Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Job Skills Moving to the Right

Daniel Pink’s 247 page book (plus index) entitled A Whole New Mind is fascinating for many reasons. It really unwraps the way our minds work and it lays the groundwork for understanding skill sets that will dominate the future.

Essentially, even as computers take on more of the linear thinking or those jobs get outsourced abroad, we’ll still need left brain “ready aim fire” skills but a priority is emerging for right brain thinking. All of us use both, we’re just going to need more from the right as we move from the information age into the conceptual age.

Left and Right don’t have to do with political ideology. They are hemispheres of the brain. Pink lays the differences out better than I’ve ever read:
  • The Left hemisphere controls the right side of the body and the right controls the left side.

  • The left is sequential and the right simultaneous.

  • The left specializes in text, the right specializes in context.

  • The left analyzes details and the right synthesizes the big picture.

Pink gives wonderful examples. He then goes on to propose that six R-directed aptitudes are going to be critical in the workplace going forward:

  • Not just function but also Design,

  • Not just argument but also Story,

  • Not just focus but also Symphony,

  • Not just logic but also Empathy,

  • Not just seriousness but also Play and,

  • Not just accumulation but also Meaning.
Very useful and compelling book.

1 comment:

Woody Holliman said...

I agree, Reyn -- this is a truly important book. Pink is famous for coining the phrase "the MFA is the new MBA," and while it certainly is hyperbole (at the moment, there are plenty of unemployed artists with MFAs), those of us who work in graphic design are great believers in the transformative power of creative thinking. Among other things, it's reshaping the landscape of downtown Durham.