Daniel H. Pink wrote a fascinating book, A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age (New York: Riverhead Books, 2005). I have found the work to be extremely relevant to so much of what is happening in our society today. In particular, Pink explains the importance of design:
“Design is a high-concept aptitude that is difficult to outsource or automate—and that increasingly confers a competitive advantage in business. Good design, now more accessible and affordable than ever, also offers us a chance to bring pleasure, meaning, and beauty to our lives.” (p. 86)
I agree with Pink’s assertion and I understand how design fits into his overall argument that we are moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age. We are more than just the data we accumulate. We need to make sense of the data and decide how it best fits into our world and how it makes our world a better place. That is where design becomes indispensable. It seems to me that moving into this new Conceptual Age, it will be those persons with design skills who will add the most value.
The good news is you do not have to be a designer to think like a designer. You can look for design opportunities in every aspect of your current role and in strategizing your future roles. Organizations can renew their emphasis on design above data. After all, it will only be those persons and those organizations who adopt design’s power who will then persist and prosper in the Conceptual Age.
Think like a designer. Live long and prosper.