Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Putting Your "Right" Mind to It

Will the MFA (Master of Fine Arts) surpass the MBA as a more desired higher education degree in the corporate world? Daniel H. Pink thinks so.

Pink, the author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, persuasively argues that technical know-how, the domain of left-brained thinkers, has already had its day. Left-brain thinking brought the technological innovations (laptops, handhelds) we commonly use; however, the amazing progress of automation has created a tremendous worldwide glut of technical skills. As a result, many information technology jobs are being outsourced to countries like India and the Philippines for a fraction of the cost.

In this well-written, fast-paced book, the author claims that more and more corporations are trying to get a step ahead of the competition by seeking right-brainers, creative people who see connections between apparently divergent ideas. In fact, Pink notes that some firms have actually hired poets and artists to breathe a cultural aesthetic into the company.

After introducing his premise, Pink turns to what he calls the six right-brain senses necessary to succeed in today’s business environment: design (sheer beauty—think iPhone), story (narrative powers), symphony (realizing the harmony of diverse elements), empathy (understanding and feeling for others), play (the ability to have fun and laugh at life), and meaning (understanding the greater significance of things). Portfolio sections at the end of each of these chapters provide numerous practical ideas to cultivate your right-brain leanings.

As a writer, I found this book helpful. If you’re often under the gun to write at work, you should enjoy this quick read. A special thanks for recommending the book to Marzena Ermler, Coordinator of Professional Development, Office of Staff Development, the New York Public Library.

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