For anyone thinking about the career skills that will be required to thrive in this era of globalisation I highly recommend reading “A Whole New Mind” by Dan Pink. Here is a description of the book taken from Dan’s web site:

Lawyers. Accountants. Radiologists. Software engineers. That’s what our parents encouraged us to become when we grew up. But Mom and Dad were wrong. The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind. The era of “left brain” dominance, and the Information Age that it engendered, are giving way to a new world in which “right brain” qualities-inventiveness, empathy, meaning-predominate. That’s the argument at the center of this provocative and original book, which uses the two sides of our brains as a metaphor for understanding the contours of our times.

More from the book’s introduction:

“The book describes a seismic – though as yet undetected – shift now underway in much of the advanced world. We are moving from an economy and a society built on the logical, linear, computerlike capabilities of the Information Age to an economy and society built on the inventive, empathic, bog-picture capabilities of what’s rising in its place, the Conceptual Age.”

Pink describes two ways of thinking. The first is L-Directed thinking, exemplified by computer programmers, who are comfortable with logical, sequential, computer like reasoning. R-Directed thinking is characteristic of the right side of the brain – simultaneous, metaphorical, aesthetic, contextual and synthetic. Pink argues that while the Information Age clearly valued L-Directed thinking, the Conceptual Age will be driven by R-Directed thinking. Dependency and the left side of the brain will no longer be sufficient – we need a Whole New Mind.

Another quote from the book:

“The outsourcing of routine software work is putting a new premium on software engineers with high-concept abilities.”

Certainly food for thought for web professionals.