In 2005, visionary thinker Dan Pink wrote a wonderful book about what characteristics will be necessary and valued as the economy moves to a Conceptual Age.  A Whole New Mind is as relevant now as it was then as we have more information than we can process and exponentially greater demands on our time and attention.

Pink’s thesis is that as we move from the Information Age (knowledge workers) to the Conceptual Age (creators and empathizers), high tech is no longer enough.  He maintains that we need high touch too.

Specifically, Pink believes that to be in demand in these times we need six characteristics:

1.  Design — what we create needs to go beyond function to have “utility enhanced by significance.”

2.  Story — to construct a compelling narrative enhanced by emotion instead of just the raw data that is so abundantly available.

3.  Symphony — his word synthesis — making connections between the information that exists.  (Can you say connecting the dots?!)

4.  Empathy — understanding the personal side of the human connections

5.  Play — something that computers can’t do but humans can — so Pink relishes humor, laughter and lightheartedness

6.   Meaning — significance and purpose — working toward something bigger than yourself.

As I head into my employee “evaluation season” I am reminded that those who contribute most add attributes that go far beyond the tasks that they accomplish.   Pink’s book may serve as a primer for you to think about how you are touching your organizational environment and the people in it. 

— beth triplett

A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink, 2005, Riverhead Books

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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