A Whole New Mind – Symphony

posted February 5th, 2010 by Janet Graham - One Comment

I promised to share some of the collection of tools, exercises and further reading materials which Dan Pink provided in his book A Whole New Mind to send us on our way to developing each of the six essential aptitudes — what he calls the six senses on which professional and personal satisfaction increasingly will depend. One of the six senses is Symphony and Pink outlined a number of tools, exercises and reading materials which one might pursue to develop this sense. The following selection resonated with me.


Listen to the Great Symphonies

Pink says: “Listening to symphonies, not surprisingly, is an excellent way to develop your powers of Symphony. Here are five classics the experts recommend.”

Beethoven’s 9th Symphony
Mozart’s Symphony No. 35, “Haffner Symphony”
Mahler’s 4th Symphony in G Major
Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture
Haydn’s Symphony No. 94 in G Major, “Surprise”

Hit the Newstand

He says: “One of my favourite exercises in conceptual blending is the “newsstand roundup”. If you’re stymied on how to solve a problem, or just want to freshen your own thinking, visit the largest newsstand you can find. Spend 20 minutes browsing — and select ten publications that you’ve never read and would likely never buy. That’s the key: buy magazines you never noticed before. Then take some time to look through them. You don’t have to read every page of every magazine. But get a sense of what the magazine is about and what its readers have on their minds. Then look for connections to your own work or life.”

Follow the Links

My final choice is this one. Pink advises us to: “Play your own version of six degrees of separation courtesy of the Internet. Choose a word or a topic you find interesting, type it into a search engine, and then follow one of the links. From the initial site you visit, select one of its links, and venture on. Repeat this process seven or eight times, always clicking a new link from the site you’re currently viewing. At the end of your journey, reflect on what you learned about your original topic and the diversions you encountered along the way. What did you encounter because of your casual detours that you might otherwise not have found? What patterns or themes (if any) emerged? What unusual connections between seemingly unrelated thinking did you accidentally discover? Following the links is a commitment to learning by serendipity.”



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One Response to “A Whole New Mind – Symphony”

Comment from Sandy Graham
Time February 6, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Excellent suggestions by Pink. I receive a column called, “eHow of the Day” … which I receive every day in my email. It presents, “How to…situations”, that take me all over the Internet to rediscover or broaden my knowledge about scenarios/books/activities etc. that I want to learn more about.

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