Tuesday, April 6, 2010


This is my first post exploring Daniel Pink’s six senses, or essential aptitudes for success: design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. I’ll just go in order for ease of my memory!

Design: Not just creating a product, but creating something that is aesthetically pleasing.

Pink says, design is utility enhanced by significance. (p.70) We must master design for personal fulfillment and professional success. Design principles are crucial for differentiation in business. Good design, (well, even bad design) can change the world.

Pink suggests a few things to work on in this realm. First, pay attention to the things around you. How are things designed? What works well? What colors, shapes, materials are used?

  • Is there an item that you think needs to be improved? Draw a sketch of how you could improve the item.
  • Take a drawing/art class. Why is it that beyond about third grade, the drawing stops? In school, we could definitely encourage more students to represent their thoughts visually/graphically.
  • Instead of a typical outline, how about allowing – even encouraging – a storyboard? There are some great samples of these online that could jumpstart a writing workshop.

I think that in this global society we all must make ourselves more marketable. It never hurts to look for areas for improvement. From an educator standpoint, these six aptitudes are simple things we can incorporate into our classrooms.