Seeing the bigger picture

Here are some thoughts, based on books I’ve read, which have helped shape my views of “community” and “communication” by helping me to understand the importance of using both the left as well as the right hemisphere of my brain.  It is something that all marketers (especially digital marketers) need to understand:


In Persuading Aristotle Thompson describes pathos [passion] as the “work of the heart” and logos [logic] as the “work of the head” stating that “to communicate an idea effectively, you must use both the left and right sides of your brain in order to connect with both sides of the listener’s brain… a [communicator] has the flexibility to meet the other person on their own terms.” (Thompson, 1998)


“Our brains are divided into two hemispheres. The left hemisphere is sequential, logical, and analytical. The right hemisphere is nonlinear, intuitive, and holistic…Today, the defining skills of the previous era – the ‘left brain’ capabilities that powered the Information Age – are necessary but no longer sufficient. And the capabilities we once disdained or thought frivolous – the ‘right brain’ qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaning – increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders. For individuals, families and organizations, processional success and personal fulfilment now require a whole new mind.” (Pink, 2008 p3)

“we have progressed from a society of farm workers to a society of factory workers to a society of knowledge workers.  And now we’re progressing yet again – to a society of creators and emphathizers, of pattern recognizers and meaning makers.” (Pink, 2008 p50)

When facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable. What begins to matter more is the ability to place these facts in context and to deliver them with emotional impact. (Pink, 2008 p 103)

“Storytelling doesn’t replace analytical thinking,” he says. “It supplements it by enabling us to imagine new perspectives and new worlds…. Abstract analysis is easier to understand when seen through the lens of a well-chosen story.” (Denning, as cited in Pink, 2008 p 108)

“…the Conceptual Age also demands the ability to grasp the relationships between relationships.  This meta-ability goes by many names – systems thinking, gestalt thinking, holistic thinking. I prefer to think of it simply as seeing the big picture.  Seeing the big picture is fast becoming a killer app in business.” (Pink, 2008 p 141)

“Daniel Goleman writes about a study of executives at fifteen large companies: ‘Just one cognitive ability distinguished star performers from average: pattern recognition, the ‘big picture’ thinking that allows leaders to pick out the meaningful trends from a welter of information around them and to think strategically far into the future.” (Goleman, as cited in Pink, 2008 p 142)

“Empathy allows us to see the other side of an argument, comfort someone in distress, and bite our lip instead of uttering something snide.” (Pink, 2008 p 160)

“But empathy is much more than a vocational skill necessary for surviving twenty-first-century labor markets. It’s an ethic for living. It’s a means of understanding other human beings – as Darwin and Ekman found, a universal language that connects us beyond country or culture. Empathy makes us human. Empathy brings joy. (Pink, 2008 p 165)



Denning, S., 2001. The Springboard: How storytelling ignites action in knowledge-era organizations. Butterworth Heiman.

Ekman, P., 2003. Emotions Revealed. Times Books.

Goleman, D., 1998. Working with Emotional Intelligence. Bantam p 33

Pink, D., 2008. A Whole New Mind: why right-brainers will rule the future. London: Riverhead Books (Penguin)

Thompson, P., 1998. Persuading Aristotle: The timeless art of persuasion in business, negotiation and the media. St. Leonards, NSW Australia: Allen & Unwin


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