A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 May, 2012, 12:00am


A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future
by Daniel Pink

Do you crunch numbers or codes for a living? If so, beware because the old, logic-driven Information Age is waning. According to Daniel Pink we are trapped in linear 'knowledge work' jobs such as law, accountancy and software engineering, which are threatened by three dynamics termed 'abundance, Asia, and automation'.

The first term means the wealth of consumer choice. The second term means the boom in Asia-based left-brain workers, which is demoting traditional white-collar jobs to blue-collar obscurity. The third means the way automation has made professional knowledge easily available through the internet.

The only way to survive in this age is to become a skilled right-brain thinker. You need six transformative skills. Think 'story' ('the fundamental instrument of thought'), 'symphony' (connection perception), 'empathy, play' (light-heartedness), 'design' ('a high-concept aptitude') and 'meaning' (spiritual fulfilment).

You may doubt whether the workplace really values such soft significant skills as much as utility. But Pink finds ample evidence to support his case. He quotes BMW designer Chris Bangle as saying the firm makes 'moving works of art'. Other car firms are taking a similar tack. The result: even the Detroit Auto Show apparently now resembles a design fair. And chief executives across a range of fields are crying out for creativity.

Do you think your job is safe? Pink poses three job-related questions to ponder.

1. Can someone overseas do it cheaper?

2. Can a computer do it faster?

3. Is what I'm offering in demand in an age of abundance?

If your answer to question one or two is yes and your answer to three is no, you need to raise your game.

Helpfully, at the end of each chapter, Pink presents a 'portfolio' section featuring exercises, further reading and playful tools. It seems such imagination-based input will enable you to rebuild your creative muscles.