What Hugh McLeod refers as to the Creative Age (also nod to Richard Florida's Rise of the Creative Class), what Daniel Pink calls the Conceptual Age, and what David Wolfe calls the Transcendental Age (I highly recommend Ageless Marketing) all revolve around a particular mindset, or a philosophy to life. Perhaps we're collectively rising up on Maslow's pyramind towards self-actualization. Look at those six attributes for success in the Conceptual Age closely, and you'll see what I mean. And add to that Tom Peters believes empathy is the most important of the six.
As a consultant (ughh, that's hard one to swallow. I'm really a product person meaning I like scalable self-sustaining systems - not one-offs), I feel compelled to throw up a magic quadrant (you know, one of those matrixes that Gartner popularized).
I'll be honest and say this hasn't gelled yet. But imagine if you will two axes. On one, you have zero-sum and non-zero sum thinking. And in the other court, you have the divide between I/You and We thinking.
In regards to a question on outsourcing at the Outsource-Proof Your Career webinar, Daniel Pink more-or-less (my notes, not a transcript):
I don't see it as a zero-sum game. Sounds cheezy but everyone can grow together. Just because a job is created in India doesn't mean another isn't created here. It doesn't have to mean that Americans have to sink.
The only thing worse than a paranoid entrepreneur is a paranoid entrepreneur who talks to his dog. There is much more to gain, feedback, connections, opened doors by freely discussing your idea than there is to lose. If simply discussing your idea makes it indefensible, you don't have much of an idea in the first place.
And if you dig into these concepts of non-zero and "we" thinking (for examples of 'We' thinking, check out The Art of Possibility), which is beyond the scope of this post as I gotta get back to work but I will follow-up in future, it explains why there is a philsophical gulf in understanding. Why some people hang onto command-and-control hierarchies as if their lives depended on it while others advocate decentralized, wisdom of the crowds structures. Why some broadcast unilateral positioning messages and others glimpse the future is conversational and participatory. Why some guard 'secrets' and other share freely. Why some believe someone has to lose in order for another to gain.
I read Bread and Butter: What a Bunch of Bakers Taught Me About Business and Happiness by the COO of Great Harvest Bread Company just after the start-up imploded, circa spring 2001. In each Great Harvest store they give out a piece of bread to each customer that enters. Yes, it's a sample, but their intention isn't in the spirit of handing out a sample. It's intended purely as a gift. No expectations. No strings. Nada. I read this and was baffled. I totally got win-win relationships where each party had something to gain and synergy and the concept of quid pro quo. But I was stunned - no expectations of anything in return. To give just to give. It took a long time grok that at any deep level.
Hugh says it is spiritual. Well, yes, we all act out of what we put our faith into.
"The biggest question for humanity is: is the universe a friendly place?" - Albert Einstein