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Say What? Daniel Pink on Left-Brain vs. Right-Brain Thinkers

"In many professions, what used to matter most were abilities associated with the left side of the brain: linear, sequential, spreadsheet kind of faculties. Those still matter, but they're not enough.

What's important now are the characteristics of the brain's right hemisphere: artistry, empathy, inventiveness, big-picture thinking. These skills have become first among equals in a whole range of business fields."

— Daniel H. Pink, a former speechwriter for Al Gore, on how right brainers will lead the way in the 21st century. Design and storytelling will be more important, he argues, than more traditionally left-brained activities like accounting and computer programming.


Join The Conversation
heatherhas heatherhas 8 years
I get this. The last IT director I worked for was hired because he was a "visionary". The city wanted someone who was a big dreamer to stay ahead of all of the IT trends. The major issue was that he sometimes had a hard time communicating with staff and seemed aloof. He was also a "futurist" who would essentially predict the future.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I'm with Symphonee on this one.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
Both types have always been needed. To say that one is more relevant than the other in the business world is narrow minded and faulty.
vinigrette vinigrette 8 years
Interesting. I guess the author must be very forward-looking. About a year ago I read the book Supercrunchers, which argues just the opposite - analytical skill and the ability to draw meaning from vast amounts of data is becoming more and more important. Perhaps we will always need both types of people - the crunchers and the story-tellers. But in lean times, a lot of companies want one person that can do both.
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