Thoughts on Daniel Pink’s A Whole New Mind

It’s funny how there are times in your life you get on a roll with really great books, sometimes 2 or 3 at a time, then there are other times when nothing catches your interest for months. Luckily for me I’m in the former state right now, as I’ve got 2 really great reads on my desk that are fully capturing my attention. One of these is Daniel Pink’s 2005 book “A Whole New Mind”. For those who haven’t read it and who have a passing interest in the future, pick it up and give it a few hours.
I’ve always had an interest in the grand, overarching themes that seem to propel our society forward. I can remember that since childhood. Questions that drove adults crazy; why do people work? Where does money start from? What’s the best thing to do? Pink’s work gives you a window into a larger structure in our society, the economic/social forces that are acting to change the world under our feet.
One thing we need to acknowledge is the changing structure of the tech world, particularly left brain tasks that can easily be outsourced to India where engineers will gladly do them for 90% discounted wages over western rates. Where we once had an advantage we are now struggling to find our feet. High speed internet connections and global connectivity has meant anyone who does one of these jobs needs to look seriously at a new career. If it’s possible to replace you, it’s just a matter of time. Jump before you’re pushed.
This has ramifications for the children we teach and the schools we run. To do them a service for the future, we need to look to the skills and attributes that can’t be outsourced, that will provide us with the best skillset and opportunities for the future. Pink does a good job with this as he talks about Design, Story and the 4 remaining human skills that are embedded in our culture and cannot be decontextualized.
It’s an important book, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone whose desk is empty. Hopefully a few more good reads will find their way to you, and you too will be awash in great ideas that point the way forward. Happy reading!


About Ron Sherman

I am the principal of Salmo Elementary/Secondary School, a small rural K-12 school in the Kootenay Lake School District. Happy to be part of the Grand Conversation, moving learning forward and joining with great people every day. Runner, triathlete, skier, blogger, loving husband and father of 2 great boys
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