“Who’s speaking today?” asked one of my co-workers at the conference center I worked at a few years ago. I quipped, “Some guy named Daniel Pink.” Little did I know that his message would intrigue me to learn as much as I have about behavioral science and its impact on motivation.
Because it was April 1st the attendance was abyssal but his topic was extraordinary. His book A Whole New Mind was a New York Times Best Seller and the former speech writer for Al Gore was making the circuit touting a message – in his words “making a case” for doing business and life in a whole new way.
Since most of my schooling concentrated on “left-brain” thinking and learning his challenge was refreshing. “Today, the defining skills of the previous era – the ‘left brain’ capabilities that powered the Information Age – are necessary but no longer sufficient. And the capabilities we once disdained or thought frivolous-the ‘right brain’ qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness and meaning-increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders.” This wasn’t a feeling. He wasn’t expressing a philosophy. He was backing up his findings with empirical data that rocked the very core of what I had been taught.
Mind you, I knew in my gut (I’m a “N” – Intuitive – on the Myers-Briggs) that the skill set labeled as “soft” mattered. But now there was evidence. Those who poked fun at me with disdain, “That’s touchy-feely crap!” would have to listen. Could it be true that EQ (Emotional Quotient) matters as much as IQ?
For my own study I put together a MindMap Summary of A Whole New Mind.
I’m grateful Pink’s message continues to pick up steam. He has just published a new book with more evidence to support his case – Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. I spent two days last week at Barnes and Noble ferociously taking notes. No doubt I will be sharing some things. For now, watch this clip from his talk at TED.
And…let me know what you think.