Revenge of the Right Brain
I already liked Dan Pink and the work-for-yourself philosophy he promoted in his book, Free Agent Nation. (Check out his Free Agent FAQs page for details on the growng number of people joining the ranks of the solo self-employed.)Since reading a new article by Mr. Pink in the current issue of Wired magazine, I'm an even bigger fan of his. The article, called "Revenge of the Right Brain," asserts that the logical, left-brain thinking that ushered in the Information Age is evolving into what Pink calls the Conceptual Age -- an era where more creative, right-brain abilities rule.
Here's a nugget from the article:
"Until recently, the abilities that led to success in school, work, and business were characteristic of the left hemisphere. They were the sorts of linear, logical, analytical talents measured by SATs and deployed by CPAs. Today, those capabilities are still necessary. But they're no longer sufficient. In a world upended by outsourcing, deluged with data, and choked with choices, the abilities that matter most are now closer in spirit to the specialties of the right hemisphere -- artistry, empathy, seeing the big picture, and pursuing the transcendent."
Pink proves his case using three topics: Asia, automation and abundance. He says that many of the routine jobs that were in the past manned by "knowledge workers" -- such as accountants, computer programmers, technicians, etc. -- are being replaced by outsourcing and advancing technical automation.
His conclusion is that people with marketable right-brain skills will have a seat at the Conceptual Age dinner table. But the premise extends beyond the business world. It also means consumers are hungry for art, culture, beauty and more.
Here's another excerpt from the article:
"Liberated by prosperity but not fulfilled by it, more people are searching for meaning. From the mainstream embrace of such once-exotic practices as yoga and meditation to the rise of spirituality in the workplace to the influence of evangelism in pop culture and politics, the quest for meaning and purpose has become an integral part of everyday life. And that will only intensify as the first children of abundance, the baby boomers, realize that they have more of their lives behind them than ahead. In both business and personal life, now that our left-brain needs have largely been sated, our right-brain yearnings will demand to be fed."
Sounds like a great time to be a creative person.