A Whole New Mind – Daniel Pink

A Whole New Mind – Moving from the information age to the conceptual age

Author – Daniel Pink

Publisher – Allen & Unwin, 2005

Rating – 4

“The last few decades have belonged to a certain kin d of person with a certain kind of mind – computer programmers…lawyers…MBA’s.  But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands.  The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind – creators, empathisers, pattern recognisers and meaning makers”.

This book describes how society is shifting from the information age to the conceptual age—an age where inventiveness, empathy, and big picture thinking are paramount.

“The era of “left brain” dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which “right brain” qualities-inventiveness, empathy, meaning-predominate.”

Pink describes six “senses” that he considers right-mode directed aptitudes on which professional success and personal fulfillment will depend.

Left Brain–Information Age aptitudes Right BrainConceptual Age aptitudes
Function Design       to create something that is beautiful,whimsical or emotionally engaging
Argument Story         the ability to fashion a compelling narrativefor persuasion, communication and self-


Focus Symphony  seeing the big picture, crossing boundariesand being able to combine disparate pieces

into an arresting whole

Logic Empathy    which is “what makes people tick, to forgerelationships and to care for others.
Seriousness Play           exploring information with laughter,lightheartedness, games and humour
Accumulation Meaning     the pursuit of significant ideas, purpose,transcendence and spiritual fulfillment

“It seems clear that the conceptual age is dawning and that those who hope to survive [flourish] in it must master the high-concept, high-touch abilities I’ve described”.

“There will be plenty of work not just for inventors, artists and entrepreneurs, but also for an array of imaginative, emotionally intelligent, right-brain professionals…”

“The abilities you’ll need – design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning – are fundamentally human attributes.  They reside in all of us and need only to be nurtured in to being”.


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