The Power of Impossible Thinking: Transform the Business of Your Life and the Life of Your Business

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9780131425026: The Power of Impossible Thinking: Transform the Business of Your Life and the Life of Your Business
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This book is about getting better at making sense of the world...so you can make decisions that respond to reality, not some obsolete model of reality. Drawing on the latest neuroscientific research and their experience with corporate transformations, Jerry Wind and Colin Crook explain how your mental models stand between you and reality, distorting all your perceptions...and how they create both limits and opportunities. You'll learn how to develop new ways of seeing...how to keep your mental models fresh and relevant...when to change to a new model...how to build a portfolio of models...and improving your models through constant experimentation. Better mental models = smarter decisionsUnderstand what's real, so you can act on it How people get "stuck," and what to do about itHow obsolete mental models keep you from making changesThe neuroscience of mental modelsWhat scientists can teach us about perception-and realityCreating new modelsPractical ways to see things in new ways-fast "Wind and Crook have written a marvelous book that can teach you how to think more effectively in personal and business settings. Read it and learn!"Drea ZigarmiAuthor of The Leader Inside: Learning Enough About Yourself To Lead Others and co-author of Leadership and the One Minute Manager"We like to say, 'See it with your mind's eye.' Wind and Crook show us that our mind is our eye. What we think is what we see, and what we see directs how we act. Not only do the authors make this paradigm clear, but they offer concrete and practical ways to change our mind's eye and as a consequence change our actions and the results we get. The value of that is hard to top."J. Stewart Black, Ph.D.co-author of Leading Strategic Change and Professor, University of Michigan Business School"I have been trying to explain why Japan has fallen into a pitfall and cannot come out of even the simplest problems. One can call it an innovators dilemma, but that does not solve the problem. This book suggests we have to go back to the basics of reviewing our underlying 'mental models' now and then, and only then, have to construct a new model, perhaps plural, and move onto exploring the new terrain."Kenichi OhmaeAuthor of the international bestseller, The Borderless World"While most of us may recognize that the world we respond to is more in our mind than in any physical reality, often we don't have a clue why this is so. This very important book clearly explains how our mental models work to construct these distinct inner worlds. And more importantly it offers empowering advice on how we can use this knowledge to work for us rather than against us in creating a better outer world for ourselves, our organizations, and our societies."Charles C. ManzBest-selling author of SuperLeadership, Fit to Lead, and Temporary Sanity"This is an important book that 'makes sense of how we make sense.' The authors provide a thorough, fresh, and compelling exploration into the dimensions of mental models. All leaders who want to be more effective in their actions would be served well to leverage the principles in this book to learn about how they think and make sense of the world around them."Nick PudarDirector of Strategic Initiatives, General Motors

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The world you live in is all in your mind, according to Wharton Business School Professors Yoram Wind and Colin Crook. The Power of Impossible Thinking is a witty and lucid translation of neuroscience research about "mental models"--the deeply ingrained assumptions and images that shape our reality and influence opportunities for success and failure. "Our models are gated communities," say Crook and Wind, who offer a superb crash course on the power and limit of mental models.

The key questions: How do you know when an old model is worn out? How do you avoid "cognitive lock," filtering out information that conflicts with your model? How do you know a new model will live up to its hype? Many of the answers lie in "Mind R&D"--developing an inventory of new and old models and refining your intuition to fit your current reality. These engaging ideas are detailed with portraits of three impossible thinkers (Oprah Winfrey, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Intel's Andy Grove) and vivid examples (The music industry vs. Napster, a French fry cancer scare, O-rings on the Challenger). Wind and Crook make such a brilliant case for new ways of seeing that readers may wish for more coaching to recognize the obsolete models that keep us from changing our minds. --Barbara Mackoff

About the Author:

Yoram (Jerry) Wind is The Lauder Professor, Professor of Marketing, and Founding Director of the Wharton Fellows Program and the SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at The Wharton School. A world-renowned marketing expert, his 20 books include Convergence Marketing and Driving Change, and he has been recognized with many major marketing awards. He has advised Fortune 500 firms, non-U.S. multinationals, governments, and entrepreneurial ventures in industries ranging from financial services to consumer goods.

Colin Crook is senior fellow of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Advisory Board member of Rein Capital, editorial board member of the journal Emergence and has served on numerous National Academy committees and advisory groups. He has provided advice to governments and businesses around the world, and is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (UK). He was formerly Chief Technology Officer for Citicorp.

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