- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: New Riders; 1 edition (Nov. 21 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0321898672
- ISBN-13: 978-0321898678
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.8 x 23.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 612 g
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #352,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Metaskills: Five Talents for the Robotic Age Hardcover – Nov 21 2012
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“Metaskills is a rousing manifesto of mastery in a connected world.”
–SUZIE REIDER, DIRECTOR, GOOGLE BRANDLAB
“Fresh, insightful, and highly relevant for today’s business challenges.”
–TOM LOCKWOOD, CEO, LOCKWOOD RESOURCE, AUTHOR OF DESIGN THINKING
“The success of all future leaders will depend on their ability to innovate–Neumeier’s book provides a critical roadmap.”
–PAUL WITKAY, CEO, ALLIANCE OF CHIEF EXECUTIVES
“Great read. We’re ready for this!”
–DEBORAH MORRISON, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, FAST COMPANY
“Fascinating stuff...really thought provoking.”
–JACK COVERT, CO-AUTHOR, THE 100 BEST BUSINESS BOOKS OF ALL TIME
“A substantial book written by a true visionary who lays out a way forward in the Robotic Age.”
–JEFFREY DAVIS, CEO, TRACKING WONDER
“Metaskills is Neumeier’s fourth book in ten years, and it’s his best.”
–MATTHEW PORTER, CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, COMMUNICATION ARTS
“The process of human knowing has barely begun. Hence the great importance–and significance–of Neumeier’s book.”
–ROBERT MORRIS, AMAZON HALL OF FAME REVIEWER
About the Author
Marty Neumeier is a designer, writer, and business adviser whose mission is to bring the principles and processes of creativity to industry. His recent series of “whiteboard” books includes The Designful Company, about the role of design in corporate innovation; Zag, named one of the “top hundred business books of all time” for its insights into radical differentiation; and The Brand Gap, considered by many the foundational text for modern brand-building.
In the 1990s Neumeier was editor and publisher of Critique magazine, the first journal about design thinking. He has also worked closely with innovative companies such as Apple, Netscape, Sun Microsystems, HP, Adobe, Google, and Microsoft to help advance their brands and cultures. Today he serves as Director of Transformation for Liquid Agency in Silicon Valley, and travels extensively as a workshop leader and speaker on the topics of innovation, brand, and design. Between trips, he and his wife spend their time in California and southwest France.
Top customer reviews
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What we have 36 years later, in Marty Neumeier's latest book, is a brilliant examination of metaskills within the context of a global business world that is increasingly more complicated, confusing, frustrating, and uncertain than at any prior time that I can remember. Neumeier calls it the "Robotic Age" while noting that today's robots are, at best, early prototypes of what are certain to become far more sophisticated than we can possibly imagine now. Human beings must develop both the nature and extent of their mental capabilities (e.g. cognition) if they are to control rather than be controlled by the advanced technologies that await. How to do that? In a word, "metaskills" and Neumeier identifies and discusses five:
FEELING (e.g. intuition, empathy, and social intelligence)
SEEING (i.e. the ability to think, whole thoughts, also known as systems thinking)
DREAMING (the metaskill of applied imagination)
MAKING (i.e. master the design process, including skills for devising prototypes of, for example, robots)
LEARNING (the audodidactic ability to learn new skills at will)
Note: This last talent or metaskill is perhaps the most important, in my opinion, because we cannot understand what is beyond our ability to recognize, process, and assimilate. To paraphrase Albert Einstein, we cannot solve problems with the mental skills that created them. Neumeier would hasten to add that we will also need highly developed skills to achieve metaintuition. (That is the subject for another book I hope he writes.)
These are among the passages of greatest interest and value to me, also listed to give at least some indication of the range of subjects that Neumeier covers:
o The Innovation Mandate (Pages 8-11)
o The Obsolete Industrial Brain and Wanted: Metaskills (24-30)
o Brain Surgery, Self-Taught (39-45)
o Leonardo's Assistant (54-57)
o The Aesthetics Toolbox (70-71)
o Thinking Whole Thought (95-98)
o The Art Is in the Framing (130-136)
o The Play Instinct (154-163)
o The Art of Simplexity (191-193)
o The Joy Zone (209-213)
o A Theory of Learning (217-220)
o Unplugging (226-228)
With all due respect to J. H. Flavell's importance, the first time I encountered the term (metacognition) was years later when, quite by accident, I was browsing through a friend's copy of Metacognition: Knowing about Knowing, published by MIT Press (1994) and co-edited by Janet Metcalfe and Arthur P. Shimamura. I mention all this by way of suggesting that Marty Neumeier's most recently published book enables a layman such as I to appreciate (if not as yet fully understand) the exciting opportunities that await all of us in a relatively new field of cognitive science. We now know more about knowing than ever before but, I suspect, the process has only begun. Hence the great importance -- and significance -- of the contributions that Neumeier makes with this book.
In the final chapter, Neumdeier offers what he calls "A Modest Proposal." He recommends a seven-step process by which to end and then reverse a process of sacrificing our children to "the gods of mass production." The details of this process are best revealed within the narrative, in context, but I feel comfortable noting that his ultimate objective (and an admirable one indeed) is to transform the education of young people so that (yes) they can more quickly -- Swiftly? -- master metaskills and thereby (a) achieve metacognition and also (b) become more fully developed human beings with sharper minds, kinder hearts, and healthier bodies. My own take is that, indeed, everything Neumeier affirms can nourish quality of life. If there is anything else more important than that, I sure would like to know.
That said, no brief commentary such as mine can possibly do full justice to the scope of material that Marty Neumeier provides in this volume but I hope that I have at least suggested why I think so highly of him and his work. Also, I hope that those who read this commentary will be better prepared to determine whether or not they wish to read the book and, in that event, they will have at least some idea of how the information, insights, and counsel could perhaps be responsive to the needs, interests, and especially the challenges to the given organization.
Similar to his previous books, he simplifies the message, and in this case breaks the argument down into five core areas ...
- Feeling - which involves intuition, empathy, and social intelligence
- Seeing - involving systems thinking, those wicked problems, looking at the big picture
- Dreaming - never underestimate the importance of imagination and creativity
- Making - and never underestimate the incredible value of the design process in innovation
- Learning - not only embracing continuous adult learning, but challenging our early education system as the starting point.
All presented with ample examples to make it very relevant. Makes me realize it's never to late to take on changing something big!
Make no mistake, this is not a theory book. This is a practical application and how-to-do-it book, and is a great guide about the people skills needed considering the future. As a recruiter of design and innovation talent, these insights are very beneficial for me personally and in my work. I really do enjoy reading Marty's books and have learned a great deal from him. I would highly recommend all of his books, including Metaskills.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Meta Skills requires more concentration and offers greater depth. It is more important, too. This book had depth and texture. Mr. Neumeier's skill lies in delivering complexity with a soupçon of simplicity. Few business "help" or "trend" books do this. Most simply repackage ideas appropriated from others and wrap them in their own bamboozle. What Neumeier's proclivity steals is the thunder of the FutureTrend shamans by deflating their language and watching it fall to earth where we can all get a good look at it.
Straightforward is Neumeier's chief brand attribute. In Meta Skills he takes complex concepts and theories on skills and training and counts them out in five steps that will keep us ten steps ahead of the agile robot. The author draws from deep wells across a wide range of disciplines, experiences and philosophies and delivers them simply -- and enjoyably. He uses wit while tweaking his dentist's poor taste in painting and savagery when describing the horrors of the Ryan Air customer experience.
I believe Neumeier's passion is reunification -- or at least the tearing down of barriers that serve to "Balkanize" us. We tend to believe certain skills, learning and people are rare experts when really most of the same skills, interests and instincts that we do. By proving emotional intelligence is as vital as rational knowledge, Neumeier offers us hope not doom. For those who create, build, design, and originate ---- this is great news. With Neumeier's encouragement we can postpone the outsourcing to Manilla (or Hal or Watson).
Read this book. Then read it backwards. So long as you keep your opposable thumb (your humanity), you have a fighting chance to stay ten steps ahead of the the robots.