More than ever before, humans are searching for meaning. We’re in the midst of a shift in our collective consciousness.
In his book, A Whole New Mind, Daniel Pink describes this shift as a move away from “left-brained” analytical thinking and materialistic consumerism toward a more holistic “right-brained” approach that emphasizes aptitudes like design, storytelling, symphonic thinking, empathy, play, and the pursuit of meaning.
He quotes Gregg Easterbrook, an American journalist, on this topic: “A transition from material want to meaning want is in progress on an historically unprecedented scale–involving hundreds of millions of people–and may eventually be recognized as the principal cultural development of our age.”
Heady stuff. If we’re to believe that the primary “want” in our lives has become meaning, then it follows that individuals and organizations will need to change their patterns of interaction.
Of particular interest to me is how organizations and corporations will change to meet this shifting tide, and, as a communicator, how I can influence and shape that change. Gone are the days of traditional marketing with it’s emphasis on newspaper clippings and interruption advertising. Digital media (blogs, podcasts, social media, videos, among others) is giving businesses incredible opportunities to engage customers and stakeholders in ways never before possible. Coupled with compelling content, these technologies, and the companies that use them well, will have the power to change the way we do business.
I’m excited to be on the forefront of this transformation, and I look forward to hearing stories of your search for meaning (personal or business-related) as well.
1. Daniel Pink, A Whole New Mind (Riverhead Books, 2005).
2. Gregg Easterbrook, The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse (Random House, 2003), 317.