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Book Review: Free Agent Nation by Daniel Pink

April 27, 2002

Free Agent NationThis book is all about how America’s new independent workers are transforming the way we live and the economy in which we work. This book was recommended by a new friend and mentor and it has been timely indeed. The work that Daniel Pink has done to document the new business model sweeping America will undoubtedly have detractors and naysayers. Yet it fits with my own experience in the high technology market in which I have spent more than thirty years.

Mr. Pink points out that the largest employer in the U.S. is Milwaukee’s Manpower, Inc. and that two out of three workers in California do not hold traditional jobs. These facts, combined with the aging of the American Workforce, the need for more family friendly schedules, and advancing technology makes for a powerful prediction that more and more American workers will be Free Agents in the next century.

This book is full of interesting factoids, anecdotal data, and documented trends that not only make the point for Free Agency, but is convincing for the predictions made. The format of the book is also useful in that each chapter ends with ”The Box.”  This summary includes ”The Crux,” which is the salient point of the chapter; ”The Factoid” which is a major and usually surprising fact that supports the crux of the chapter; ”The Quote,” which is also lifted out of the chapter and serves to support the conclusions; and ”The Word,” which is usually a new word or phrase that Mr. Pink believes can be moved into the lexicon of the Free Agent.

A timely and useful book and one that all managers (who are toast according to Mr. Pink) and employees alike must take the time to read. Whether or not you are or plan to be a Free Agent, this book will prove extremely useful in understanding our workplace and the emerging economy.

Click to see it at Amazon.

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