A Whole New Mind (review: 2.5/5)

I first heard about A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age when Joshua Blankenship posted this excellent quote from author Daniel Pink. Great stuff, so I found the book, which isn’t as great.
The premise is that the Information Age was led by left-brained, linear-thinkers. Now, as we enter the Conceptual Age, the balance is shifting such that right-directed, sympathetic, synthetic thinkers are more and more valuable.

To survive in this age, individuals and organizations must examine what they’re doing to earn a living and ask themselves three questions:

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

Luckily the book isn’t about outsourcing paranoia, but about some soft skills and sensibilities you’ll need: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning. The book is heavy on the anecdote, and generally light-hearted, but not particularly gripping. Like some other pop-business books I’ve read like The Long Tail and The Tipping Point, I think it would have been great as a long essay. As a book it feels a bit thin. I’ve heard excellent things about Pink’s other book Free Agent Nation, so maybe that’s worth a look.

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