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A Whole New Mind, and me. December 9, 2009

Posted by Tony Mignot in A Whole New Mind.

The world has gone through different phases: agricultural, industrial, and information, where we are now. But this current phase is threatened by three factors: abundance (now, people want more than quality at a cheap price, they want beauty), Asia (more and more jobs can be outsourced), and automation (more and more jobs can be executed by computers as long as they can be distilled into a set of rules). These factors will force us into a new phase, which Daniel Pink calls: the conceptual age.

In order to be successful in the conceptual age, we will have to not only excel at left-brain skills (analysis, linear thinking), but also at right-brain skills (synthesis, simultaneous thinking), much needed by MBA students. This combination of complementary skills is described as a whole new mind.

Left-brain thinkers dominate the information age. To help us develop right-brain skills, Daniel Pink identifies six aptitudes: design (create something that is also beautiful), story (sell benefits, not features), symphony (combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new), empathy (forge relationships), play (increase productivity), and meaning (add purpose).

Just for fun, here’s a video shown by our corporate finance (the archetype of a left-brain directed discipline) professor, about the power of good story:

When I read this book, I realized that many guest speakers and professors must have read it too. They often mentioned examples and exercises that come directly from this book in their presentations. I was happy to finally get this message straight from the horse’s mouth.

A whole new mind allowed me to take a step back. All these years, I’ve been studying engineering, and working in software development. Two years ago, I decided to go back to school to study business. Without being aware of it, I was forcing myself into a left-directed mindset. After all, when I was about 12 years old, a vocational advisor recommended that I study art. I went for mathematics because I couldn’t envision what kind of job I would have access to if I studied art.

According to Daniel Pink, the challenge for me now, is to finally muscle up my right brain and get it back in shape.

Next stop: go from design thinking to design doing.



1. Daniel Pink - February 14, 2011

They showed that video in corporate finance?

That’s brilliant.

Many times numbers are used to cloud rather than clarify. Story can have a cleansing effect

Here’s hoping at least.

Dan Pink

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