A Whole New Mind

The human brain
Image via Wikipedia

Another of the books that I finished toward the end of last year was A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future byDaniel Pink.  The central argument of A Whole New Mind was that our global society has transformed from a society in which left-brain skills were dominant to one where right-brain skills are, at the very least, equally useful.  Pressure from automation, Asia, and abundance is forcing individuals to adapt their way of thinking in order to stay competitive.

After presenting his argument, Pink suggests a skill set for this new society:

  • Design
  • Story
  • Symphony
  • Empathy
  • Play
  • Meaning

I think the most interesting feature of Pink’s book is that each of the skill chapters ends with a set of suggested portfolio activities.  For example, to read Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy as one of the activities under “Meaning” or to attend a session of laughter yoga for “Play”.  Attempting at least some of the portfolio projects is something that I want to do when I stop “wanting” to work 60 hours a week.

My Mind Map of A Whole New Mind

My Mind Map of A Whole New Mind

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About Kimberly McCollum

I'm a former middle and high school science teacher and current stay at home mom.
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3 Responses to A Whole New Mind

  1. Paul Duignan says:


    I am interested in the right-brain left-brain thing in regard to visualization in evaluation. I am doing a lot of work visualizing logic models – I call them outcomes models. (see examples here http://www.outcomesmodels.org. We are finding that such visual models and particularly ones with images in them (see here http://www.outcomesmodels.org/models/educationsector39.html) are appealing to many people. However there are some people who just ‘do not get diagrams’. Often they are people who have done well in the old world of having to assimilate massive textual reports. However the reality today is that no-one really has time to wade through such reports any longer.

    Given the power of visual representations, I think that, as in the title of the book you are blogging about – ‘Right-brainers will rule the world.


    Paul Duignan, PhD


  2. @Paul – Thanks for your comment. I took a look at your visual outcomes models and I think that they help contextualize the logic model. I don’t know if it’s your goal or not, but I think that they help communicate the story and some of the emotions involved as well as the logic of the situation.

  3. Paul Duignan says:

    Kimberly, yes what I am trying to do is open up what can be put into outcomes models a lot more than has traditionally been put into such models so that we can develop representations of the world which can capture some more of the complexity. I have just done a blog posting on my outcomes blog about the issue of what we should be trying to capture in visual models. As long as they are a step in a process heading towards higher-level outcomes then I think that we should capture them. In the past in the areas in which I work – program planning, evaluation – people have tried to capture the reality we work with in one page diagrams which are usually too simplistic.

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