Pulse August 2017 - Page 52

ASK THE EXPERT DANIEL PINK BY KELLY HEITZ As one of the best-selling nonfiction authors of the past decade, DANIEL PINK is one speaker we’re all excited to see at the 2017 ISPA Conference & Expo. His five books on work, business, and behavior give incredible insight into human nature and work culture, and his passion for his research and subject is sure to have you on the edge of your seat—just ask one of the 19 million viewers of his TED Talk on the science of motivation, which is one of the top ten most watched of all time! Win a copy of Pink’s best-selling book, To Sell is Human! Post a photo with #ISPA2017 on Instagram before Sept. 1. For this month’s Ask the Expert, we dug a little deeper into how Pink’s most forward- thinking ideas have stood the test of the fast-paced times we Pulse: In your book A Whole New Mind, you explain why the future is in the hands of the right brain, creative thinkers. That book was published 12 years ago. Do right brain thinkers still hold the keys to the kingdom? Pink: Pretty much. In that book, I argued that certain kinds of skills — linear, SAT, spreadsheet skills — were still necessary but no longer sufficient. They’ve become easy to outsource to low-wage countries and easy to automate. As a result, artistic, empathic, inventive skills were becoming the ones that mattered most. That’s still true. But what I didn’t expect was how quickly artificial intelligence was going to progress — self- driving cars, facial recognition, and beyond. Artificial intelligence, I think, will begin nibbling away at some right- brain skills, too. I don’t think that will happen all that much in the next, say, 10 years. But in the next 20 years, all bets are off. P: Do you think people have gotten better at using both sides of the brain as a result of the design-driven, story- telling world we now live in? DP: In many ways. Think about design. So many people in so many professions, now have at least a partial role in, say, designing a website or a social media profile or presentation. It 50 PULSE ■ August 2017 now live in and how those ideas will benefit the leaders in our industry. doesn’t mean that everyone is great at it, but that’s one skill that’s seeping into many jobs, even those that are not nominally “creative.” The same is becoming equally true for abilities like storytelling, composition, and empathy. They’ve become a larger component of many jobs. P: In Drive, you discuss the fact that people aren’t driven to work harder by monetary rewards, especially when creativity and decision-making skills are part of the work. Is this also a result of our shift in society towards the Conceptual Age? DP: First, it’s important to understand what the research says. It doesn’t say that people aren’t motivated by money. Money is a motivator. It just doesn’t work the way many people expect. Here’s what the science tells us: There’s a certain kind of reward that I call an “if-then” reward — as in “If you do this, then you get that.” If-then rewards are extremely effective for simple, routine, algorithmic tasks — processing paper, turning the same screw the same way on an assembly line. These kinds