September 27, 2011

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future charts the rise of right-brain thinking in modern economies and describes the six abilities individuals and organizations must master in an outsourced, automated age

Daniel Pink references three prevailing trends pointing towards the future of business and the economy:
1. Abundance (consumers have too many choices, nothing is scarce)
2. Asia (everything that can be outsourced, is)
3. Automation (computerization, robots, technology, processes).

This brings up three crucial questions for the success of any business:

1. Can a computer do it faster?
2. Is what I'm offering in demand in an age of abundance?
3. Can someone overseas do it cheaper?

When these questions are present, creativity becomes the competitive difference that can differentiate commodities.
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 outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment-and reveals how to master them

1. Design - Moving beyond function to engage the sense.
2. Story - Narrative added to products and services - not just argument. Best of the six senses.
3. Symphony - Adding invention and big picture thinking (not just detail focus).
4. Empathy - Going beyond logic and engaging emotion and intuition.
5. Play - Bringing humor and light-heartedness to business and products.
6. Meaning - the purpose is the journey, give meaning to life from inside yourself.

The book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink, left- directed thinking leads to a analytical person, whereas right-directed thinking leads to creative person.

Left-directed thinking:

America is currently organized around a cadre of accountants, doctors, engineers, executives and lawyers. These "knowledge workers" excel at the ability to acquire and marry facts to data, and these abilities are typically accrued through a series of standardized tests such as the PSAT, SAT, GMAT, LSAT and MCAT.

Right directed thinking:
Design, empathy, play, and other "soft" aptitudes have become the focal point for individuals and companies that want to stand out above the others in a crowded marketplace. Look no further than Apple's design-triumph, the physically appealing and emotionally compelling iPod, for quick confirmation of this notion!

Dan advocates to leave the left directed thinking to Asia as it is available in abundance and cheap, and direct educational system towards right directed thinking to turn out creative people like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.