Book Review: A Whole New Mind

It’s been quite some time since my last book review. Truth be told, the part months were full with other tasks and experiences, that I kind of lost track of my book-goals for the season. So, with 2015 behind me, I decided to pick up on my reading again and I finished the half-read book “A Whole New Mind” by Dan Pink! Awesome read. Plain and simple awesome! And in many aspects challenging…

wnm

The book is about how our society and work reality in specific, change. Whereas in the past most professions required a left-brain, meaning a brain that was based on logic, deductions, rules, strategy and rationality, nowadays we shift to a right-brain paradigm. Right brains, even for professions that seem only left-brained like the doctor for example. Skills like creativity, intuition and similar skills become paramount in the professions of today.

I really enjoyed the distinction between the left part (logic, sequence, literalness and analysis) and right part (synthesis, emotional expression, context, big picture) of the brain. It was a revelation to go into the detail of how each part of our brain works, based on data and studies and to see how education so far, is directed towards left brain skills (PSAT, GMAT, SAT, etc.).

Another interesting part was the graph that showed and explained how we moved from the Agriculture Age to the Industrial Age, the Information Age and how now we are into the Conceptual Age… To survive in this new age, individuals have to ask these three questions to themselves – which I also find useful for myself:

  • Can someone oversees do it cheaper?
  • Can a computer do it faster?
  • Is what I am offering in demand in an age of abundance?

Considering these, I realized that if someone wants to compede, then he/she needs abilities that are high touch and high concept. And these abilities are the ones that reside on the right side of our brain.

The author really delved into the six essential aptitudes that a person should possess, namely Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning. Reading the hints that he offers within each chapter, I realized that there are many more dimensions than the ones that I had in mind. It really is a multidimensional issue and one that if applied holistically, can really help us define our own path as professionals but can also help (I think) in business, product and customer development.

Do you want to see what kind of brain you have? Well, I did and I found some tests to see how I am thinking…

Test 1; Test 2; Test 3; Test 4; Test 5

The results? Well, the first of the tests gave me a 47%-53% (L-R), whereas the second (middle left of the photo), gave me a 42%-58% of a right brain. Then, the third one (bottom left), agreed wtih a 43%-57% whereas the fourth one (upper right) gave me a 59%-41%, being the first that considered me a left brain. Last but not least, the last test (bottom right), gave me a right brain with a result that I can’t represent in %.

Left-or-right.png

Overall, it seems like I am right-brained but at the same time, quite balanced. Results seem to agree with my personal experience of myself (!) as I cannot say that I am neither an extreme right-brain or a left one. I can also conclude that there are not enough standardization on those tests, at least not yet. So if you just take one, don’t be too confident for the results!

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