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A Whole New Mind

A Whole New Mind

My friend and the most thoughtful creative director (ever!) Mark Haas suggested I read this book - I found it eye opening.  

The book's introduction makes a bold statement about the future: Leaders with traditional business school skills and traits are now a dime a dozen. There is a new sheriff in town and he/she is in high demand. The author says that the future belongs to those with a rightside mindset—creators, artists, empathizers, pattern recognizers and “meaning makers” (I take that statement a step further and say the future belongs to those with a blended rightside and leftside mindset, those who can build an engine and fuel people's passions for success). We are moving from the logical, linear, computer­based Information Age to a “Conceptual Age” in our economy and society, one where creativity, innovation, empathy and big­ picture thinking will be rewarded and recognized.

He offers two reasons for this major shift in business thinking: 

1) Jobs the MBA used to do are now being done overseas through outsourcing and 

2) Business leaders have recognized that the biggest competitive differentiator they can have for their products is to be “physically beautiful and emotionally compelling”.

The author does a quick analysis of left­brain (L ­directed) versus right­brain (R­ directed) thinking. He believes we need to maintain our L­ directed skills, but master six essential R ­directed aptitudes, or “Six Senses”: 

  • Design - good design is essential to good products 
  • Story - described as “context enriched by emotion”
  • Symphony - “... is largely about relationships”
  • Empathy - being more successful being able to enter someone else’s “shoes”
  • Play - the Conceptual Age will allow us to combine both work and play
  • Meaning - as a society, we are on a high energy search for meaning

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It has tapped into a trend that is still simmering beneath the surface. It may start as simply as valuing creative types, but it will end as a seismic shift. 

In ancient times, we valued the artisan and craftsman as evidenced by the legacy of incredible works of art and architecture. The industrial and information ages later stimulated us to explore the left sides of our brains to such an extent that we developed computers to take our logical thinking to unimaginable heights. It’s only fitting that the pendulum would swing back to the right side of the brain when we once again realize the value of creativity and innovation. 

Our true breakthrough will come when we combine R­ directed and L ­directed thinking in equal parts - when we build an engine and fuel a passion for success.

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