Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Whole New Mind - brief review by carol yeager

Pink, D. (2005). A whole new mind. London: Penguin Books.

“Today the left brain capabilities that powered the information age are necessary but no longer sufficient. The “right brain” qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness and meaning – increasingly determine who flourishes and who flounders. …professional success and personal fulfillment now requires a whole new mind.” (Daniel Pink, p3)

I found this book a most enjoyable reading and thinking experience. In discussing the advantages of seeing the “whole picture”, Pink manages to break some of its elements into discrete areas. The first delineation divides the book into 2 separate sections. First, and examination of the information technologies that dominate and influence Western societies

· Abundance of material goods and products in our societies,

· Outsourcing of certain tasks to Asian countries influencing job markets in US and Europe

· Automation of routine functions

He outlines the situations and then asks: what’s next?

In the second portion of the book Pink details how humans need to delve into different ways of coping with the “next”, and those yet to be discerned, changes. He advocates the conjugation of left brain and right brain in more equally functional modes, more integrated as whole brain responses rather than emphasis on one, or the other. The emphasis on not being task dependent on the selection. He introduces the “Conceptual Age” and six aptitudes that he has deemed important to developing the whole brain potential: Design (awareness of its daily influences), Story (patterns of experiences), Symphony ( seeing the big picture as well as the integration of the discrete elements), Empathy (shared experiences and understanding), Play (humor and play as important elements of business and daily life) and Meaning (people’s search for meaning in their lives: spiritual and emotional well-being).

Many of the discussions are very similar to much of our learning throughout our creativity studies, yet couched in universal terms of inspiration. Truly an enjoyable read of a Hot Book!

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