Reading: Mindset

Mind Set!: Eleven Ways to Change the Way You See–and Create–the Future by John Naisbitt

In this book John Naisbitt explains his method of looking at the future. The book is divided in two parts. Part I, Mindsets, consists of 11 mindsets – certain rules to discipline the mind and filter information. In Part II, Pictures of the Future, he uses the 11 rules to come up with a future look at 5 topics – Culture, Economics, China, Europe and Our Evolutionary Era.

The author starts his book with the famous “hat” picture of The Little Prince that turns out to be a boa digesting an elephant, if you are able to see beyond the obvious.

The book is well written and a fast read that does not require too much focus – and that is precisely the problem. The book does not live up to its promise “eleven ways to change the way you see – and create – the future”. Although the covers promises to “disclose the secret of forecasting” the book does anything but. The eleven mindsets are broadly defined, and the five pictures of the future are each based on combining of a few of these mindsets, but it is never made clear why or how the author choose that combination.

The five topics are not exactly mind-blowing and in many cases poorly documented: “When I am asked what the future of Europe will be, the answer is that it is totally up to what the Europeans decide to do”. Enough said.
This is not a book that looks beyond the obvious. However, the message worth keeping: promote curiosity and open-mindedness when looking at the world.