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Book Review: Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind

I am already a Daniel Pink fan after Free Agent Nation and The Adventures of Johnny Bunko.   A Whole New Mind, written after Free Agent Nation and before Johnny Bunko, is another very good, thought-provoking book.  According to Pink, Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning are the six skills that will define success in the 21st century.  Pink offers vivid descriptions and examples for each, as well as a “Portfolio” with exercises and resources to try.

Take a drawing class.  Learn to read faces.  Walk a labyrinth.  Write your own caption for New Yorker comics.  These are among the many suggestions Pink offers for developing these traits.  For these alone, the book is fun.  But the colorful ideas throughout the book — including that the MFA is the new MBA — are equally entertaining (if not entirely convincing).  Frankly, I can see this book appealing to the MBA looking to stretch more than the artist looking for a new argument for adding value.  Am I wrong?  f there are creatives who are using this book to define new justification for their work, please let me know! 

If there are artists/ creatives out there looking to enter corporate America or to make your way up the management ladder in whatever business you’re in, I would devour this book and use its arguments to support your case.  A Whole New Mind would also be a great pick for a book club looking for group activities — there is no shortage of suggestions in this book.  Group storytelling anyone?

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