The basic premise is that three factors will change which skills are considered valuable in the coming years: Abundance, Asia, and Automation.
- Abundance - we don't "need" anything, purchases are now based primarily on "wants".
- Asia - there will always be someone, somewhere who can do your job just as well, but cheaper, somewhere else in the world.
- Automation - most of the rote, analytical, work that can be performed by computers, will be... and computers are only going to get smarter.
What this leads us towards is a world where people who have more Right-Brain skills - creators, empathizers, pattern-recognizers and meaning makers, these people, the artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers - will reap the societal rewards.
Mr. Pink suggests that there are six senses/skills that you need to thrive in the coming conceptual age: Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning.
He devotes a chapter to each of these six senses and closes the chapter with a portfolio of tools, ideas, and tips for you to improve that sense.
Here are just a couple of the tips/tools/ideas that I flagged:
- Design - read design magazines. Some of the suggestions include Dwell, HOW, etc.
- Story - get One Story, 18 times a year they send you a little book with exactly one story in it.
- Symphony - (the ability to put all the pieces together) - Learn to draw. I'm going to do this and I'll share the results as I progress.
- Empathy - voluteer, it is a great way to sharpen your empathic skills.
- Play - join a laughter club
- Meaning - visit a labyrinth
There are tons of other ideas he gives to improve these six senses. Overall I think the book was really good.