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The Future of Work – Howard Gardner’s view

Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner came up with the idea of multiple intelligences. Rather than just looking at solving math problems or remembering things, there are a certain set of mental abilities that are becoming more important. In “Five Minds for the Future” he lays the capabilities out that will define the key areas in the future as:

  • Disciplined Mind: knowing one thing well and working on it, improving and achieving mastery.
  • Synthesizing Mind: the ability to deal with inundation of information; understanding what to pay attention to, what to ignore and how to put the information together.
  • Creative Mind: thinking outside the box, having new ideas.
  • Respectful Mind: asking what are one’s responsibilities as a worker or citizen, not “what are my rights”.
  • Ethical Mind: more than tolerance of differences; cultivating respect and emotional and interpersonal intelligence.

Some of the advanced and daring business schools of our age have taken up this approach to teach mindsets rather than a set of skills or disciplines. The IMPM at Insead is an example of this, and this trend will continue in the future.


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