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A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future [Paperback]

Daniel H. Pink
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 7 2006
The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic "right-brain" thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn't.

Drawing on research from around the world, Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment--and reveals how to master them. A Whole New Mind takes readers to a daring new place, and a provocative and necessary new way of thinking about a future that's already here.

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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. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

"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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Vision for an Improved Way of Solving Problems July 15 2006
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Ever since Peter Drucker pointed out that the future performance of organizations in the developed world would be in the hands of knowledge workers, we've been blessed with an understanding that the dominant economic focus can shift rapidly into new directions. Prior to that, the industrial age had lasted for over two centuries. The agricultural age that preceded it lasted several thousand years, and the hunter-gatherer age had lasted even longer.

What is the conceptual age? It's a time when due to applying all of our brain's many functions and the many advances of technology that we enjoy, a person can imagine totally different ways to serve and entertain others. Imagination is the limit.

A number of people have preceded Mr. Pink's message in partial ways such as those who have written about the entertainment economy, works about serious play, cataloguers of storytelling best practices and those who consider emotional intelligence.

But I think Mr. Pink's concept is both bigger and more accurate than that which has preceded this book. Most methods of making improvements only harness parts of our capabilities and serve only parts of our needs. Anyone who has sat in a traffic jam recently realizes that. What good is s beautiful sports car if traffic is bumping along at 10 mph? Put that same driver into a Grand Prix simulator, and the person comes alive in a way that's almost beyond belief.

Mr. Pink points out six key opportunities to supplement traditional, linear thinking. These are design, story, symphony (integration of disparate elements), empathy, play and meaning.

I think, however, that Mr. Pink is wrong about these being the primarily undeveloped senses.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Globalization and Outsourcing are Our Reality April 7 2006
As someone who was in an engineering and IT field, but not of it, I began to feel that there was hope for creatures like me. I understand technology, but my viewpoint tends to be a big picture viewpoint. Writing lines of code left half of me wanting something more and my fellow employees and managers irritated.
Pink provides a clue as to the types of jobs that will no longer exist in the United States in the coming decades by asking three questions: Can someone overseas do it cheaper? Can a computer do it faster? Is what I'm offering in demand in an age of abundance?
As I watched Information Technology (IT) jobs move overseas and become automated, I fully understood what Pink meant with the first question, but the last one had me stumped until I read further. Then, I grasped that I was already a member of a "fleet of empathic, meaning-seeking boomers" which had "already started wading ashore." I had self-identified as a Cultural Creative a number of years ago.
So if American jobs are significantly going to change, how do we prepare for what Pink calls the Conceptual Age? Even if you are planning to retire from your current job in the near future, the likelihood is that you will continue your work life in some form or another.
The world is changing and the economy is changing. As boomers enter the last phases of their official working life, what will they bring to the picture? Will corporations understand the value that people with experience bring to the job, or will they pursue the "cheaper and faster" model of exporting to Asia and hiring young college grads (often immigrants) to replace an aging work force?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Toward skills that can't be outsourced Feb. 25 2009
By Brian Griffith TOP 500 REVIEWER
Pink genially prods us into a future of retooling ourselves for survival, managing to make it seem more interesting than horrifying. He gets playful advising games to develop creativity and empathy, moving us towards the kind of skills that can't be outsourced. The challenges he covers are real and inescapable, except that it's happening so fast that Pink's correct predictions seem outdated for being made slightly before they happened.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Sept. 23 2012
Good light read. Interesting research.

Daniel Pink, highlights a need for right brain thinkers, and for training your right brain. Thus far, technological, mathematical, algorithmic (programming), highly structured financial thinking has been the dominant traits for success. Pink highlights that many of these jobs are going to much less expensive outsource nations like Inida, Philippinese, etc. The case is solid for accounting, programming, call centres, and other highly structured such work. He does not make the same case for MBA-types, financial analysts, computer architects, and other similarly structured thought work.

Despite this flaw, it is interesting to have a good case for whole brain thinking, and to highlight the importance of learning music, drawing, maze solving, and other more abstract thinking skills. Likeable read. Intersting points. Glad there is a reason I am paying for my kids' piano & violin lessons :-).
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book! Feb. 13 2006
By Mike
I found this book very enjoyable to read. It has a wealth of comprehensive research that supports the information. It opens your mind to the way the world shifts through the ages. Easy to read, with pictures to support the ideas and concepts. I would recommend this book to people of all professions.
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