A Whole New Mind

800-CEO-READ Blog (Jack Covert) recommends “A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age” by Dan Pink:

A Whole New Mind looks at the right brain/left brain differences and shows how those historical issues are radically changing. As I learned during a weekend in Vermont with Tom Peters, Dan Pink also believes that: The MFA is the new MBA. Pink points out that design and traditional right brain thinking will be the course of the future. The first part of the book gives a primer on how the brain works with great stories from Pink on how his brain was scanned and stimulated and how the different parts of his brain responded. He then goes into pages and pages of supporting stories and examples from his extensive research. Excellent reading!

Pink states that we are entering the Conceptual Age and to prepare for it we need to improve six essential abilities. They are: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play and Meaning. These abilities are the chapter heading for the final six chapters. At the end of each of the chapters, Pink has a Portfolio which is a combination of tools, exercises, and further reading culled from his research and travels that can help you sharpen each sense.

Attention Deficit Trait

News.com has an interview with Dr. Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist who’s studied attention deficit disorder for more than a decade:

[ADT is] sort of like the normal version of attention deficit disorder. But it’s a condition induced by modern life, in which you’ve become so busy attending to so many inputs and outputs that you become increasingly distracted, irritable, impulsive, restless and, over the long term, underachieving. In other words, it costs you efficiency because you’re doing so much or trying to do so much, it’s as if you’re juggling one more ball than you possibly can.

Symptoms: When people find that they’re not working to their full potential; when they know that they could be producing more but in fact they’re producing less; when they know they’re smarter than their output shows; when they start answering questions in ways that are more superficial, more hurried than they usually would; when their reservoir of new ideas starts to run dry; when they find themselves working ever-longer hours and sleeping less, exercising less, spending free time with friends less and in general putting in more hours but getting less production overall.

Productive Friction

John Hagel has co-authored a new book to be published soon: “The Only Sustainable Edge: Why Business Strategy Depends On Productive Friction And Dynamic Specialization.” He has a note on productive friction:

Many analysts have discussed techniques for getting people from different backgrounds to work productively together within the enterprise. One of the best books on this subject is Dorothy Leonards Wellsprings of Knowledge, which develops the concept of creative abrasion. As difficult as it is to get creative abrasion to work within the enterprise, multiply those difficulties by an order of magnitude when collaboration spans the boundaries of multiple enterprises. And yet, in a world of increasing business specialization, this is where some of the most promising opportunities for innovation and capability building reside. If managers can figure out how to bring people from different highly specialized enterprises together to address shared business problems and opportunities and help them to bridge the many barriers that prevent these people from working effectively together, they can build a powerful foundation for sustained innovation and capability building.

Thats the opportunity we see for productive friction.