand how to use your natural skills now.
Basically, I think this will be a GREAT book for my son who left his right brain skills behind and became super linear fixing computers and diesel Mercedes-
If you need to understand why so many jobs have been outsourced to Asia...read on--
I am in my 60's and taking a ceramics class in a local college.... this book was required reading.....so....it was interesting, after reading it, to sit down and have a book discussion in class with people of all ages....and hear the ideas this book sparked. Mr. Pink brings all the warmth and fuzziness of your grandmother together with the logic of your math teacher and fuses together the import attributes that will fuel this age. Integrating the right minded capabilities of empathy , creativity and all the right brain attributes with the left brain attributes of logic, order etc. I would encourage everyone....of any age.....to read this illuminating book.
Engineering, accounting, law, and coding—left-brain–heavy professions—are now being outsourced to India, or performed by computers and robots.
Pink gets into detail about how left-brain–focused professions, including medicine and business, are now placing a huge emphasis on right-brain smartness. He discusses how empathy and listening are the new sought-after skills for physicians and how business recruiters are favoring art degrees over MBAs.
I think this book is important for anyone entering the workplace, looking for work, or heading up a company (CEOs and managers). The tools and tips discussed can help current businesses stay innovative by sparking right-brain activity through incorporating laughter, fun, and spirituality into people’s workflow.
I like Pink’s “portfolio” sections at the end of each chapter that provide how-to exercises for increasing your right-brain activity.
This book will spark your creative juices and encourage you to think differently about work and meaning in your life.
I give it five stars!
The book consists of 2 parts, The first part is short and clarifies left/right brained thinking and what the author means with the conceptual age, the whole new mind and "high concept, high touch". The second part goes over the "6 senses" that will be important during the conceptual age.
Part 1 is reasonable small (about 50 pages) and starts with the author explaining a little bit about how our brain works and a summary of his understanding of the current brain research. Then the second chapter explains the reason for the change from the information age to the conceptual age: abundance, asia, and automation (more on this later), and the last chapter of this part then explains what the author considers the next age, the conceptual age where people will need to use both their right and left brain, their whole brain.
Let me comment a bit on chapter 2, which I found by far the worst chapter in the book. This is important as this chapter is the "reason" behind the start of the conceptual age. Dan Pink claims that the reason for the conceptual age are: Abundance, Asia, and Automation. For Abundance, I think he makes some interesting and good arguments. We're moving from an age where you have more than enough of 'things' and therefore the 'things' that you have are becoming less importance than others such as the ascetic design or spirituality. His discussions about Asia miss the mark completely (having lived in Asia for over a decade). His argument is that left-brained work will go to 'cheaper' people in Asia and that trend will continue. In my opinion, the author is missing a few key points. First, he never clarifies why "whole-mind" jobs wouldn't go to Asia? It seems as if he has the opinion that people in Asia don't have a whole mind, but only the left part. Next, of course, the labor cost is Asia is going up rapidly. Lastly, he frequently refers back to Software Development and in that domain, the amount of offshore development has probably decreased rather than increased. Also on automation, I think he is off IMHO. He is right that automation is going to be more important and that it will influence how people work but he is missing the perspective that automation actually helps people do their job, rather than just replaces their job (a view promoted by the Lean movement). I felt the base of the book was shaky, but I did agree with the fact that the "6 senses" are important and that its importance will grow.
Part 2 covers what Dan Pink calls "the 6 senses" which are 6 'skills' that are extra important in the conceptual age. These are 1) Design, 2) Story, 3) Symphony, 4) Empathy, 5) Play, and 6) Meaning. Each of these sentence has their own chapter (each of about 30 pages) which explains the senses and gives stories and examples (in the typical journalistic style of writing). The stories were enjoyable, and the examples illustrative.
All in all, I felt the book was ok. It was a good read, well written but didn't have any *wow* feelings or strong *aha* moments. The book did what I had sort-of expected, with the exception of the second chapter which I felt provided a poor background to the rest of the book. So, all in all, the book is an ok read yet I wouldn't strongly recommend it and if you ask me what the book was about in a few years, I'll probably have to re-read this review :) 3-stars therefore.