A Whole New Mind - Daniel H. Pink

A Whole New Mind - Daniel H. Pink

Understand why intelligence is no longer enough to succeed at work and learn to develop skills that will thrive in the Conceptual Age.

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Daniel H. Pink brings fundamental skills to be successful in the next age with the book "A Whole New Mind".

Now, we are living in an age where information is widespread, and the systemic process is no longer the center of professional fulfillment.

What often keeps us from winning and being personally and professionally satisfied is our lack of analysis from a new perspective. You need to train your creative mind.

Come with us and learn how to create better products, promote services, and thrive amid the changes that are coming.

About the book "A Whole New Mind"

The New York Times and Business Week bestseller, "A Whole New Mind", was written by Daniel H. Pink and first published on 24 March 2005, by Riverhead Books.

The author highlights the new era into which society is entering - the Conceptual Age - reporting the economic, social, and, mental changes we are facing.

The book was praised by other renowned authors of great bestsellers, such as Seth Godin ( "This Is Marketing"), Tom Peters ( "In Search of Excellence"), and Thomas L. Friedman ( "The World Is Flat").

About the author Daniel H. Pink

Daniel H. Pink was born in 1964, in the United States. He writes about administration, management, and marketing.

Also, he was the host of "Crowd Control" on National Geographic Channel, and worked as the chief speechwriter for Vice President Al Gore, from 1995 to 1997.

Some of his other books are:

To whom is this book indicated?

"A Whole New Mind" is indicated for leaders and professionals in the area of marketing and entrepreneurship who wish to learn a new vision of the market and how they should behave in order to attract customers and conquer success.

Main ideas of the book "A Whole New Mind"

  • Both cerebral hemispheres play important roles in our activities;
  • Creativity will be taken into account more than competence;
  • Information and knowledge fuel developments;
  • At the Conceptual Age it's necessary to create something emotionally engaging;
  • High concept and high touch need to be worked on actively in this new phase;
  • The democratization of design has changed the competitive logic of companies.

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[Book Summary] A Whole New Mind - Daniel H. Pink

Overview: The Conceptual Age

There are many theories surrounding the cerebral hemispheres. By the way, which one is the most important? Which side is responsible for our intelligence and which side takes care of our creativity?

In the book "A Whole New Mind", Daniel Pink explains:

  • Each hemisphere rules the opposite side of the body;
  • The left hemisphere works in sequence, the right has the ability of simultaneous interpretation;
  • While the left side is concerned with reading texts, the right analyzes the context of the message;
  • The left hemisphere is involved with the details, the right with the whole.

Due to the merger of wealth, technology, and the increased connection of people through phones and the internet, the world is transitioning to a new era, the so-called Conceptual Age.

This phase runs through knowledge workers because the agglomeration of skills, study, and concept is not enough. It takes creativity, empathy, emotion, and many other factors that depend on both hemispheres.

According to the author, those who provide products or services cheaper and faster than the competitor, with high concept and high touch will prosper in this era.

Daniel H. Pink points out that high concept refers to activities that can be performed involving artistic and emotional beauty.

And high touch is about the ability to empathize and to create contentment and comfort in others. It has a lot to do with persuasion, interaction skills, working in groups, and generating ideas for the common good.

The creative class, which studies the concept and the context, avoiding systemic processes, has some different criteria from the rest of the population. They are like aptitudes, called by Daniel H. Pink "the six senses", which can be divided into:

  1. Design;
  2. Story;
  3. Symphony
  4. Empathy;
  5. Play;
  6. Meaning.

Overview: Design

Looking around us, no matter where you are and what clothes you are wearing, everything was designed before it materialized.

This refers not only to the aesthetics but also to the functionality of a product. It can also be understood as the combination of utility with meaning.

As the author affirms in the book "A Whole New Mind", the design itself represents the ease of finding solutions, solving problems, and being ahead in the marketplace. It can modify the functions, shape, appearance, and even the metabolism of commerce.

Design can create new markets within the same product. As Daniel H. Pink says, "design means business/business means design".

One tip that he gives to all the creatives on duty is to channel their discomfort. How so?

For example, do you know that object you have at home and find it a bit weird? So, grab a paper and a pen, go to a coffee shop and think of a way to improve this product while you drink your coffee.

And don't keep it to yourself! Your idea may arouse curiosity and interest in the responsible brand.

Other tips that the author gives are:

  • Have a notebook to draw;
  • Read magazines in the area;
  • Visit museums;
  • Be selective: things should impress you, not the others.

Overview: Story

This sense is entirely related to persuasion, as it acts directly in the emotional context in question.

Story is steeped in high concept. It assists in decision-making and allows for the understanding of elements and vision in another aspect by which logical vision undermines.

According to the book "A Whole New Mind", this ability has three essential capabilities in the Conceptual Age:

  1. Encapsulate;
  2. Contextualize;
  3. Thrill.

The stories are a source of inspiration, motivation, and experience. Daniel highlights the importance of using storytelling in the organization and gives the following tips:

  • Write a short story;
  • Go to a storytelling festival;
  • Get inspired by the story of other people you know. Grab a tape recorder and ask questions of someone you know about life.

Overview: Symphony

As Daniel H. Pink states, the symphony indicates the ability to form pieces, and precisely those that do not seem to fit. It is the ability to solve the irresolvable, think differently, innovate, and unite everything like a real orchestra.

In The Information Age, communication is fully exploited by the internet. Finding a creative mind that can see the whole and be specific in decision-making is a relevant differential.

Anyone who wants to prosper from this stage of the Conceptual Age needs to understand the definition of these three types of people:

  1. The boundary crosser;
  2. The inventor;
  3. The metaphor maker.

The author explains in the book "A Whole New Mind" that the boundary crosser is multifunctional. They are not limited to just one area and have extensive knowledge. Better, they are interested in learning new things.

This new phase requires the individual to overcome obstacles, the common, the limit, and what is already on the market.

The inventor, on the other hand, has the intuitive sense and ability to unite ideas. Often ideas that have already been used, but no one has ever thought of joining them together. They are experts in innovation and bring solutions that go beyond the methodical.

The metaphor maker is responsible for the context of the situation. Those who master metaphor understand about imaginative rationality. They have broad knowledge, understand themselves and, above all, others.

Overview: Empathy

Empathy has to do with putting yourself in someone's shoes, seeing the other person's problem as your own. We can say that it is a skill that shows a lot of creativity because the empathic person lives a virtual reality.

It is also related to the universe of persuasion and enables the creation of strategies and direct actions that promote good coexistence with team members, as it is presented in the book "A Whole New Mind".

In sales, for example, empathy is a key factor. It enables a solid connection between the seller and buyer by identifying the actual needs of the customer.

Daniel H. Pink says that empathy goes far beyond professional skills or important traits in a company. It is necessary for our life as a society, to listen to others and to help them.

Overview: Play

In the past, having fun in the workplace was entirely related to the employee's lack of commitment to the organization. However, it has changed. Studies have shown better performances by "playful" individuals compared to the rest of the team.

Daniel highlights that its importance is demonstrated in three ways:

  1. Games;
  2. Humor;
  3. Joy.

Games broaden the player's worldview and sharpen logical thinking, and decision-making becomes more accurate. As a result, mood improves and is, therefore, an excellent factor in emotional balance and performance improvement in activities.

The right side of the brain is responsible for valuing and understanding humor, jokes, and metaphors. Good humor can be an organizational enlightener and problem-solver, while a bad mood can be the destroyer of a company.

Happy employees perform their duties with more engagement and productivity, exploiting their potentials to collaborate with the team and the company, according to the book "A Whole New Mind".

Overview: Meaning

Finally, let's talk about the last aptitude of the Conceptual Age: the search for meaning.

Meaning is the motivational engine of the human being. The book highlights that it can grow in suffering because through it we can seek answers and solutions to the problems that afflict us. However, it is important to make clear that suffering is not a prerequisite in this quest.

Searching for the answers to the whys has been frequent, especially nowadays. This statement is due to several reasons, among which we can mention:

  • We are in the age of abundance of information, concepts, and technologies;
  • With the contemporaneity, depression, and anxiety, many people think about the finitude of life and its meaning;
  • There is a study revealing a small change in materialistic values for those who give way to well-being, coexistence, and love for each other;
  • The pursuit of perfection causes this constant questioning.

However, Daniel H. Pink suggests that to have a sober pursuit of meaning, two factors are necessary: the search for spirituality and happiness.

It is important to make clear how useful the search for spirituality in the professional environment is. This attitude is not distracting; on the contrary, it makes the individual even stronger to overcome adversity.

And happiness? Well, it comes from genetic and social factors. When we are not born with "happy DNA", it is important to look for ways to draw it into our lives.

The author explains in the book "A Whole New Mind" that working, avoiding negative emotions, being optimistic, practicing charity are some ways to achieve happiness. A full life brings a feeling of accomplishment.

But what actually happens is that humans want more. We seek an explanation for everything. Know that this is impossible.

Well, what should we do? According to the author, be grateful for the things around us.

Daniel also quotes Jim Collins, author of "Good to Great", to recommend a test in which people should reflect on what they would continue to do if they had US $ 20 million in their bank account, or if they knew they were going to die in 10 years at most.

What do other authors say about it?

There is a close relationship between human beings and technology. Tom Chatfield, author of "How to Thrive in the Digital Age", says that in every age, human beings have shaped new technological tools and these, in turn, have shaped their behavior.

Ken Robinson, author of "Out of Our Minds: The Power of Being Creative" says there is no such thing as an intelligent or unintelligent person, we are all intelligent and have innate talents, but each person has a different way of awakening them.

Finally, in "Made to Stick", the brothers Chip and Dan Heath believe that the surprise factor is linked to a break in the pattern. Unexpected and new ideas often attract attention. When the logic that guides our expectations fails, the surprise comes and our attention is captured.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

  • Train your watchful eye. Value culture, design, artworks, visit museums, and internalize this skill in your day;
  • Read books. Inquire. Before applying concepts, study them;
  • Look for solutions to problems and solve them separately. This is not a waste of time; it is energy saving;
  • Do not outsource your empathy. Do it yourself. Be a listener and try to change someone's reality for at least one day;
  • Seek happiness and practice laughter. Make friends. Get into conversation circles. Dialogue is not only therapeutic, it is fundamental;
  • Influence your team 's play and sense of humor. Joy interferes in the work environment and considerably increases the chance of greater performance and better productivity.

Did you like this summary of the book "A Whole New Mind"?

Are you ready to train your senses, as suggested by Daniel H. Pink? Leave your opinion in the comments, your feedback is very important to us!

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Book 'A Whole New Mind'