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

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The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic "right-brain" thinkers whose abilities mark the fault line between who gets ahead and who doesn't.

Drawing on research from around the world, Pink (author of To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Motivating Others) outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are absolute essentials for professional success and personal fulfillment--and reveals how to master them. A Whole New Mind takes readers to a daring new place, and a provocative and necessary new way of thinking about a future that's already here.

275 pages, Paperback

First published March 24, 2004

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About the author

Daniel H. Pink

119 books28.4k followers
Daniel H. Pink is the author of six provocative books — including his newest, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing.

WHEN has spent 4 months on the New York Times bestseller list and was named a Best Book of 2018 by Amazon and iBooks.

Dan's other books include the long-running New York Times bestseller A Whole New Mind and the #1 New York Times bestsellers Drive and To Sell is Human. His books have won multiple awards and have been translated into 39 languages.

He and his wife, who live in Washington, DC, have three children -- a college senior, a college sophomore, and a high school sophomore.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,969 reviews
Profile Image for T.J..
Author 1 book113 followers
May 26, 2008
I hate this book and want to set it on fire.

No, seriously. Daniel Pink takes a bunch of self-evident ideas, hammers them togethers with some feel-good rationale, and writes a pampered, whiny how-to of middle class comfort telling us to use our right brains to stay competitive and maintain our middle class relevance.

His examples are trite and his sources appalling--looking at the selections at your local suburban Target is not the way of justifying your belief in a culture of abundance, you self-important ass.

Since he takes forever to get to it, I'll sum up Pink's points quickly. "Globalization is upon us. You may be frightened. Well, my friend, the times are a changing. We have three new, scary frontiers: Abundance, Automation, and--I kid you not--Asia. Asia. Seriously. The whole friggin' continent. ASIA!!! BEWARE. Jeez.

Honestly, this one of the most vacuous, self-absorbed things I've ever been forced to read. I had to read it for a work project, and I've never been more displeased by reading. And I've read four Dickens novels against my will.
Profile Image for KVG.
69 reviews1,289 followers
June 16, 2019
If you have read anything about the rise if design in business, ignore this book. I was assigned it for school and basically was able to skip the entire thing. I was disappointed my program assigned this.14 years ago, at publish time, this was ground breaking. Now: table stakes.

TL;DR: creativity is an essential skill as it will be the last thing automated, and it is what drives breakthroughs.

If you find this ^ intriguing or surprising, read the book. If not, skip to the “portfolio” chunks of section 2. There, Pink outlines different exercises broken down by concept: design, story, symphony, empathy, play, meaning. The ideas are worth trying.

The rest of the reading is not.
Profile Image for Bill Kerwin.
Author 1 book81.1k followers
March 10, 2019

A very popular business book--at least it was ten years ago--claiming that because of abundance, Asia and automation, right-brained abilities are now becoming even more valuable in the workplace than left-brained skills. He presents right-brained abilities in categories, and offers exercises to help develop such skills.

Disregarding the fact that neurobiologists now believe these skills have little to do with a particular hemisphere, I agree with the thesis of this book, and thought that the presentation was clear and persuasive.

But if Pink is right, we are we still left with questions. Why do we still routinely neglect and marginalize the arts and music classes that foster such abilities? And why do we--barring the well-publicized exceptions--routinely pay the "right-brained" cultural creatives far less than the "left-brained" executives who sap their spontaneity and mismanage their skills?
Profile Image for Joanne.
96 reviews5 followers
January 23, 2011
I’m a “right-brainer”. In the language of Myers-Brigg’s typology, I am an extreme INFP, an introverted feeling type (heart vs. head), with strong leanings towards intuition (vs. sensing), and perceiving (vs. judgment). As an “intuitive”, I make all sorts of connections, linking ideas, and often jumping from one thought to another. Trying to keep up with me in conversation, people sometimes say that I am “all over the place.” This typology has not always served me well in my career, particularly since I spent most of it in the midst of “left-brain” engineers who are logical, analytical, and decisive. It often seemed we spoke different languages; and though I could understand theirs, they couldn’t understand mine. Consequently, in that environment, my contributions were often derided and dismissed as “warm and fuzzy” or “airy-fairy.” Well, finally there is a respectful name for the all-over-the-place way I think. I am a "Cultural Creative". Thank you, Daniel H. Pink! And, not only is there a place in today’s advanced world for the way my mind works; according to Pink, there is a need for more of it!

In his book, A Whole New Mind, Pink tells of a shift from the “left-brain” thinking of the “Information Age”, to a future that belongs to those of us with a very different kind of mind: creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers, artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, and big picture thinkers. Of course that does not mean there is no further use for the skills or capabilities of the “left brain”. Rather, Pink says,

“…the defining skills of the previous era – the “left brain” capabilities that powered the Information age – are necessary but no longer sufficient. And the capabilities we once disdained or thought frivolous – the “right-brain” qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaning – increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders. For individuals, families, and organizations, professional success and personal fulfillment no require a whole new mind.” (p. 3)

The rules have changed, says Pink. A master of fine arts, an MFA, is the new MBA. As evidence, he cites Robert Lutz, the man hired by General Motors to help turn around the ailing automaker. Asked by the New York Times how his approach would differ from what had been done before, Lutz replied, “It’s more right brain…I see us being in the art business. Art, entertainment and mobile sculpture, which, coincidentally, also happens to provide transportation.”

Pink outlines what he asserts are the six essential aptitudes – “the six senses” – which will guide our lives, shape our world, and on which professional success and personal satisfaction will increasingly depend:
1. Not just function but also DESIGN. “Today It’s economically crucial and personally rewarding to create something that is also beautiful, whimsical, or emotionally engaging.”
2. Not just argument but also STORY. “The essence of persuasion, communication, and self-understanding has become the ability also to fashion a compelling narrative.”
3. Not just focus but also SYMPHONY. “What’s in greatest demand today isn’t analysis but synthesis – seeing the big picture, crossing boundaries, and being able to combine disparate pieces into an arresting new whole.”
4. Not just logic but also EMPATHY. “What will distinguish those who thrive will be their ability to understand what makes their fellow woman or man tick, to forge relationships, and to care for others.”
5. Not just seriousness but also PLAY. “(T)oo much sobriety can be bad for your career and worse for your general well-being. In the Conceptual Age, in work and in life, we all need to play.”
6. Not just accumulation but also MEANING. Living in a world of “breathtaking material plenty…has freed hundreds of millions of people from day-to-day struggles and liberated us to pursue more significant desires: purpose, transcendence, and spiritual fulfillment.”

Pink provides plenty of evidence of this shift – persuasive even to those who are L-Directed - as it is manifesting throughout our economy and our society. He then spends much of the remainder of the book exploring how to develop these six essential aptitudes, with a Portfolio for each, rich with tools and resources. In fact, this is a book written to appeal to both L-Directed and R-Directed readers. It is well researched, but very readable, incorporating all six of these essential aptitudes. It is chock full of examples, anecdotes, and humour. And it is well edited (designed), and illustrated, with lots of experiential tidbits and options for further action.

Well, I abandoned the world of engineers some years ago and, since then, have been very much following my own natural inclinations, which also happen to be my bliss! So you can imagine my delight in reading Pink’s book, to discover that where I am right now is exactly where I should be. At last, my time has come! To see what I mean, explore my website at http://www.c-change.info So, can we help you to develop your six senses?

Profile Image for Rawan.
1 review13 followers
July 10, 2012
كتاب جميل بحق ، من يقرأه يشعر أنه يعيش العصر
يعيش اللحظة . ينقلك الكتاب الى محطات ست ..بعد أن يذكر
أهميتها ومدى صِدق جمالها ، يتحدث عن مهارة التعاطف و المعنى و السيمفونية
و التصميم و القصة ..بعيدًا كليًا عن مقالات العلوم التطبيقة ،و قريبً
جدًا من الروحانية المُفتَقدة في عصرنا ..هو باختصار يحكي
أن من ستكون له السطوة في العصر القادم سيكون إنساًنًا بحق .
كتاب اتمنى أن يعفني الوقت لأعيد قراءته مرة و أخرى .
Profile Image for Kelly.
251 reviews29 followers
July 9, 2008
Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind makes many excellent points. Unfortunately, it suffers from an awkward and unconvincing metaphorical framework.

Chapter 1: Right Brain Rising

Pink starts out explaining about the brain’s left and right hemispheres, and how each side is responsible for different cognitive activities - the left hemisphere tends to be responsible for sequential logic, analysis, and language; the right hemisphere for holistic reasoning, pattern recognition, emotions and body language. So far, so good. Pink is careful to point out, over and over again, that the terms “left-brained” and “right-brained” are misnomers; that you need both hemispheres to be completely functional, and that they certainly don’t work independently of each other. He emphasizes (again and again) that “left-brained” and “right-brained” are “powerful metaphor[s] for how individuals and organizations navigate their lives.” That’s all well and good, but in the rest of the book the “left-brained” functions or “L-Directed thinking” end up left in the dust. It says right on the cover “Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future” — a claim made nowhere in the book. That just screams “GIMMICK!” to me. Will people with “whole minds” rule the future, or people who are right-brained? If the title can’t get it’s story straight, I don’t have much faith in the entire book.

Chapter 2: Abundance, Asia, and Automation

I suppose alliteration is an R-Directed thing. This chapter talks about the many choices and options that American consumers are faced with, overseas outsourcing, and technology, and how these three things have either eliminated a lot of jobs and significantly raised the bar on others. The “abundance” and “automation” sections are quite good, but he drops the ball on Asia. He doesn’t discuss global economics at all, and one almost gets the sense that India is some sort of economic enemy to battle against. I don’t think he meant it that way, but it was irritating. Pink doesn’t address why what he thinks of as R-Directed jobs are going to be safe against India while L-Directed jobs are threatened. I heard a story on NPR not long ago about how localized, creative advertising campaigns are starting to be outsourced — complete with local culture training. Unless global inequities are addressed, jobs are going to continue to trickle downward to the cheapest labor.

Chapter 3: High Concept, High Touch

This chapter talks about the demand for “knowledge workers” diminishing and the demand for “creators and empathizers” growing, and about how MFA programs are harder to get into than MBA programs. I think this is more reflective of a glut of MBA programs and applicants than anything else – something called supply and demand, perhaps, or is that too L-Directed?

Part Two

Part Two discusses what Pink calls “The Six Senses” which … whatever. They’re more “sensibilities” than “senses,” but I’ll go along with the clumsy neuroscience metaphor. Getting past that, Pink actually makes a great case for “design,” “story,” “symphony,” “empathy,” and “play” that I wish Slightly Evil, LLP would be receptive to. (It won’t.) Each chapter comes with a “Portfolio” section that includes lots of resources and exercises for improving your skills in each area. None of these “senses” seem to be things that people in India can’t handle, though.

Chapter Nine, the final “sense,” is meaning. As an atheist and an empiricist, I consider “meaning” exceptionally important to my life since I believe we must create it for ourselves, and not rely on some One else to bestow it upon us. Pink’s “meaning” seems to be a vague, feel-good mix between “happiness” and “spirituality” and dizziness. It was a bad way to end a book that had just started to pick up a little.

Overall…

First of all, this book is aimed exclusively at middle-class white collar workers. It is certainly not a comprehensive look at the “new” American economy.

Secondly, I didn’t learn anything new from this book. Pink relies heavily on anecdotes and less on L-Directed… facts. The book doesn’t say anything that my father didn’t tell me when he sat down with me and gave me the “what you should be when you grow up” speech. He told me that “The people who make the most money are not the people who know how to do stuff. They are the ones who know how to tell those people what to do.” (I was ten, he had to dumb it down a little.) I think that’s how I ended up in this L/R crossover career called information design.

In summation, what Pink calls having “a whole mind” is what I learned was called “being intelligent.” And I really wish that Steven Johnson had written this book instead.
Profile Image for kian.
198 reviews50 followers
March 30, 2017
بحث های جالبی داره. درمورد ساختار مغز. عقاید رایج درباره راست مغز و چپ مغز بودن. رمز و راز موفق بودن تو عصر حاضر. خلاصه کتاب خوبیه
Profile Image for Trevor.
1,279 reviews21.3k followers
August 11, 2010
After enjoying Drive this book was surprisingly disappointing. The basic line is that if you are doing something that can be done by computers or more cheaply by Asian workers then your job probably doesn’t have a future. You are probably doing something much too ‘left-brained’ and you need to start doing something more ‘right-brained’.

This guy really does like to categorise ideas – he has six main categories in this one that you need to be good at if you are going to make it in the new world order: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning. Symphony is the only non-obvious one, and he actually means synthesis (bringing all the bits together). Along the way he discusses various books (some, like Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain I can highly recommend). He also recommends some very iffy practices – the laughing yoga movement (honestly) and Emotional Intelligence (spare me) – that really do make you cringe with embarrassment for the author at times.

But, that said, he does recommend a couple of books in this that I have now ordered. One is called How to Read Superhero Comics and Why – which sounds fascinating – and the other is called Story – which I’m hoping to start soon.

Overall, though, this was disappointing. Far too much ‘pop’ in the ‘pop psychology’ for my tastes.
Profile Image for Richard Newton.
Author 26 books558 followers
May 26, 2020
Well written and easy to read, with little to disagree with, but nevertheless a book I find difficult to rate at more than 2 stars.

I enjoyed the first 60 or so pages which introduce Pink's argument that we need to make better use of our right-brain characteristics and move away from our over-reliance on left-brain thinking. Fortunately, Pink has done some research and is not presenting a typical simplistic view of right and left brains. He acknowledges we need to use both, just a bit of re-balancing is needed in the modern world.

My first criticism may be unfair, as this book was written over a decade ago and this idea may have been interesting or novel then. Reading it now seems a bit like a given. For example: business needs to be more creative? Hardly a novel idea.

My second criticism. His first two reasons for our need to do be more right brained, our increasing abundance and levels of automation, make sense. His third, the rise of Asia as an economic power and the West's inability to compete economically in certain industries, is factually correct, but assumes the readers are western and only interested in western economise. It misses the point that the lessons of the book, if true, are equally interesting and applicable to Asia as well. Asia is not just competing in L-Brain industries, it can compete equally well in R-Brain ones. This is an interesting topic, which he ignores. The unspoken implication: analysis and programming jobs for India, creative and design jobs for the West. I'm sure he did not consciously mean this, but it gives one an uncomfortable whiff of racism. Given his examples of and praise for certain Asians, I do not think he intended this - nevertheless it is clumsy.

The majority of the book then describes six right brain characteristics which Pink claims we need to adopt to re-balance towards our right brain's characteristics. These pages are full of good stuff with little to fundamentally disagree with, although the suggestions do often veer into platitudes. What Pink never justifies why its these 6 specific right brain characteristics as opposed to any others. There is no argument, no specific reason - they just appear on page 62. It's a bit too neat.

His solution has some good parts and following this advice will probably benefit you. Whether it will really lead to a whole new mind is highly questionable. Overall a well intentioned book, that's an easy read. Actually, his writing as writing is very good. But I found the content a bit smug, a bit simplistic and a bit irritating. You may well enjoy it far more than I did, as is evident from many other much more positive reviews. But my advice is there are better books on this sort of topic out there.
Profile Image for Mohammed.
16 reviews1 follower
October 30, 2014
خاض معي هذا الكتاب رحلتان وبقية واحدة ..

أما الرحلة الأولى فهي تجربة "قراءة ربع ساعة في اليوم" حيث قرأت الكتاب في ١٩ يومًا بمقدار ربع ساعة يوميًّا .. وياللعجب! وجدت هذه الطريقة أقرب للفائدة وتثبيت الفكرة.

أما الرحلة الثانية فهي رحلتي الخاصة في فهم ذاتي التي رسم نواتها لي الدكتور علي أبو الحسن وأوصاني بهذا الكتاب كجزء منها، لحاجتي لتفعيل الجانب الأيمن من دماغي.

أما المرحلة الثالثة (التي أخوضها حاليًّا) فهي التمارين والكتب التي اقترحها المؤلف في
كل فصل.

أنقصت نجمةً في تقييمي للكتاب بسبب ضعف الترجمة أحيانًا (طبعة جرير) مع أن غالب الأفكار وصلتني دون صعوبة. كذلك لأنّي وجدت الكثير من القصص التي نسيتها سرعان ما انتهيت من قراءة الكتاب.

ختامًا أشكر أخي محمد آل شماخ على إهدائه هذا الكتاب الرائع وأخي حمزة جاد كريم على اقتراحه لي.
Profile Image for Ashok Rao.
66 reviews33 followers
April 22, 2019
This is a very important book and I strongly recommend it. If you are a teacher you can recommend it your students and as a parent you can gift it to your children. Daniel H. Pink not just talks about "why" but he gives equal importance to "how" too. In short why right-brainers will rule the future and how to engage the right hemisphere. This book is full of exercises and resources and you would immediately want to start exercising your right hand side of the brain.
Profile Image for مهنا.
Author 3 books180 followers
November 5, 2012
هذا الكتاب جعلني أرقص طرباً
لن أزيد عن ذلك !
1 review1 follower
June 18, 2011
This book was better than what reviewers and critics were saying about it.Daniel makes it completely clear that to survive in the conceptual age, we need to harness the power of our right brained cognitive abilities. In concordance, left brained cognitive abilities have simply grown obsolete, completely vulnerable to the affects/threats of the conceptual age, because their working function can now be either be automated, shipped off to foreign grounds (due to globalization), or be terminated because of affluence and abundance. Left brained dominant people would just have to simply go through more obstacles to survive and thrive in the conceptual age. Daniel had showed that it would be right-brained people who would have a better chance of overcoming the obstacles the conceptual age has to offer, having advantages over growing-obsolete left-brained dominant people. Daniel had made it clear that right-brained people would rule the future, but dominantly in the middle class workforce. He proves that right-brained people are now more profitable to companies because of their creative and simultaneous qualities. ALTHOUGH he shows that it is the WHOLE MINDED people that would triumph above all in any aspect of the conceptual age. He points out that the high touch, high concept aptitudes are what you need to harness the right-brained cognitive abilities as well as strengthen the relationship between the left and right brains, for it is through these aptitudes that the left-brain misinterprets and the right-brain comes to rescue and saves the day. A whole new mind- why right-brainers will rule the future is a MUST READ. I TOTALLY RECOMMEND IT TO EVERYONE who wants to survive in the business world and for any field in the conceptual age for that matter.
Profile Image for Joel.
409 reviews22 followers
August 4, 2007
Pink's proposal is a touch idealistic, but the vision he paints is promising. Basically, since automation and outsourcing to Asia can now accomplish lots of left-brain heavy jobs (computer coding, etc.) and since affordability of so many products has freed up some of our time and energy, Pink suggests that future jobs (and happiness) will depend more on those who master six critical senses managed by the right side (the creative side) of the brain: design, play, story, symphony, empathy, and meaning.

As a teacher, I really like Pink's ideas and can use them to better influence the ways (and even what) I teach. But I think it'll be a while before the world shifts the way he suggests.

It's a quick read, however, as Pink's style takes complex psychological and scientific proposals and makes them palatable and easy to understand. Worth checking out.
Profile Image for Syd Amir.
128 reviews40 followers
March 13, 2017
داستان اول
[جان هنری، یکی از قهرمان های ملی آمریکا است که گویا داستانش در کتب دبستان ایالت متحده نیز هست. کسی شبیه به دهقان فداکار، داستان ازین قرار است که، زمانی که برای اولین بار ماشین های معدن به کار گرفته می شوند معدنچی ها اعتراض میکنند ... این معدن چی تصمیم میگیرد با یک ماشین معدن مسابقه دهد، روز بعد مسابقه شروع می شود بعد از یک نبرد سخت، سرانجام معدنچی پیروز می شود، معدنچیان فریاد شادی سر میدهند ... اما جان هنری به خاطر صرف نیروی زیاد فوت می کند.

داستان دوم
هم سن و سال های من به خاطر دارند زمانی قهرمان شطرنج کاسپاروف هر از گاهی با برنامه های رایانه ای شطرنج مسابقه می داد. برنده ی همیشگی البته کاسپاروف بود تا این که در سال 1997 بالاخره شکست خورد. شاید امروزه ساده ترین برنامه های رایانه ای بتوانند بهترین شطرنچ باز های را شکست دهند.

داستان اول، داستان شکست قدرت بدنی انسان مقابل ماشین بود و داستان دوم زمانی را نشان می دهد که بالاخره ماشین ها توانستند قدرت تحلیل منطقی ذهن انسان (مربوط به سمن چپ مغز) را شکست دهند. حالا آنچه نقطه ی قوت و برتری ذهن انسان بر رایانه است سمت راست مغز یعنی آن قسمت از مغز است که خلاقیت، تخیل و ... را به عهده دارد.

نویسنده به اوضاع اقتصادی و کار در آمریکا نگاه می کند و می نویسد: زمانی که چین با سرعت و هزینه ای بسیار پایین تر از آمریکا کالا تولید میکند. و همه ی شرکت های آمریکایی ترجیح می دهند محصولات خود را در چین تولید کنند. ( مشابه داستان اول) زمانی که «برنامه نویسان هندی با هزینه های بسیار پایین، پروژه های شرکت های بزرگ رایانه ای آمریکا را انجام می دهند و کاری برای برنامه نویسان چپ مغز آمریکایی باقی نمی ماند. (مشابه داستان دوم). چه باید کرد؟

کتاب در بخش دوم با زبانی شیرین و خواندن�� و البته هم چون یک کتاب خودآموز راه حل های چذابی را پیشنهاد می کند تا برای ورود به عصر مفهومی آماده شوید. طراحی، داستان، هم نوایی، همدلی، بازی و معنا حس های شش گانه ای هستند که نویسنده در شش فصل راه حل های عملی پرورش آن را به شما خواهد آموخت.

و اما داستان سوم
نکته ای که این کتاب به آن نپرداخته که البته با توجه به سال انتشار کتاب و تحولات اخیر رایانه ها نمی توان بر آن ایرادی گرفت. داستان ورود رایانه ها به حوزه هایی مثل طراحی، هوش مصنوعی و ... است. شاید این قلمرو هم در حال فتح شدن باشد ...

مفصل تر اینجا در مورد کتاب نوشته ام:
http://ganje.blog.ir/post/51

هر چند خیلی از مباحث و اهدافی که توی اقتصاد مطرح کرده به غایت غیر انسانی و غیر اسلامی بود اما کتاب خوبی هست پیشنهادم اینه خیلی انتقادی بخونیدش چندان کتاب علمی ای حساب نمی شه اما کتاب تاثیرگذار و خوبی هست :)
Profile Image for Brandy.
Author 1 book115 followers
April 28, 2008
Pink has a fundamentally decent, and possibly true, point--that in order to succeed, today's workers need to be more creative than ever before, because all of the logic-driven drone-work will be done by, well, drones--but his point gets buried in this pop-psych, new-agey rhetoric. His advice on what sorts of traits will be necessary seem obvious to me--they boil down to play nice with others, make connections between people and ideas, and have fun--but he did lose me at the end where he advocates for spiritual enlightenment and the search for meaning as a surefire tactic to get ahead in this new, conceptual age.

Each chapter is devoted to one of his six traits, and each chapter ends with a hippy-dippy "portfolio" (workbook) section. Readers are instructed to do things like keeping a journal of every metaphor you encounter, taking Emotional IQ tests online, and measuring yourself on the Spiritual Transcendence scale.

If the idea of professional development via Laughter Clubs isn't enough to turn you off this book, I warn anyone of Asian heritage: he's really pissed at you about the whole outsourcing thing. In fact, he believes you are one of the three reasons we're moving from the Information Age to this Conceptual Age: Abundance, Asia, and Automation. Seriously. Even after we're out of the early section on Why We're In This Mess, the text is peppered with lines like "before the Indian programmers have something to fabricate, maintain, test, or upgrade, that something first must be imagined or invented" and "But the sort of emotionally intelligent care [nurses] often provide is precisely the sort of thing that's impossible to outsource or automate. Radiologists in Bangalore can read X-rays. But it's hard to deliver Empathy via fiber-optic cable." And yes, that's Empathy with a capital E.

Now I have to deconstruct why my boss gave this to me: does she think I'm too analytical? Does she think I'm too creative? or is this her subtle way of saying she's on to my plan to use my whole brain to take over my library?
Profile Image for Sally Linford.
65 reviews5 followers
June 6, 2008
Although it goes against my principles to give 5 stars to a self-help book, I make an exception for this gem. It's fascinating and revealing, and full of hope for the future (there's a rare commodity). My book club really loved it--all of us.

Pink (yes, that's his name) outlines his vision for the next generation of world business trends in our "flat" world where automation, asia, and abundance have created new requirements for success--requirements that for the most part come out of the right brain.

The writing is very good, fun, pleasant reading. Lots of metaphors--very atypical business book. He includes delightful exercises for working your right-brain at the end of each section of his right-brain portfolio (Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, Meaning).

The book is full of fascinating research tidbits like:
* The most effective corp leaders make their subordinates laugh 3 times more often than their managerial counterparts.

* Self-made millionaires are 4 times more likely to have dyslexia than the general population.

I esp. loved this quote from Sidney Harman, eighysomething multimillionaire CEO fo a stereo components company who claims, "Instead of hiring MBAs, get me some poets as managers. Poets are our original systems thinkers. . . those unheralded systems thinkers, are our true digital thinkers. It is from their midst that I believe we will draw tomorrow's new business leaders."
________________
This is the "Responsible Women" book choice for the month. Technically, I suppose it would be categorized as a business book, but it's very right-brained (of course), with a respectful nod to the left-brain also. So far I love it. I'll rate it when I'm finished. (still have another week).
Profile Image for Rick.
778 reviews2 followers
January 10, 2008
Besides having an author name seemingly borrowed from “Reservoir Dogs,” there is much to like in this popular business/pop psychology book. It posits a movement from an era when “Left-Brained” Knowledge Work was at a premium to one in which “Right-Brained High-Concept and High Touch” Work will be the demand opportunity. Computers and a global workforce have reduced the at home demand for knowledge work—computers do it massively faster and smart, English-speaking workers in West Asia and Africa do it massively cheaper. That work, Pink insists, is replaceable both qualitatively and quantitatively. What’s not is making sense of knowledge in new contexts and connecting with people. Our society does much to develop knowledge skills (logic, reasoning, computation, organization) but little to promote the so-called right-brained skills. To correct that Pink suggests that we focus on six senses of high-concept, high touch: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning. The book is clear, written with a light, serviceable prose, and mercifully brief. Unlike Thomas Friedman he doesn’t take a relatively simple case, overload it with jargon, self-conscious phrase making, and endless examples that repeat each other, rather than develop depth and nuance. If The World Is Flat is the Titanic, A Whole New Mind is a life raft of observational, big picture thinking. The only false note in the book is in his section on Meaning where he praises spirituality but then qualifies it by saying anyone who refuses medical treatment for prayer deserves what follows. It is a rather mean spirited and gratuitous way to balance a point, and one that follows directly on the chapter on empathy. Oops.
Profile Image for Natsu.
31 reviews2 followers
October 6, 2020
Daniel Pink’s argument is very simple; the dynamics of the corporate world are gradually changing, and soon enough, a large number of left-brain dominant workers will face the risk of losing their jobs because 1) workers with cheaper wages will take over, and 2) computers will be chosen over humans since they get things done faster; therefore, what we can do to adapt to this social transition is to put our right hemisphere of the brain into action. Essential abilities needed to activate the right side of the brain are broken down into six categories; design, story symphony, empathy, play, meaning, and Pink explains in detail what can be done to hone each of these skills.

My takeaway was the list of books and websites he compiled. I found a couple of interesting books that I would like to add to my ever-growing TBR pile.

One tiny glitch; judging from the cover artwork and the title, I thought the book was written by a neuroscientist. I was looking forward to reading a scientific story of the brain, which did not happen. A mild disappointment but a mistake on my part.
Profile Image for Alaa.
305 reviews585 followers
November 7, 2017
كتاب يأخذ بيدك من عالم الآلة إلى ما وراءها، وليس إلى ما قبلها من معنى، يعرف أن من سيستمر هو ذلك الذي يدمج بين اللعب والعمل ولا يقتصر على واحد منهم، ويهتم بالروح والمادة ولا يضخم أحدهما فقط، أحببته وأثار عندي سؤال ماذا لو كنت أعيش في دولة غير ريعية ماهي المهارات التي يمكنني أن أبدأ بها من الصفر لو وضعت في مكان غير الذي أنا فيه، هل يمكنني تقديم شيء للعالم يتجاوز صبغتي الجيوبولتيكية ولا تعوضه الآلة؟

الغلاف العربي قبيح ويضع الكتاب إلى جوار تلك السوقية ، أمر حزين يا جرير.
Profile Image for Amir Atef.
Author 6 books717 followers
December 28, 2016
كل ما احلف بالله إني مش هقرا تنمية بشرية ألاقي صديق أو صديقة يرشحولي كتاب ويلحوا إني أقراه
ربنا يخليهم طبعًا هما عاوزني أغير رأيي لكن دة المرة الخمسين وفي كل مرة رأيي يتأكد
الكتاب ليس إلا هراء... منكرش إنه ملهم في بعض الأحيان لكن إلهام مؤقت
الشخص لو من نفسه معندوش الحافز لتغيير نفسه يبقى ولا ألف كتاب يقدروا يغيروه او الف سيرة ذاتية
الكتاب جيت عند صفحة مية ومكملتوش ومقدرتش
واللي عاوزه يقولي
Profile Image for Steven.
20 reviews1 follower
February 17, 2009
I was disappointed with this book. I must confess I did not finish it. I'm writing a review for the first 60%. I did learn some things. It has been a while since my psychology classes and I enjoyed the brain review. However, it degrades into a cheerleading book without much support. I lost interest at the point where he talks about the CEO who hires poets instead of MBA holders. I need a bit more support to the argument than I asked some rich guy. Are there any studies comparing the success rate of Team Poet vs. Team MBA? Any reviews by the employees who work for each?
Another problem with this book is that it asserts that creative thinkers are the new skilled labor because engineering jobs are all moving to India to be done for less. If you are a left-brainer, you're as boring as a toaster, as unique as a popsicle stick. As I've said in other reviews, this hackneyed theme of worthless, overpaid American engineers may play into people's fears and sell books, but it's only a short-term phenomenon at best. To the extent that outsourcing is a threat, it is a threat to all professions. Does anyone believe Asia lacks artists?
Profile Image for Dwight.
117 reviews1 follower
January 16, 2011
While I'm sympathetic to the opinion that folks with creativity provide valuable services and will continue to be in demand, anybody with half a left brain can see that most of the arguments advanced herein are faulty or poorly supported. Most of the evidence offered is anecdotal. When the author does us the (occasional) service of providing a reference, it is usually a weak source, a secondary source, or a source completely unrelated to the fact/quote stated. There may be a decent idea in here, but it was inadequately executed.
Profile Image for Fahima Jaffar.
110 reviews355 followers
March 5, 2011
i first this book with interest, but then had to skim through the last 50 pages or so to finish it. Sorry Mr. Pink. The stories were fun to read, the numbers and data were interesting.. but couldn't buy your prophecy and share u your "pinkish" view of the future.
I believe our world is already run by a few R-Directed minds.. crazy ones indeed.
One more thing, maybe i'm just paranoid here, but in a way i felt that this book is directed to the westerners, while the low-waged asians are somehow objectified.
Profile Image for Kater Cheek.
Author 31 books257 followers
September 12, 2016
Before I listened to this book, I took some online quizzes to find out if I was more right brained or left brained. Three quizzes said I was left brained, one said I was right brained. So when I say I didn't like this book, you can chalk it up to my left-brained narrow-mindedness.

Pink starts out his book with one solid premise: left-brained tech centered jobs are being outsourced overseas and taken over by computers. If you want to succeed, you need to learn how to be more in touch with the right side of your brain. I get the feeling that his target demographic is computer programmers and the upper management of tech companies.

He launched into his arguments by throwing around statistics; such and such million dollars are spent on design, design is important, we live in an age of abundance, so good design is what sells, therefore an MFA is the new MBA. I already started to feel skeptical. If you're a designer, you probably already have a solid background in art. If you are not a designer, learning to draw is not likely to make you into one. Saying that because good design is important, learning art will help you get ahead is like saying that since the best college athletes get full scholarships, if you learn to throw a ball your tuition will be cheaper. It's logic did not convince me.

Much of the other examples seemed too specific to be useful. He talks about how empathy is important to doctors, which is great, if you're a doctor, but most of us aren't. (no advice on how to be less empathic, which is what I want, so I can avoid cringing when people crack their knuckles near me.) He also gives an example of a model highschool, where the kids have an art based curriculum that encourages their creative sides to flourish. Maybe it's just me, but I'm getting a little tired of non-educators talking about "what's wrong with our schools." Again, if you're an educator, this might be useful, but how many of us are?

By part two, I was solidly feeling that I didn't like this book, and I tried to figure out why.

My left brain says that it's because he started out by making an argument (see above), failed to convince me of this argument, and then proceeded to talk about different topics that had little to do with the original argument. My left brain wanted a neat, logical progression from hypothesis to proof, to summary. Not that that's the only kind of book I like. I adored Malcolm Gladwell's books, which did not strive to prove anything, but instead used well-researched essays to elaborate on a theme. Pink's book spends a little time trying (unsuccessfully) to prove his hypothesis, and then devolves into "how to make your life fulfilling." Nothing wrong with a book on how to give your life meaning, but that's not the kind of book it promises to be. It struck me as weird that, at the tail end of a section on using labyrinths as meditiation, he segued directly into "if you can't get in touch with this side of life, you're going to get left behind" jargon. Huh? It's like saying "money isn't important, family is, and people who don't remember that aren't going to earn as much in their paychecks."

My right brain says I just didn't trust the guy's authority. Because I didn't think he proved his first proposition, my mistrust snowballed with every bizarre suggestion he made. He thinks that you should subscribe to good design magazines, and he reads the titles and urls so you can, I dunno, write them down while you're driving or at the gym or wherever you happen to be listening to the audiobook. Does reading design magazines make you a better designer? Or does it just make you into a know-it-all who thinks good design is easy? He suggests you make a journal of good designs, and will "be amazed" at how your own capacity for recognizing good design has improved. Really? Has he tried this? Maybe he has. Maybe he's tried everything he suggests, but I didn't believe it.

His advice struck me a lot like the advice in the book (which he lauds) DRAWING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN, which was inflicted on me when I was an art student in high school. Some people love this book, and if you're one of them, good for you. It takes people whose art ability is at a zero, and makes them draw at a five. It also takes people whose art ability is at a seven, and makes them draw at a five. It's like training wheels for a bicycle. If you can't do it at all, it helps you do it a little. If you're trying to shave a few minutes off your 100 mile time, training wheels are a pain in the ass. Maybe that's why I didn't like this book, because I'm left brained in that I'm not late for things, I'm organized, I think logically, I'm verbal. But I also draw, paint, sculpt, create stories, garden, and am more empathic than I would like to be. Maybe his advice seems facile and fatuous because I don't need it. Maybe there are people who need his training wheels, who think that having story parties or laughter clubs or the other odd suggestions are more than just a way to waste time and mark yourself as a weirdo. Maybe you're not expected to actually do them. Maybe they're like Martha Stewart craft suggestions, where the reader and author are indulging in the fantasy that the reader is the kind of person who is willing and able to spend $800 dollars in imported roses and 14 hours to create a wreath to decorate a child's bassinet to make your christening party perfect. Maybe Pink's suggestions are just what they seemed to be: half-assed, un-tested woo-woo ideas that no one, least of all the author, would really try.

Or that could be my cynical left-brain talking.

Pink has read a lot of good books; I know, because I've read a lot of the same ones he's read. But he seems like he's used high quality ingredients to come up with a mediocre dish. He had the ingredients for a "how to find meaning through beauty and spirituality" and instead tried to make it a business guide on how not to be unemployed when computers or Indians do your job. I recommend this for people who want to peruse a bibilography for better books to read.

A note on the audioversion. Pink read this himself. He's not a trained speaker, and there were parts where his speech slowed down to the point of sounding stilted, but that didn't really get in the way. I liked that when he did quotes, he started out by changing his cadence just enough to let you know that there was a different speaker, but then he went back to a normal speaking tone. I thought he missed a wonderful opportunity, during one section when he was talking about Mahler and Beethoven, to include a clip of music. It would have added a lot more than the insipid intro music did. I got really irritated with his insistence on reading out urls. I especially disliked that he felt he had to read "DOUBLE YOU DOUBLE YOU DOUBLE YOU" before every one. Does anyone even need that anymore?
Profile Image for Matt.
800 reviews
January 6, 2019
A very interesting look into the human brain... and how the touchy-feely part of the brain is re-making business, politics and science. It was well worth listening to. Stressed meditation and how the right brain thinking creatively affects life in the 21st century.
21 reviews4 followers
April 22, 2009
If you are already the type to work through your ideas by sketching, dreaming, and creating, this book isn't likely to tell you anything you don't already know. You may, however, come away feeling a little smug towards the persistent chorus of voices that cast doubts on the aspirations of those drawn towards the arts and liberal arts studies.
That is, until you realize that Pink's assertion that "right-brainers will rule the future" isn't really substantiated in this book. Pink begins the book with the assertion that the outsourcing of jobs to developing countries is an inevitable symptom of globalization that we simply need to get used to. Shrugging off all questions about the ethics of outsourcing, Pink suggests that the abundance of life in the U.S. (paradoxically coupled with waves of job losses in the technical sector,) will place a premium on jobs that require "empathy" and other forms of fundamentally human understanding. Yet while I hold both a BFA and an MA, I'm not popping the champagne yet, because Pink fails to provide adequate evidence, or even a convincing projection of what a new creative class of U.S. workers may look like. This is where the "right-brained" premise of the book collides with the more practical problems of implementing such jobs: for instance, Pink predicts the (wholly predictable) increase in need for nurses (purveyors of empathetic, "care work") as the Baby Boomers age, but is altogether unconcerned about how spiraling costs in health care could impede this progress.
I would be interested to hear Pink review some of his arguments in lieu of the recent economic downturn-- how might his theories be affected by the new convictions held by many Americans, that we are not quite so affluent as we thought? Moreover, what of the fact that the queasy corporate ethics that Pink ignores are in large part responsible for this crisis? I confess that I cringed when I read Pink's praise of Ford's investment in "artistic-minded" administrators, and when he recited a list of financial service firms that had tasked out their accounting to India: Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, Morgan Stanley, and JPMorgan Chase. Sound familiar?
Profile Image for Edy.
273 reviews32 followers
August 5, 2008
Buku ini bercerita tentang adanya pergeseran dari pemikiran otak kiri (Directed Left Thinking) yang teoritis dan analitis ke arah pemikiran otak kanan (Directed Right Thinking). Pergeseran tersebut didorong oleh adanya masa kelimpahmewahan, otomatisasi dan serbuan negara dengan tenaga kerja murah. Ketika selera orang semakin meningkat sedangkan komputerisasi dan tenaga kerja murah dari asia membanjir, membuat warga negara maju harus berpikir tentang eksistensi mereka di dunia tenaga kerja.

Menurut Pink, tenaga kerja di masa yang akan datang dituntut untuk mengembangkan otak kanannya agar mampu bersaing di dunia tenaga kerja.Beberapa komponen hasil pemikiran otak kanan tersebut antara lain: (a) mengembangkan desaign yang multiguna namun khas serta indah, (b) mempunyai kemampuan untuk mengembangkan simponi atau menggabungkan berbagai fungsi ketrampilan secara serasi (c) kemampuan untuk mengembangkan cerita sebagai pendekatan emosi kepada customer (d) kemampuan untuk mengembangkan emphaty kepada customer, (e) kemampuan untuk menmgembangkan game atau permainan untuk menarik minat cutomer (f) kemampuan untuk menggali makna kehidupan sehingga orang bekerja bukan hanya mencari uang tetapi juga didasari motif untuk berkarya.
Profile Image for Brandice.
798 reviews
February 18, 2015
I read this after reading Drive & actually think this is my favorite Daniel Pink book. I find all of his books to be interesting reads, giving you things to think about in business & social behaviors. This one was my top pick.
Profile Image for Lain.
Author 15 books118 followers
October 11, 2012
Really loved this book. I found so many actionable items to push my own thinking further, in new directions. I even plan to develop a scrapbooking class around the information I learned.
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