Raja inspired me to create a resource page for Chapter Six: Symphony from Daniel Pink’s 2008 Book A Whole New Mind, I am hoping this post will be a useful accompaniment while you are actually reading the chapter.
All images in this post are links, click away. I have checked and rechecked the links, if any are broken do let me know.
The chapter starts with Daniel Pink portraying the first drawing class of Drawing on the Right Side of the brain experience. The class is structured to trick the left hemisphere then “the mind is free to see relationships and to integrate those relationships into a whole”. If seeing relationships is so critical in what ways can we accomplish this, at least in drawing negative spaces, shadows, distance between features come handy. Start from below to trick the left and activate the right.
What does it take to see relationships and the 3 types of people
1. Boundary Crossers
Who solve other domain problems with their perspective and leap if thought. Nicholas Negroponte archives from Wired is a great place to start
Who can get into a flow state and possibly blend concepts from one domain to other. At http://markturner.org/ you can get more details on conceptual blending and how it applies to invention
3. Metaphor Makers
Who can imagine metaphors and forge connections and communicate those experiences to others
This part explains “What does it take to see the big picture”. Here he explains how entrepreneurs and innovators who have the capacity look holistic, across various aspects prosper.
This part explains the final day of the drawing class where he actually accomplishes a better self-portrait. I have been drawing for more than a year now and I personally see significant improvements in the portraits I draw.
As with every other chapter the portfolio part of this chapter is interesting
Hear Music Activity
Start to hear some great samples from the classical music genre, you can find at least one good rendition with a single search.
· Beethoven’s 9 th Symphony
· Mozart’s Symphony 35 Haffners Symphony
· Mahler’s 4 th Symphony in G Major
· Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture
· Haydn’s Symphony 94 in G Major Surprise
Hit the Newsstand Activity
I would say hit the library on a Friday and browse older issues of magazines that you have never read, borrow them for the weekend
One of the exercises that Daniel Pink suggests is a 5 line self-portrait, try it. It is fun, with just 5 lines can you draw your face?
Maintaining Metaphor log Activity
This is a simple exercise; just capture any compelling or surprising metaphors that you come across. Not just that try capturing metaphors that you use by simply being aware of what you are speaking. One week and your log will be so wide and rich, after this you can actually see the power behind creating meaning with the metaphors.
Following Links Activity
It is a fun exercise to follow just a single link from a web page and going deeper and deeper. After you have reached the 6 th level, just try making the connections between them all the way back to where you started and see how we can actually learn by serendipity.
Random Website generates random urls. Another great way is Google Reader Play.
Look For Solutions in Search of Problems Activity
Using 2 powerful questions from Yale professors Ian Ayres and Barry Nalebuff to examine existing solutions (possibly in your project)
· Where else would it work?
· Would flipping it work?
Creating an Inspiration Board Activity
When on a project, just keep tacking compelling pictures, fabric, page to a physical board. Over a period it will serve as a wild collage from which connections can be made and will always expand and enliven your work.
Business drive comes in different flavors,
1 Take state bank of india that is predominantly process driven average age of employees is in the high 40s and there is a huge wave of retirements upcoming, and without understanding of the processes it will be difficult to improve productivity beyond a point at branch level. Other than the usual training, employees seem to have no access to other learning methods, and networks seem to form only around personal magnets, people who get transferred most or as part of some union or an executive initiative. Really there is no in built support for natural communities to form and develop. Is this not a problem that KM can solve?
2 Or Idiom whose business is really creative endeavors When we vis,ited Idiom (equivalent of Ideo in India and has done some great work) the entire KM system (they don’t call it that) was with one librarian (they don’t call him that), who simply knew from the company’s history what work had they done and where we can find references (which are typically pieces of design). None of this is re-used, just because of the nature of their business. What they do with these design artifacts is observe how it had evolved and retain them as props to tell better stories and give all employees a sense of history. Much of their ground floor in the Bangalore office is occupied by these artifacts, it is really a walk down memory lane. Is this not great KM?
3 Or a Qualcomm that is purely technology driven, Where weak signals on technology evolution direction need to be surfaced and magnified. Tremendous scope for multiple safe-fail experiments outside the scope and investment of RD department that will have direct business tie-in. Most likely there is already something brewing, is it not necessary to know where techies are putting their time outside of their day job just on pure passion? If we came to know of it, will the company invest to just encourage it. (OK lets for a moment forget privacy, IP concerns etc). Is this out of bounds for KM? Point I am trying to make is “fitting KM” comes from understanding the organization drive, nature of business and culture and designing actions to suit the motives at ground level. I am sure then KM will not be called “intervention”.