Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Whole New Mind.

The mind is its own place, and in itself
Can make a heaven of Hell,or a hell of Heaven.
                                                                                        ---John Milton, Paradise Lost

I  finished reading the book "A Whole New Mind" last month...truth be told I am not as sold on it as K1 who gave me this book with a solemn "here is the book that made me think". I do agree with some of the concepts outlined by the author- the world has evolved from Agricultural (farmers) to Industrial (factory workers) to Computer (information worker) and is now evolving into a Conceptual Society with focus on Creators and Emphathizers. Daniel Pink, the author talks about three trends that are pointers to this evolution - Abundance (consumers have too many choices), Asia (things are getting outsourced) and Automation ( repeatable things can be done by machines). Basic Premise is that if something can be automated or outsourced then the differentiator is "Human Creativity and Initiative"...I was wondering - if  with Product Management software tools like One Desk , would the  Product Manager become redundant? If you see yourself as a scrum master, bug prioritizer , revenue forecaster or a PRD writer - then you better be ready for software to do your role. However, if you see yourself as a service owner, decision maker, influencer, team builder, creative chief, the adjectives go are in luck - you will survive the conceptual age... 
Pink talks about 6 essential senses
  1. Design - Moving beyond function to engage the sense.
  2. Story - Narrative added to products and services - not just argument. Best of the six senses.
  3. Symphony - Adding invention and big picture thinking (not just detail focus).
  4. Empathy - Going beyond logic and engaging emotion and intuition.
  5. Play - Bringing humor and light-heartedness to business and products.
  6. Meaning - the purpose is the journey, give meaning to life from inside yourself
As Lao Zu says - A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step
Yet to begin that journey, it is key to understand that it is an evolving process, no need to predict the ending, no need to try and write the middle...just look within to see if this journey makes you happy.
And though I am not 100% sold on the book, it did give me a lot of room for thinking and reality be told, it made me feel good about some of the career skills that I believe I have honed over the past decade and a half - a lot of it has to do with creativity and thinking outside the box, Empathy, Humor  and Being able to tell a story...and the author says that the value on these will not get commodotized.
Highlight of the evening was a 100 piece puzzle that K2 completed...his first 100 piece ever.WTG K2 !!!

How is the middle of the week rocking and rolling for you?


  1. Hi there, thanks so much for mentionning OneDesk in your post. You raise some very excellent points.


    Catherine Constantinides
    OneDesk, Inc

  2. Thanks Catherine...just read your comment :)