A Whole New Mind
Book by Daniel Pink
Reviewed by Ahmad M. Alammary
Issue 8 Summer 2011
Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future could be described as easy read with a twist. In his book Pink argues that right-brain directed individuals are more in demand today than they were before. With large corporations hiring right-brain thinkers in top positions, today the value of visionary thinking, which happens to be a right-brain type of thinking, has become vital for any company to stay ahead. In our current age, or as Pink names it, the Conceptual age, in order to succeed, businesses should embrace an R-directed philosophy.
Pink continues to highlight the many reasons why left-brain driven jobs are in in danger in today’s economic and sociological climate. He explains that because of “Automation, Abundance, and outsourcing in Asia,” left-brain professionals are losing their jobs to software and outsourcing, while abundance has commoditized everything. While Pink’s discussion of automation and abundance may be well-grounded, his explanation of outsourcing speaks from a purely American point of view. Left-brain professions exist all over the world, and economies are flourishing in these same areas. Pink goes on to list six different senses that guide business leaders through the Conceptual age:
Design: engaging customers through function only does not work anymore. Objects should be beautiful to look at, easy to use, and they should create a bond with their user.
Story: Companies and their communications develop relationships with their customers, a task that is as important as their product.
Symphony: Pink talks about synthesis versus analysis, and it is all about the big picture.
Empathy: To produce perfect products, a company must learn everything there is to know about its customer.
Play: Productivity is directly linked to happiness and we cannot always be serious in our everyday jobs.
Meaning: Today, mankind does not seek wealth, but true meaning and satisfaction in finding purpose and spiritual fulfillment.
This book speaks to two audiences: left brainers and right brainers. As much of a great promise the title of the book provides, the real goal is to find the right balance between the two. The book is packed with exercises one can practice to ignite the six senses above. Right Brainers might end up ruling the future, but only if the left sides of their brains are also engaged in the conversation.