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A whole new mind

 

 

 

A whole new mind

 

Acknowledgments 1

Abstract 2

Chapter 1:Right Brain Rising 3

Chapter 2:Abundance, Asia, and Automation 6

Chapter 3:High Concept, High Touch 10

Chapter 4:The Six Senses 13

Refrences 16

[] Acknowledgments

 

 

A Whole New Mind is the product of a whole lot of minds. A few hundred people answered questions large and small and sat for interviews long and short to help me sort through a welter of ideas and information. Thanks, everyone. A few folks, however, deserve special mention:

 

 

Rafe Sagalyn is simply the finest literary agent, canniest adviser, and greatest friend an author can have. He was helpful in every aspect of this book. He also had the good sense to hire Jennifer Graham and Amy Rosenthal.

 

Many thanks to my editor at Riverhead Books, Cindy Spiegel, for countenancing my anal- retentive tendencies—and to her assistants, Susan Ambler and Charlotte Douglas, for their boundless patience.

 

Marc Tetel, a neuroscientist at Wellesley College, checked and rechecked every sentence I wrote about the brain. Little did I know a quarter century ago that the skinny kid from North Carolina who lived down the hall in my freshman dorm would turn out to be a topnotch scientist, a terrific editor, and a lifelong friend. (If any mistakes remain, they’re mine—not his.) A tip of the hat as well to Jon Auerbach, another freshman-dormmate-turned-neuroscientist, who suggested I get my brain scanned at NIH.

 

Tom Peters, Seth Godin, and Po Bronson offered a bevy of excellent editorial and marketing advice. Dan Charles, Jack Donahue, Lesley Pink, Alan Webber, and Renee Zuckerbrot read portions of the manuscript and made valuable suggestions. Jeff O’Brien and Bob Cohn deftly sharpened my arguments about outsourcing and the Conceptual Age. Jim Coudal and Susan Everett of Coudal Partners gave this parcel of ideas the striking visual identity you see on the book jacket and, I hope, lots of other places. Claire Vaccaro and her team did a sensational job designing the look and feel of the book’s interior. Mark Hill drew a great cartoon.

 

For this paperback edition, Jeffrey Cufaude did a brilliant job of helping me expand the Portfolios. His insights, feedback, and good humor were invaluable. Readers around the world also offered their suggestions for the paperback. I’m grateful for their contributions and extend special thanks to: Keri Alleton, Robert Ballard, Arnold Beekes, Glen Bell, Rasmus Bertelsen, Adam Blatner, Sarah Brophy, Kevin Buck, Anand Chhatpar, Patrick Clough, Ed Daniel, Patti Digh, Mike Doherty, Indra Dosanjh, Carl Garant, Jerry Gasche, Richard Gerson, Sean Heath, Helen Hegener, Jim Hurd, Bill Jeffrey, Jan Jopson, Victor Lombardi, Glenn Main, Phillip Marzella, Steve McCrea, Mary Migliorelli, Kenji Mori, Brian Mullins, Ziv Navoth, Steve Neiderhauser, Jimmy Neil, Roger Parker, Michael Pokocky, Stefani Quane, Peter Ralston, Basil Rouskas, Charlie Russell, John Seiffer, Mark Selleck, Phil Shapiro, Dipankar Subba, Tina Tecce, Nerio Vakil, Dan Ward, Colin Warick, Lena West, Bill Wittland, Simon Young, and David Yorka.

 

[] Abstract

 

 

The last few decades have belonged to a certain kind of person with a certain kind of mind— computer programmers who could crank code, lawyers who could craft contracts, MBAs who could crunch numbers. But the keys to the kingdom are changing hands. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind—creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. These people—artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers—will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.

 

This book describes a seismic—though as yet undetected—shift now under way in much of the advanced world. We are moving from an economy and a society built on the logical, linear, computer like capabilities of the Information Age to an economy and a society built on the inventive, empathic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age. A Whole New Mind is for anyone who wants to survive and thrive in this emerging world—people uneasy in their careers or dissatisfied with their lives, entrepreneurs and business leaders eager to stay ahead of the next wave, parents who want to equip their children for the future, and the legions of emotionally astute and creatively adroit people whose distinctive abilities the Information Age has often overlooked and undervalued.

 

In this book, you will learn the six essential aptitudes—what I call “the six senses”—on which professional success and personal satisfaction increasingly will depend. Design. Story. Symphony. Empathy. Play. Meaning. These are fundamentally human abilities that everyone can master—and helping you do that is my goal.

 

A CHANGE of such magnitude is complex. But the argument at the heart of this book is simple. For nearly a century, Western society in general, and American society in particular, has been dominated by a form of thinking and an approach to life that is narrowly reductive and deeply analytical. Ours has been the age of the knowledge worker,” the well-educated manipulator of information and deployer of expertise. But that is changing. Thanks to an array of forces—material abundance that is deepening our nonmaterial yearnings, globalization that is shipping white-collar work overseas, and powerful technologies that are eliminating certain kinds of work altogether—we are entering a new age. It is an age animated by a different form of thinking and a new approach to life—one that prizes aptitudes that I call “high concept” and “high touch. High concept involves the capacity to detect patterns and opportunities, to create artistic and emotional beauty, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into something new. High touch involves the ability to empathize with others, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one’s self and to elicit it in others, and to stretch beyond the quotidian in pursuit of purpose and meaning. As it happens, there’s something that encapsulates the change I’m describing—and it’s right inside your head. Our brains are divided into two hemispheres. The left hemisphere is

 

sequential, logical, and analytical. The right hemisphere is nonlinear, intuitive, and holistic. These distinctions have often been caricatured. And, of course, we enlist both halves of our brains for even the simplest tasks. But the well- established differences between the two hemispheres of the brain yield a powerful metaphor for interpreting our present and guiding our future. Today, 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 now require a whole new mind.

 

[] Chapter 1:Right Brain Rising

 

 

The first thing they do is attach electrodes to my fingers to see how much I sweat. If my mind attempts deception, my perspiration will rat me out. Then they lead me to the stretcher. It’s swaddled in crinkly blue paper, the kind that rustles under your legs when you climb onto a doctor’s examination table. I lie down, the back of my head resting in the recessed portion of the stretcher.

 

Over my face, they swing a cagelike mask similar to the one used to muzzle Hannibal Lecter. I squirm. Big mistake. A technician reaches for a roll of thick adhesive. “You can’t move,” she says. “We’re going to need to tape your head down.”

 

Outside this gargantuan government building, a light May rain is falling. Inside—smack in the center of a chilly room in the subbasement—I’m getting my brain scanned.

 

I’ve lived with my brain for forty years now, but I’ve never actually seen it. I’ve looked at drawings and images of other people’s brains. But I don’t have a clue as to what my own brain looks like or how it works. Now’s my chance.

 

For a while now, I’ve been wondering what direction our lives will take in these outsourced, automated, upside-down times—and I’ve begun to suspect that the clues might be found in the way the brain is organized. So I’ve volunteered to be part of the control group—what researchers call “healthy volunteers”—for a project at the National Institute of Mental Health, outside Washington,

 

The study involves capturing images of brains at rest and at work, which means I’ll soon get to see the organ that’s been leading me around these past four decades—and, in the process, perhaps gain a clearer view of how all of us will navigate the future.

 

The stretcher I’m on juts from the middle of a GE Signa 3T, one of the world’s most advanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines. This $2.5 million baby uses a powerful magnetic field to generate high-quality images of the inside of the human body. It’s a huge piece of equipment, spanning nearly eight feet on each side and weighing more than 35,000 pounds.

 

At the center of the machine is a circular opening, about two feet in diameter. The technicians slide my stretcher through the opening and into the hollowed-out core that forms the belly of this beast.

 

With my arms pinned by my side and the ceiling about two inches above my nose, I feel like I’ve been crammed into a torpedo tube and forgotten.

 

TCHKK! TCHKK! TCHKK! goes the machine. TCHKK!It sounds and feels like I’m wearing a helmet that somebody is tapping from the outside. Then I hear a vibrating ZZZHHHH! followed by silence, followed by another ZZZHHHH! and then more silence.

 

After a half hour, they’ve got a picture of my brain. To my slight dismay, it looks pretty much lieveother brain I’ve seen in textbooks. Running down the center is a thin vertical ridge that cleaves the brain into two seemingly equal sections.

 

This feature is so prominent that it’s the first thing a neurologist notes when he inspects the images of my oh-so-unexceptional brain. “[The] cerebral hemispheres,” he reports, “are grossly symmetric.” That is, the three-pound clump inside my skull, like the three-pound clump inside yours, is divided into two connected halves. One half is called the left hemisphere, the other the right hemisphere. The two halves look the same, but in form and function they are quite different, as the next phase of my stint as a neurological guinea pig was about to demonstrate.

 

That initial brain scan was like sitting for a portrait. I reclined, my brain posed, and the machine painted the picture. While science can learn a great deal from these brain portraits, a newer technique—called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)— can capture pictures of the brain in action. Researchers ask subjects to do something inside the machine—hum a tune, listen to a joke, solve a puzzle—and then track the parts of the brain to which blood flows. What

 

results is a picture of the brain spotted with colored blotches in the regions that were active—a satellite weather map showing where the brain clouds were gathering. This technique is revolutionizing science and medicine, yielding a deeper understanding of a range of human experience—from dyslexia in children to the mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease to how parents respond to babies’ cries.

 

The technicians slide me back inside the high-tech Pringles can. This time, they’ve set up a periscope like contraption that allows me to see a slide screen outside the machine. In my right hand is a small clicker, its cord attached to their computers.

 

They’re about to put my brain to work—and provide me with a metaphor for what it will take to thrive in the twenty-first century.

 

 

My first task is simple. They display on the screen a black-and-white photo of a face fixed in an extreme expression.

 

(A woman who looks as if Yao Ming just stepped on her toe . Or a fellow who apparently has just remembered that he left home without putting on pants.) Then they remove that face, and flash on the screen two photos of a different person. Using the buttons on my clicker, I’m supposed to indicate which of to see two faces expresses the same emotion as the initial face. They show me these two faces

 

I click the button on the right because the face on the right expresses the same emotion as the earlier face. The task, if you’ll pardon the expression, is a no-brainer. When the facial matching exercise is over, we move to another test of perception. The researchers show me forty-eight color photos, one after another, in the manner of a slide show. I click the appropriate button to indicate whether the scene takes place indoors or outdoors. These photos occupy two extremes. Some are bizarre and disturbing; others are banal and inoffensive. The photos include a coffee mug sitting on a counter, several people brandishing guns, a toilet overflowing with waste, a lamp, and a few explosions.

 

 

What happens inside my brain, however, tells a different story. When the brain scans appear on the computers, they show that when I looked at the grim facial expressions, the right side of my brain sprang into action and enlisted other parts of that hemisphere. When I looked at the scary scenes, my brain instead called in greater support from the left hemisphere.(1) Of course, parts of both sides worked on each task. And I felt precisely the same during each exercise. But the fMRI clearly showed that for faces, my right hemisphere responded more than my left—and for gun- wielding bad guys and similar predicaments, my left hemisphere took the lead.

 

The Wrong Stuff

 

These two misconceptions are opposite in spirit but similar in silliness. The first considers the right brain a savior; the second considers it a saboteur.

 

Adherents of the savior view have climbed aboard the scientific evidence on the right hemisphere and raced from legitimacy to reverence. They believe that the right brain is the repository of all that is good and just and noble in the human condition. As neuroscientist Robert Ornstein puts it in The Right Mind, one of the better books on this subject:

 

Many popular writers have written that the right hemisphere is the key to expanding human thought, surviving trauma, healing autism, and more. It’s going to save us. It’s the seat of creativity, of the soul, and even great casserole ideas.

 

Oh, my. Over the years, peddlers of the savior theory have tried to convince us of the virtues of right-brain cooking and right-brain dieting, right-brain investing and right-brain accounting, right- brain jogging and right-brain horseback riding—not to mention right-brain numerology, right-brain astrology, and right-brain lovemaking, the last of which may well lead to babies who’ll eventually achieve greatness by eating right-brain breakfast cereal, playing with right- brain blocks, and watching right-brain videos. These books, products, and seminars often contain a valid nugget or two—but in general they are positively foolish. Even worse, this cascade of baseless, New Age gobbledygook has often served to degrade, rather than enhance, public understanding of the right hemisphere’s singular outlook.

 

Partly in response to the tide of inane things that have been said about the right brain, a second, contrary bias has also taken hold. This view grudgingly acknowledges the right hemisphere’s legitimacy, but believes that emphasizing so-called right-brain thinking risks sabotaging the economic and social progress we’ve made by applying the force of logic to our lives. All that stuff that the right hemisphere does—interpreting emotional content, intuiting answers, perceiving things holistically— is lovely. But it’s a side dish to the main course of true intelligence. What distinguishes us from other animals is our ability to reason analytically. We are humans, hear us calculate. That’s what makes us unique. Anything else isn’t simply different; it’s less. And paying too much attention to those artsy artsy, touchy-feely elements will eventually dumb us down and screw us up. “What it comes down to,” Sperry said shortly before he died, “is that modern society [still] discriminates against the right hemisphere.” Within the saboteur position is the residual belief that although the right side of our brains is real, it’s still somehow inferior. Alas, the right hemisphere will neither save us nor sabotage us. The reality, as is so often the case with reality, is more nuanced.

 

The Real Stuff

 

The two hemispheres of our brains don’t operate as on-off switches—one powering down as soon as the other starts lighting up. Both halves play a role in nearly everything we do. “We can say that certain regions of the brain are more active than others when it comes to certain functions,” explains one medical primer, “but we can’t say those functions are confined to particular areas. Still, neuroscientists agree that the two hemispheres take significantly different approaches to guiding our actions, understanding the world, and reacting to events. (And those differences, it turns out, offer considerable guidance for piloting our personal and professional lives.) With more than three decades of research on the brain’s hemispheres, it’s possible to distill the findings to four key differences.

 

#
p<>{color:#000;}. The left hemisphere controls the right side of the body; the right hemisphere controls the left side of the body.

 

#
p<>{color:#000;}. The left hemisphere sequential; the right hemisphere is simultaneous.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. The left hemisphere specializes in text; the right hemisphere specializes in context.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. The left hemisphere analyzes the details;

the right hemisphere synthesizes the big picture. A Whole New Mind

There are two kinds of people in the world, an old joke goes: those who believe that everything can be divided into two categories—and the rest of you. Human beings somehow seem naturally inclined to see life in contrasting pairs. East versus West. Mars versus Venus. Logic versus emotion. Left versus right. Yet, in most realms we usually don’t have to pick sides—and it’s often dangerous if we do. For instance, logic without emotion is a chilly, Spock-like existence. Emotion without logic is a weepy, hysterical world where the clocks are never right and the buses always late. In the end, yin always needs yang

 

[] Chapter 2:Abundance, Asia, and Automation

 

 

Return with me to the thrilling days of yesteryear—the 1970s, the decade of my childhood. When I was a kid, middle-class parents in the United States typically dished out the same plate of advice to their children: Get good grades, go to college, and pursue a profession that will deliver a decent standard of living and perhaps a dollop of prestige. If you were good at math and science, you should become a doctor. If you were better at English and history, become a lawyer. If blood grossed you out and your verbal skills needed work, become an accountant. A bit later, as computers appeared on desktops and CEOs on magazine covers, the youngsters who were really good at math and science chose high tech, while many others flocked to business school, thinking that success was spelled MBA.

 

Lawyers, doctors, accountants, engineers, and executives. The great Peter Drucker gave this cadre of professionals an enduring, if somewhat wonky, name: “knowledge workers.” Knowledge workers are “people who get paid for putting to work what one learns in school rather than for their physical strength or manual skill,” Drucker wrote. What distinguished this group from the rest of the workforce was their “ability to acquire and to apply theoretical and analytic knowledge.” (In other words, they excelled at L-Directed Thinking.) They might never become a majority, said Drucker, but they nonetheless “will give the emerging knowledge society its character, its leadership, its social profile.”[ [1] ]

 

Drucker, as always, was spot-on. Knowledge workers and their thinking style have indeed shaped the character, leadership, and social profile of the modern age. Consider the tollbooths that any middle-class American must pass on his way to the land of knowledge work. My own kids would consider it underwhelming. Within a twenty-minute drive of our home in Washington, D.C., are about forty different mega-shopping sites—the size, selection, and scope of which didn’t exist thirty years ago. Take Potomac Yards, which sits on Route 1 in northern Virginia. One Saturday morning in August, my wife and I and our three children drove there for our own back- to-school shopping excursion. We began at the giant store on the far end of the site. In the women’s section of that store, we chose from Mossimo designer tops and sweaters, Merona blazers, Isaac Mizrahi jackets, and Liz Lange designer maternity wear. The kids’ clothing section was equally vast and almost as hip. The Italian designer Mossimo had a full line of children’s wear—including a velour pants and jacket set for our two girls. The choices were preposterously more interesting, more attractive, and more bountiful than the clothing I chose from back in the seventies. But there was something even more noteworthy about this stylish kiddie garb when I compared it to the more pedestrian fashions of my youth: the clothes cost less. Because we weren’t at some swank boutique. My family and I were shopping at Target. That velour Mossimo ensemble? $14.99. Those women’s designer tops? $9.99. My wife’s new suede Isaac Mizrahi jacket? Forty-nine bucks. A few aisles away were home furnishings, created by designer Todd Oldham and less expensive than what my parents used to pick up at Sears. Throughout the store were acres of good-looking, low-cost merchandise.

 

 

And Target was just one of an array of Potomac Yards stores catering to a mostly middle-class clientele. Next door we could visit Staples, a 20,000-square-foot box selling 7,500 different school and office supplies. (There are more than 1,500 Staples stores like it in the United States and Europe.) Next to Staples was the equally cavernous PetSmart, one of more than six hundred such pet supply stores in the United States and Canada, each one of which, on an average day, sells

$15,000 worth of merchandise for nonhumans. [2] This particular outlet even had its own pet- grooming studio. Next to PetSmart was Best Buy, an electronics emporium with a retail floor that’s larger than the entire block on which my family lives. One section was devoted to home theater equipment, which displayed an arms race of televisions—plasma, high-definition, flat panel—that began with a 42-inch To some of you, this is delightful news. To others, it sounds like a crock. This chapter is mainly for the latter group of readers—those who followed your parents’ advice and scored well on those aptitude tests. To persuade you that what I’m saying is sound, let me explain the reasons for this shift using the left-brain, mechanistic language of cause and effect. The effect: the diminished relative importance of L-Directed Thinking and the corresponding increased importance of R-Directed Thinking. The causes: Abundance, Asia, and Automation.

 

Abundance

 

Another vignette from the 1970s: every August my mother would take my brother, sister, and me to buy clothes for the new school year. That inevitably meant a trip to Eastland Mall, one of three big shopping centers in central Ohio. But what’s so remarkable about Potomac Yards is how utterly unremarkable it is. You can find a similar swath of consumer bounty just about any place in the United States—and, increasingly, in Europe and sections of Asia as well. These shopping meccas are but one visible example of an extraordinary change in modern life. For most of history, our lives were defined by scarcity. Today, the defining feature of social, economic, and cultural life in much of the world is abundance.

 

 

Our left brains have made us rich. Powered by armies of Drucker’s knowledge workers, the information economy has produced a standard of living in much of the developed world that would have been unfathomable to our great-grandparents.

 

Perhaps the most telling example of this change, as our family outing to Target demonstrated, is the new middle-class obsession with design. World-famous designers such as the ones I mentioned earlier, as well as titans such as Karim Rashid and Philippe Starck, now design all manner of goods for this quintessentially middle-class, middle-brow, middle-American store. Target and other retailers have sold nearly three million units of Rashid’s Garbo molded polypropylene wastebasket. A designer wastebasket! Try explaining that one to your left brain.

 

 

Or how about this item, which I purchased during that same Target trip?

 

It’s a toilet brush —a toilet brush designed by Michael Graves, a Princeton University architecture professor and one of the most renowned architects and product designers in the world. The cost: $5.99. Only against a backdrop of abundance could so many people seek beautiful trash cans and toilet brushes—converting mundane, utilitarian products into objects of desire. In an age of abundance, appealing only to rational, logical, and functional needs is woefully insufficient. Engineers must figure out how to get things to work. But if those things are not also pleasing to the eye or compelling to the soul, few will buy them. There are too many other options. Mastery of design, empathy, play, and other seemingly “soft” aptitudes is now the main way for individuals and firms to stand out in a crowded marketplace. ” [3] But abundance has freed literally hundreds of millions of people from the struggle for survival and, as Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert William Fogel writes, “made it possible to extend the quest for self-realization from a minute fraction of the population to almost the whole of it.”( [4] ) On the off chance that you’re still not convinced, let me offer one last—and illuminating—statistic. Electric lighting was rare a century ago, but today it’s commonplace. Lightbulbs are cheap. Electricity is ubiquitous. Candles? Who needs them? Apparently, lots of people. In the United States, candles are a $2.4-billion-a- year business( [5] )—for reasons that stretch beyond the logical need for luminosity to a prosperous country’s more inchoate desire for beauty and transcendence.

 

 

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Asia

 

 

 

Here are four people I met while researching this book: They are the very embodiment of the knowledge worker ethic I described at the outset of this chapter. Like many bright middle-class kids, they followed their parents’ advice. They did well in high school, went on to earn either an engineering or computer science degree from a good university, and now work at a large software company, helping to write computer code for North American banks and airlines. For their high-tech work, none of these four people earns more than about $15,000 a year. Knowledge workers, meet your new competition: Srividya, Lalit, Kavita, and Kamal of Mumbai, India.

 

Automation

 

Meet more people. One is an iconic figure who may have been real. The other is a real human being who, perhaps to his regret, may become iconic. The first is this fellow, immortalized here on a U.S. postage stamp: As most American schoolchildren could tell you, John Henry was a steel-driving man. Born with a hammer in his hand, he was a figure of immense strength and integrity. (Alas, nobody is certain whether he was an actual person. Many historians believe he was a former slave who worked on the railroads after the Civil War, though none have been able to verify his existence.) He was part of a team of workers who smashed through mountains to clear tunnels for laying railroad tracks. But John Henry was no ordinary laborer. He could drive steel faster and more powerfully than any man alive, and his prowess soon became the stuff of legend. One day, the tale goes, a salesman arrived at the workers’ camp bearing a new steam- powered drill that he claimed could outperform even the strongest man. John Henry scoffed at the notion that gears and grease were any match for human muscle. So he proposed a contest—man vs. machine to see which could blast through a mountainside the fastest. The next afternoon, the race beganthe steam drill on the right, John Henry on the left. The machine took the lead, but John Henry quickly rallied. Chunks of rocks fell as the duo bored through their tunnels. Before long, John Henry had closed in on his competitor. And in an instant before the end of the race, he surged past the steam drill and broke through the other side of the mountain first. His fellow workers cheered. But John Henry, exhausted by the superhuman effort, collapsed. Then he died.

 

TO RECAP , three forces are tilting the scales in favor of R-Directed Thinking. Abundance has satisfied, and even over satisfied, the material needs of millions boosting the significance of beauty and emotion and accelerating individuals’ search boosting the significance of beauty and emotion and accelerating individuals’ search.

 

 

 

 

[] Chapter 3:High Concept, High Touch

 

 

Think of the last 150 years as a three-act drama. In Act I, the Industrial Age, massive factories and efficient assembly lines powered the economy. The lead character in this act was the mass production worker, whose cardinal traits were physical strength and personal fortitude.

 

In Act II, the Information Age, the United States and other nations began to evolve. Mass production faded into the background, while information and knowledge fueled the economies of the developed world. The central figure in this act was the knowledge worker, whose defining characteristic was proficiency in L-Directed Thinking.

 

Now, as the forces of Abundance, Asia, and Automation deepen and intensify, the curtain is rising on Act III. Call this act the Conceptual Age. The main characters now are the creator and the empathizer, whose distinctive ability is mastery of R-Directed Thinking.

 

I’ve depicted this progression in the next picture, broadening the story to include the Industrial Age’s predecessor, the Agriculture Age. The horizontal axis shows time. The vertical axis shows a combination of affluence, technological progress, and globalization (what I’ve shorthanded ATG). As individuals grow richer, as technologies become more powerful, and as the world grows more connected, these three forces eventually gather enough collective momentum to nudge us into a new era. That is how, over time, we moved from the Agriculture Age to the Industrial Age to the Information Age. The latest instance of this pattern is today’s transition from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age once again fed by affluence (the abundance that characterizes Western life), technological progress (the automation of several kinds of white-collar work), and globalization (certain types of knowledge work moving to Asia).

 

In short, we’ve progressed from a society of farmers to a society of factory workers to a society of knowledge workers. And now we’re progressing yet again—to a society of creators and empathizers, of pattern recognizers and meaning makers.

 

And if a picture is worth a thousand words, a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures. We’ve moved from an economy built on people’s backs to an economy built on people’s left brains to what is emerging today: an economy and society built more and more on people’s right brains.

 

When economies and societies depended on factories and mass production, R-Directed Thinking

 

was mostly irrelevant. Then as we moved to knowledge work, R-Directed Thinking came to be recognized as legitimate, though still secondary, to the preferred mode of L-Directed Thinking. Now, as North America, Western Europe, Australia, and Japan evolve once again, R-Directed Thinking is beginning to achieve social and economic parity—and, in many cases, primacy. In the twenty-first century, it has become the first among equals, the key to professional achievement and personal satisfaction.

 

But let me be clear: the future is not some Manichean world in which individuals are either left- brained and extinct or right-brained and ecstatic—a land in which millionaire potters drive BMWs and computer programmers scrub counters at Chick-fil-A. L-Directed Thinking remains indispensable. It’s just no longer sufficient. In the Conceptual Age, what we need instead is a whole new mind.

 

High Concept and High Touch

 

To survive in this age, individuals and organizations must examine what they’re doing to earn a living and ask themselves three questions:

 

#
p<{color:#000;}. Can someone overseas do it cheaper?

#
p<{color:#000;}. Can a computer do it faster?

#
p<{color:#000;}. Is what I’m offering in demand in an age of abundance?

 

 

If your answer to question 1 or 2 is yes, or if your answer to question 3 is no, you’re in deep trouble. Mere survival today depends on being able to do something that overseas knowledge workers can’t do cheaper, that powerful computers can’t do faster, and that satisfies one of the nonmaterial, transcendent desires of an abundant age.

 

 

That is why high tech is no longer enough. We’ll need to supplement our well- developed high- tech abilities with abilities that are high concept and high touch. (As I mentioned in the Introduction, high concept involves the ability to create artistic and emotional beauty, to detect patterns and opportunities, to craft a satisfying narrative, and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into a novel invention. High touch involves the ability to empathize, to understand the subtleties of human interaction, to find joy in one’s self and to elicit it in others, and to stretch beyond the quotidian, in pursuit of purpose and meaning.)[1]

 

High concept and high touch are on the rise throughout the world economy and society. But for the most persuasive evidence, it helps to look in the most unlikely places. Take medical schools, long a bastion for those with the best grades, highest test scores, and the keenest powers of analytical thinking. Today, the curriculum at American medical schools is undergoing its greatest change in a generation. Students at Columbia University Medical School and elsewhere are being trained in “narrative medicine,” because research has revealed that despite the power of computer diagnostics, an important part of a diagnosis is contained in a patient’s story. At the Yale School of Medicine, students are honing their powers of observation at the Yale Center for British Art, because students who study paintings excel at noticing subtle details about a patient’s condition. Meantime, more than fifty medical schools across the United States have incorporated spirituality into their coursework. UCLA Medical School has established a Hospital Overnight Program, in which second-year students are admitted to the hospital overnight with fictitious ailments. The purpose of this playacting? “To develop medical students’ empathy for patients,” says the school.

 

Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia has even developed a new measure of physician effectiveness an empathy index.( [2] )

Money and Meaning

 

While work is going high concept and high touch, the most significant change of the Conceptual Age might be occurring outside the office—and inside our hearts and souls. Pursuits devoted to meaning and transcendence, for instance, are now as mainstream as a double tall latte. In the United States, ten million adults now engage in some form of regular meditation, double the

 

number a decade ago.

 

Fifteen million practice yoga, twice the number in 1999. American popular entertainment is so awash in spiritual themes that TV Guide heralds the rise of “transcendental television.

 

The aging of U.S. baby boomers—as well as the even more notable aging of the populations of Japan and the European Union—is also accelerating this shift. “As people mature,” writes psychologist David Wolfe, “their cognitive patterns become less abstract (left-brain orientation) and more concrete (right-brain orientation) which results in a sharpened sense of reality, increased capacity for emotion, and enhancement of their sense of connectedness” (parentheses in the original). In other words, as individuals age, they place greater emphasis in their own lives on qualities they might have neglected in the rush to build careers and raise families: purpose, intrinsic motivation, and meaning.

 

Indeed, two researchers have argued that this fleet of empathic, meaning-seeking boomers has already started wading ashore. In 2000, Paul Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson identified a subculture of fifty million Americans that they dubbed “Cultural Creatives.” Cultural Creative, they claim, account for one-fourth of U.S adults, a population roughly the size of France. And the attributes of this cohort echo many of the elements of an R-Directed approach to life. For instance, Cultural Creatives “insist on seeing the big picture,” the authors write. “They are good at synthesizing.” And they “see women’s ways of knowing as valid: feeling empathy and sympathy for others, taking the viewpoint of the one who speaks, seeing personal experiences and first-person stories as important ways of learning, and embracing an ethic of caring.”

 

Baby boomers are entering the Conceptual Age with an eye on their own chronological age. They recognize that they now have more of their lives behind them than ahead of them. And such indisputable arithmetic can concentrate the mind. After decades of pursuing riches, wealth seems less alluring. For them, and for many others in this new era, meaning is the new money.

 

WHAT DOES all this mean for you and me? How can we prepare ourselves for the Conceptual Age? On one level, the answer is straightforward. In a world tossed by Abundance, Asia, and Automation, in which L-Directed Thinking remains necessary but no longer sufficient, we must become proficient in R-Directed Thinking and master aptitudes that are high concept and high touch. We must perform work that overseas knowledge workers can’t do cheaper, that computers can’t do faster, and that satisfies the aesthetic, emotional, and spiritual demands of a prosperous time. But on another level, that answer is inadequate. What exactly are we supposed to do?

 

 

 

 

[] Chapter 4:The Six Senses

 

 

In the Conceptual Age, we will need to complement our L-Directed reasoning by mastering six essential R-Directed aptitudes. Together these six high-concept, high-touch senses can help develop the whole new mind this new era demands.

 

#
p)<>{color:#000;}. Not just function but also DESIGN. It’s no longer sufficient to create a product, a service, an experience, or a lifestyle that’s merely functional. Today it’s economically crucial and personally rewarding to create something that is also beautiful, whimsical, or emotionally engaging.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Not just argument but also STORY. When our lives are brimming with information and

data, it’s not enough to marshal an effective argument. Someone somewhere will inevitably track down a counterpoint to rebut your point. The essence of persuasion, communication, and self-understanding has become the ability also to fashion a compelling narrative.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Not just focus but also SYMPHONY. Much of the Industrial and Information Ages required focus and specialization. But as white-collar work gets routed to Asia and reduced to software, there’s a new premium on the opposite aptitude: putting the pieces together, or what I call 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.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Not just logic but also EMPATHY. The capacity for logical thought is one of the things that

makes us human. But in a world of ubiquitous information and advanced analytic tools, logic alone won’t do. 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.

#
p)<>{color:#000;}. Not just seriousness but also PLAY. Ample evidence points to the enormous health and professional benefits of laughter, lightheartedness, games, and humor. There is a time to be serious, of course. But too 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.

#
p<>{color:#000;}. Not just accumulation but also MEANING. We live in a world of breathtaking material

plenty. That 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.

 

 

Design. Story. Symphony. Empathy. Play. Meaning. These six senses increasingly will guide our lives and shape our world. Many of you no doubt welcome such a change. But to some of you, this vision might seem dreadful—a hostile takeover of normal life by a band of poseurs in black unitards who will leave behind the insufficiently arty and emotive. Fear not. The high-concept, high-touch abilities that now matter most are fundamentally human attributes.

 

After back the savannah, cave-person ancestors weren’t taking SATs plugging numbers into spreadsheets. they were telling stories, demonstrating empathy, and designing innovations. These abilities always comprised part what means be human. after a few generations the Information these muscles atrophied. The challenge is to them back into shape. (That’s the idea behind the Portfolio section at the end chapter. This collection tools, exercises, and further reading materials will send you your way developing a whole new mind.) Anyone can master the six Conceptual senses. those master them first will a huge advantage.

 

 

Design

 

stripped to its essence, can be defined as the human nature to shape and make our environment in ways without precedent in nature, to serve our needs and give meaning to our lives. Design is a classic whole-minded aptitude. It is a combination of utility and significance. A graphic designer must whip up a brochure that is easy to read. That’s utility. Her brochure must also transmit ides or emotions that words themselves cannot convey. That’s significance. Paola

 

Antonelli: good design is a renaissance attitude that combines technology, cognitive science, human need, and beauty to produce something that the world didn’t know it was missing, Today, decent quality and reasonable rice has become merely table stakes in the business game – the entry ticket for being allowed into the marketplace. Once companies satisfy these requirements, they are left to compete less on functional or financial qualities and more on ineffable qualities such as whimsy, beauty and meaning. For every percent of sales invested in product design, a company’s sales and profits rise by an average of 3-4% according to research. BMS´s Chris Bangle: “we don’t make cars, we makes moving works of art that express the drivers love of quality. The typical person uses a toaster at most 15 min per day. The remaining 1425 minutes of the day the toaster is on display. In other words, 1% of the toaster´s time is devoted to utility, while 99% is devoted to significance. Why shouldn’t it be beautiful? One of designs most potent effects is this very capacity to create new markets. The forces of automation, abundance and Asia turn goods and services into commodities so quickly that the only way to survive is to constantly developing new innovations, inventing new categories, and giving the world something it didn’t know it was missing. Good design offers us a chance to bring pleasure, meaning and beauty tour lives. But most important, cultivating a design sensibility can make our mall planet a better place. To be a designer is to be an agent of change.

 

Story

 

Stories are easier to remember – because in many ways, stories are how we remember. Narrative imagining – story – is the fundamental instrument for thought. Rational depends on it. It is our chief means of looking into the future, of predicting planning, explaining. Most of our experience, our knowledge and our thinking are organized as stories. When facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable. What begins to matter more is the ability to place these facts in context and to deliver them with emotional impact. The essence of story: context enriched by emotion. Story exists where high concept and high touch intersect. Story is high concept because it sharpens our understanding of one thing by showing it in the context of something else. Story is high touch because stories almost always pack an emotional punch. Don Norman: stories have the capacity of capturing exactly those elements that have formal decision methods leave out. Logic tries to generalize, to strip the decision making from the specific context, to remove it from the subjective emotions. Stories capture the context, capture the emotions. Stories are important cognitive events, for they encapsulate, into one compact package, information, knowledge, context and emotion..

 

Symphony

 

is the ability to put together the pieces. It is the capacity to synthesize rather than to analyze; to see relationships between seemingly unrelated fields; to detect broad patterns rather than to deliver specific answers; and to invent something new by combining elements nobody else thought to pair. One of the best ways to understand and develop the aptitude of symphony is to learn how to draw. When the left brain doesn’t know what the right brain is doing, the mind is free to see relationships and to integrate those relationships into a whole. In many ways, this is the key to mastering the aptitude of symphony. Symphony is largely about relationships. People who hope to thrive in the conceptual age must understand the connections between diverse, and seemingly separate, disciplines. They must know how to link apparently unconnected elements to create something new. And thy must become adept at analogy – at seeing one thing in terms of another. Boundary crossers: people that develop expertise in multiple spheres, speak different languages and find joy in the rich variety of human experience. They live multi lives. Creativity generally involves crossing the boundaries of domains. The most creative among us see relationships the rest of us never notice. Such ability is at a premium in a world where specialized knowledge work can quickly become routinized work – and therefore be outsourced or automated. Perspective is more important than IQ. The ability to make big leaps of thought is a common denominator among the originators of breakthrough ideas. Usually this ability resides in people with very wide backgrounds, multidisciplinary minds, and a broad spectrum of experiences. Boundary crossers reject either/or choices and seek multiple options and blended solutions. THEY LEAD HYPERNATED lives filled with hypernated jobs and enlivened by hypernated identities. When tests of masculinity/femininity is given to young people, over and over ne finds that creative and talented girls are more dominant an tough than other girls, and creative boys are more sensitive and less aggressive that their male peers. Metaphor – understanding one thing in terms of something else – is an important element of symphony. Human processes are largely metaphorical. Metaphorical thinking is also important because it helps us understand others. That´s one reason that marketers are supplementing their quantitative research with qualitative investigations into the metaphorical minds of their customers. Metaphorical imagination is essential in forging empathic connections and

 

communicating experiences that others do not share. A large Empathy is the ability to imagine yourself in someone else´s position and intuit what that person is feeling. It is the ability to stand in others shoes, to see with their eyes, and to feel with their hearts. But empathy isn’t sympathy – feeling bad for someone else. It is feeling with someone else, seeing what it would be like to be that person. Empathy builds self-awareness; bonds parent to child, allows us to work together, and provides the scaffolding for our morality. Just as the mode of the rational mind is words, the mode of the emotions is nonverbal. And the main canvas for displaying those emotions is the face. Empathy is an ethic for living. It’s a means of understanding other human beings, a universal language that connects us beyond country of culture. Seven basic human emotions have clear facial signals: anger, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust, contempt and happiness. Empathy is related to symphony – because empathic people understand the importance of context. They see the whole person much as symphonic thinkers see the whole picture. Dozens of studies have shown that women are generally better at reading facial expressions and at detecting lies. Simon Baron-Cohen: the female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy. The male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems. Empathy is neither a deviation from intelligence nor the single route to it. Sometimes we need detachment; many other times we need attunement. And the people who will thrive will be those who can toggle between the two. As we have seen again and again, the conceptual age requires androgynous minds.

 

Play

 

At Fords River Rouge plant, laughter was a disciplinary offence – and humming, whistling, and smiling were evidence of insubordination. Ford feared that work and play was a toxic combination. Joyfulness makes us more productive and fulfilled. And play ethics can strengthen and ennoble the work ethic. Pat Kane: play will be to the 21 century what work was to the last 300 years of industrial society – our dominant way of knowing, doing and creating value. Humor is a sophisticated form of intelligence that can’t be replicated by computers and that is becoming increasingly valuable in a high-concept, high-touch world.

 

Meaning

 

Man’s main concern is not to gain pleasure or to avoid pain but to see a meaning in life. The search for meaning is a drive that exists in all of us – and a combination of external circumstances and internal will can bring it to the surface. The typical boomer now has more of his life behind him than ahead of him, prompting the searching for souls and the reevaluation of priorities. The fourth great awakening: spiritual or immaterial inequity is now as great problem as material inequity, perhaps even greater. People have enough to live, but nothing to live for. They have the means, but no meaning. Our capacity for faith – not religion per se, but the belief in something larger than ourselves – may be wired into our brains. Through the right side of the brain. Women to whom life´s meaning and purpose was central had higher levels of the types of cells that attack viruses and some kind of cancer cells. Seligmans “The good life”: is where you use your signature strengths (what you are great at) to achieve gratification in the main areas of your life. This can turn work from “a Monday to Friday sort of dying into a calling. A calling is the most satisfying form of work because, as gratification, it is done for its own sake rather than for the material benefits it brings.

 

[] Refrences

 

 

 

[1]

https://crazytruefacts.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/a-whole-new-mind-why-right-brainers-w ill-rule-the-future-by-daniel-h-pink-epub-qwerty80_2.pdf

 

[2]

[+ http://www.motamem.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Summary-of-A-whole-new-mind-P+] DF-by-Daniel-Pink.pdf

[2]Betty Edwards, The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (Tarcher/ Putnam, 1999),4. [3]Nicholas Wade, “Roger Sperry, a Nobel Winner for Brain Studies, Dies at 80,” New York Times

(April 20,1994).

 

[4]Chris McManus, Right Hand Left Hand: The Origins of Asymmetry in Brains, Bodies, Atoms and Cultures (Harvard University Press, 2002),181

 

[5]Data are from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ 2001 National Household Travel Survey, available at www.bts.gov [http://www.bts.gov/]


A WHOLE NEW MIND

This book describes a seismic—though as yet undetected—shift now under way in much of the advanced world. We are moving from an economy and a society built on the logical, linear, computer like capabilities of the Information Age to an economy and a society built on the inventive, empathic, big-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age. A Whole New Mind is for anyone who wants to survive and thrive in this emerging world—people uneasy in their careers or dissatisfied with their lives, entrepreneurs and business leaders eager to stay ahead of the next wave, parents who want to equip their children for the future, and the legions of emotionally astute and creatively adroit people whose distinctive abilities the Information Age has often overlooked and undervalued. In this book, you will learn the six essential aptitudes—what I call “the six senses”—on which professional success and personal satisfaction increasingly will depend. Design. Story. Symphony. Empathy. Play. Meaning. These are fundamentally human abilities that everyone can master—and helping you do that is my goal.

  • Author: HAIFAJMAAN
  • Published: 2015-11-16 15:40:13
  • Words: 8336
A WHOLE NEW MIND A WHOLE NEW MIND