I recently re-read Daniel Pink's book, A Whole New Mind
. I noticed now that it's out on paperback, the subtitle changed from "Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age" to "Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future."
The latter is probably more accessible and gets to the heart of the book. The premise is that with more technical jobs being eliminated due to automation and offshore outsourcing, we're left clinging to the one thing that computers and offshore resources can't replace---the soft skills. It's not that offshore people don't have the capacity to do this, it's just not effective from a remote location.
The books specifically outlines Six Senses that are now required to compete in today's market (I'd add that these were always needed for effectiveness, but now it's a necessity
for career survival). The Six Senses we need to build are:
1) Not just function, but DESIGN (the WOW factor)
2) Not just argument, but STORY (i.e. we need to be storytellers to make a good case)
3) Not just focus, but SYMPHONY (i.e. synthesis of complex relationships vs. heads-down analysis)
4) Not just logic, but EMPATHY (incidentally, the key trait in Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence
5) Not just seriousness, buy PLAY (fun leads to employee satisfaction, which leads to customer satisfaction and profits. Therefore, Fun=$ !)
6) Not just accumulation, but MEANING
FACT (not from the book, but relevant nonetheless): Per a recent management forum of 70 business schools, many of them are requiring less quantitative courses and more leadership courses. Also, a number of organizations are now recruiting design students instead of MBAs.
The key is that the logical, sequential left-brain stuff is still necessary, but we need to compliment it with the more contextual and feeling right-brain skills. With communication being 90% of a project manager's job, I'd say this directly applies to project managers as well.
Below is a link to Pink's book on Amazon...Amazon.com: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future: Books: Daniel Pink
Labels: bi-projects, business-case, career, customer, customer-service, empathy, it-project, job, leadership, outsourcing, people, project-manager, satisfaction, service-orientation