This is a fun yet profound read that you can easily finish on a cross-country flight and that you will probably not forget. It will deeply interest most people faced with challenges in leading a growing organization. The author’s main premise is that the forces of “automation, abundance, and asia” have combined to make speed to market, efficient production, and technical prowess mere table stakes in a global marketplace. Left brain prowess is not enough – you need to also sharpen your right brain.
He asserts that just as our societies and economies moved from agriculture to industrial to information ages, we are now poised on the next transition – to the conceptual age. In the past 50 years or so, he explains how our schools and workplaces honed and rewarded those with strong analytic skills and those adept at creating and manipulating functional technologies. Mr. Pink shows us how these are no longer enough and that there are six “senses” that need to be honed to win in a more complex and global environment: design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. If you doubt this, witness the ridiculous success of the ipod and iphone. Fortunately, he gives us more than theory; he tells stories about each of these six topics, provides exercises, and suggests additional reading to help us hone them.
Dan Pink is a best-selling author [Free Agent Nation, 2001] and was a chief speechwriter for former vice-president Al Gore.
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