Dan Pink’s “A Whole New Mind”

I recently finished author Daniel Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind.”  I bought the book after hearing Dan speak at the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) conference in New Orleans in May of this year.  As a former head speech writer for Vice President Al Gore, it’s no surprise, the guy is a great speaker.  But it was his ideas that really caused me to listen.

The premise of this book is that the vast majority of our industrialized, 20th century lives were ruled by Left Brain thinkers (methodical, logical, mathmatician-esque types), and that order, conformity, and doing things “the right way” were prized attributes of any employee. 

Dan argues that the 21st century will mark the shift to more Right Brain thinking where 6 new senses will be essential to anyone who wants to thrive professionally.  I think he’s dead right (no pun intended).  These 6 senses are things that computers can’t do, senses that only humans can truly possess.  And during an era where Left Brain computers are quickly becoming able to do jobs faster and more efficiently than Left Brain humans, Right Brain thinking is crucial.

Dan doesn’t imply that only people who inherently have these 6 senses will be successful; in fact, his book gives you exercises to better tone up your skills in these areas.  Anyone can be a Right Brain thinker with a little effort- and anyone who wants to succeed will NEED to adapt to using these 6 senses.

Without further ado, the 6 senses:

  1. Design
  2. Story
  3. Symphony
  4. Empathy
  5. Play
  6. Meaning

Read more about Dan and A Whole New Mind here.  And do the exercises, they are quite fun!  I now have an inspiration board in my office that everyone comments on, instead of my drab bulletin board which conveniently housed information I never looked at.  What the heck am I talking about?  Read the book.

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