Monday, February 09, 2009

The OSI Interview: Daniel Pink

Daniel Pink probably doesn't need much of an intro, but here it is anyway, straight from his site: Daniel H. Pink is the author of a trio of provocative, best-selling books on the changing world of work.

His newest work is The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need, the first American business book in the Japanese comic format known as manga. (In 2007, he won a Japan Society Media Fellowship that took him to Tokyo to study the manga industry.) Before that, he wrote A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, a long-running New York Times and BusinessWeek bestseller that has been translated into 18 languages. His first book was Free Agent Nation: The Future of Working For Yourself, which Publishers Weekly says “has become a cornerstone of employee-management relations.”

Dan's articles on business and technology appear in many publications, including the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and Wired, where he is a contributing editor. He has provided analysis of business trends on CNN, CNBC, ABC, NPR, and other networks in the U.S. and abroad. He also lectures to corporations, associations, and universities around the world on economic transformation and the new workplace.

(So, the man is a genius, and yes, it is taking a lot for me not to type OMG he's on my blog!)

1. In the context of your work, which bits of minutiae matter most?
I think it's the small details in products or services or a piece of writing. It could be a sentence in a book that isn't fancy, but is perfect. It could be the way my iPhone fits so well into my hand. Stopping to notice the details can be a joy.

2. Which bits matter least?
A few come to mind. First, email. Lots of unnecessary minutiae there! Second, some day-to-day hassles that seem urgent in the moment, but ultimately don't matter. Being a few minutes late to a meeting. Someone not returning a phone call. Those sorts of things.

3. In the context of your life, what types of minutiae once seemed important, but have since fallen by the wayside? Why?

The moment I ceased caring what other people thought was one of the most liberating moments in my life. I don't mean that in a rude way. It's just that if you get bogged down trying to please everyone or worrying about how you look to others, you'll never do anything worthwhile.

4. What types of minutiae, if any, have you had to train yourself to pay closer attention to?
Seeing the negative space.

5. Just for kicks -- what are your favorite bits of minutiae (personal, from a book, a piece of music, a movie, etc.)?
I don't know if these qualify, but I'd include: My son's laugh; the smell of the newspaper in the morning; the solidity of my desk. Not sure anyone else notices these things, but I sure enjoy them.

Dan, thank you!

Know someone crazy-amazing? Want to see them interviewed? Leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do for you!


Michelle said...

OMG, Dan Pink is on your blog! (If you won't say it, I will!!!) Um, do you know that OPRAH interviewed him for her magazine? You're in great company! Mazel Tov!

La Traductora said...

Dear Emma,
I believe that your questions, while seemingly nonconsequential, brilliantly reveal the whole person and not just the public face. It is so easy to forget that these people are just human (and almost) just like the rest of us--with the exception of one or two things that make them unique. I can't wait to read his book.
Gracias, Emma!

Emma said...

M - thank you, it needed to be said!

La T - I'm so glad you're enjoying this series! My hope was that other people would find these details as interesting as I do. ¡Por nada, mi amiga!