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Finding a Whole New Mind

Development with a Whole New Mind

I recently read Daniel Pink's book, A Whole New Mind, Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Needless to say it blew my mind! He is a wonderful writer that takes you on a journey that is informative and provocative.

Here is his basic thesis: Left-brain dominant thinkers have done a wonderful job of setting up systems to form the foundations for our companies, organizations, and structures. But they will not rule the future. The future will be ruled by the creative right brain thinkers who can look at the created systems and then build upon them finding new and innovative solutions.

He offers this historical viewpoint:

- Agricultural Age >>
- Industrial Age >>
- Information Age (where have been and are just leaving) >>
- Conceptual Age - (where we are entering into)

The Conceptual Age will demand a new way of thinking to problems. These new thinkers will be able to solve a problem by bringing in various viewpoints and solutions rather than the black and white MBA systems approach.

Before the left brainers all write to me, hear this. We ALL have left and right brain characteristics. It is when we are LEAD by the right or left that we look at solutions a certain way.

Mr. Pink then puts his future thinking into six senses:


As development officers this is a must read. Not only is the book interesting to read and learn from, it is very much a part of our work. We have donors from all four ages. We must understand how they view the world, problems, needs, and most importantly - solutions. An agricultural age person will value spiritual and homeless issues differently than an information age person.

Likewise, as we move into this Conceptual Age, if you are a systems person and now see that your problem solving skills are not as useful, you have some new things to learn. Depending on your age and job situation, this can be very disconcerting.

For example, a person who is strong in the Symphony senses is able to see all of the different type of instruments and bring them together in harmony. They are able to see at the "30,000 ft level" and look over the situation and find a solution. The "symphony leader" is able to see the solution by seeing all of the individual parts and how they can work together.

In our ministries, organizations, and development departments we have many people who think in different ways. Understanding how people think and process information will be very valuable in the future as we seek to solve problems, use human suffering, and share the Gospel of Jesus.

As a life long learner I recommend this book as a must read!


Dr. John R. Frank, CFRE