Book Review: Readings for the Conceptual Age and the Business Model Designer

I was finally able to catch up on some of the books and mags on my reading lists during a flight from Bangkok to Zurich where I was heading for a research project in Switzerland. The first book I tackled was a light but enjoyable read by Daniel H. Pink called A Whole New Mind. In this book the author argues that the world is shifting from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age. I think this illustrates an interesting trend and is worth the three hour read if you don't mind some of it's "self-help-like" nature that is supposed to help the reader smoothly transit into the so-called conceptual age. Pink outlines six essential aptitudes on which he thinks professional success and personal satisfaction will increasingly depend on. These are:

* Design
* Story
* Symphony
* Empathy
* Play
* Meaning

Quite an interesting set of characteristics that certainly apply to business design. If I were to write a job vacancy for a business model designer I would probably put all these aptitudes on the list to define the ideal candidate (with some additional ones...). So translating Daniel Pink's aptitudes to the search of an ideal business model designer might look something like this:

Design aptitude:
ability to frame the business environment and solution space in order to generate a range of possible business model prototypes.

Story aptitude:
ability to tell a compelling story in order to bring life to a business model;

Symphony aptitude:
ability to see the big picture, connect the seemingly unconnected and orchestrate the different building blocks of a business model.

Empathy aptitude:
ability to understand other people's view points, such as the one's of customers.

Play aptitude:
ability to spend time playing around and discovering one's own homo ludens in order to foster the discovery of innovative business models.

Meaning aptitude:
ability to make business models meaningful and relevant to your customers.

However, to all these right brain aptitudes I would probably add some basic left brain skills such as understanding cost requirements and revenue models... It's a little bit like looking for a hybridization between Frank Gehry, Mc Gyver and Jack Welch.