Right-brainers are said to rule the future, according to author Daniel H. Pink. His book, A Whole New Mind, explains that it's time to ditch the dominance of left-brain thinking and start tapping in to the beauty and connectedness of the right-brain.
Our society has been built on left-brain thinking. The left side of the brain controls ration, logic and function and has been the favoured side of the brain as far back as the age of Hippocrates, while the right-side controls creativity and design.
Fast-forward to the 19th century and Western economies boomed during the Industrial Age with the advent of machines and mass production (left-brain thinking). In the 20th century, aka the Information Age, mass production faded while knowledge and information fuelled the developed world (more left-brain thinking).
The dawn of the 20th century and the Information Age is behind us, and it's time for the logical, analytical knowledge-workers to start being a lot more human and a lot less machine. Why? Machines put blue-collar workers out on the street and the white-collared are not far behind.
Now, in the 21st century, we have entered the Conceptual Age where white-collar, left brain businesses and professionals need to develop skills that computers can’t do better, faster and cheaper because efficiency alone just won’t cut it. Lawyers, Accountants, Software Engineers. If your job is based on efficiency, you're outta here.
Millions of people will lose their jobs to automation and overseas employment in the next five years, and it’s now, more than ever, that we need to humanise our workplaces with empathy, meaning and play.
To survive in this age, individuals and organisations need to ask these questions when it comes to making a living:
- Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
- Can a computer do it faster?
- Is what I’m offering in demand in an age of abundance?
Pink explains that High-Tech needs to be supported by High-Concept and High-Touch. Because we live in the age of abundance, we are over satisfied with material goods and are in search for meaning and transcendence. Beauty, emotion and connectedness are higher on our priority lists along with empathy and play. What we do needs to satisfy the aesthetic, emotional and spiritual demands of this prosperous time.
Pink describes the six senses that will help us all achieve great success in the Conceptual Age ahead - all which can not be shipped overseas or be out performed by a computer.
- Design - Brings more pleasure meaning and beauty to our lives.
- Story- Personal narratives help us to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our purpose.
- Symphony- The ability to be unconventional, put the pieces together and see the perfection in imperfection.
- Empathy- Our ability to put ourselves in someone else's shoes, to understand what the other person is feeling.
- Play- Tapping in to what is lost from our childhood - our sense of imagination, creativity and humour.
- Meaning - Connecting to something that is bigger than ourselves and embracing our spirituality.
We are searching for more, but not of what is effective, logical or useful - but of what enriches our lives with joy and meaning.