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:
- Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
- Can a computers do it faster?
- 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.