Mind Set - John Naisbitt
Mindset100John Naisbitt begins this book with a reference to the story The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery. If you’ve not read that book then I strongly recommend that you do. It’s a ‘children’s’ story, (he talks of reading it to his six year old), and can be read in even the most hectic of schedules.

The reference Naisbitt makes to ‘The Little Price’ is to how we don’t see what is before us, only what we are able to see, and this idea echoes throughout the book.

In the first half of the book he describes eleven mindsets or ways through which we see and understand the world. The key point here is that the world doesn’t exist for us to observe, it exists because we observe it, and exists only in the ways that we are able to observe it.

In the eleven mindsets the description covers both what we see because of how we see, and what we may be able to see should we be able to change how we see.

I won’t list the eleven mindsets, but a few of them I found particularly useful,

4. Understanding how powerful it is not to have to be right
5. See the future a as picture puzzle.
9. You don’t get results by solving problems but by exploiting opportunities.
11. Don’t forget the ecology of technology

In the second half of the book he then takes some of these mindsets and applies them to what we are encouraged to call the ‘real world’ and extrapolates some futures.

Here there are some interesting thoughts on our movement towards a visually centered culture, an economic shift from nation states to economic domains and some scathing perspectives on Europe. Personally whilst this is the part of the book that attracts most attention, I find this less interesting. Having described the mechanism of mindsets as the vehicle to see in new ways, to then suggest what we will see in the future seems to offer answers and obscure the fact that the real jewel of the book is that he is inviting us to ask questions.

However this is a thought provoking book, and well worth reading.

Steve Unwin
July 2009