Review – Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

Daniel Pink’s  A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future has an interesting view on globalization where he argues that the world is moving from the Informational Age to the Conceptual Age. Abundance, Asia and Automation are identified as three forces that are changing the future.

The first force, `Abundance’ refers to the state of our lives in developed countries and increasingly we want products or services that are aesthetically pleasing. The second force, `Asia’ refers to outsourcing. The third force, `Automation’ is self-explanatory. Pink reasons that if we are not creating aesthetically pleasing outcomes (experience, service or products) at work, or if our jobs can be outsourced or automated then we are in danger of being redundant.

But fret not, as Pink also states the six skills or abilities that will help us thrive in this New Economy and the six antidotes are as follows:

Design: This is related to the factor of abundance hence, design is a skill that is vital to produce experiences, products or services that appeal to the consumers’ senses. For example, even government housing (in Singapore, at least, called HDB flats ) nowadays are being designed to please our senses and it is not merely functional blocks that serve as shelters.

Story: Increasingly, it is being seen that stories are being used by companies and individuals for purposes of selling, inspiring, communicating and persuading. Pink gives a number of tips to improve our story-telling and states `mini sagas’ as one of the ways by which our story-telling skills can be honed.

Symphony: The ability to see the big picture and put the disparate pieces together.

Empathy: The ability to understand other people and their feelings. Not sympathy but empathy.

Play: This is a skill of understanding games, humor, and laughter. It helps us balance our lives. Remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Meaning: The search for meaning or purpose of life through spirituality, charity or other means. This is a vital element that is possibly the most important among the six to live a meaningful life in this day and age.

Remember, 9 is the magical number to thrive in today’s environment i.e. awareness of the 3 forces and the mastery of 6 skills.