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

How often have we heard: "You can do anything once you set your mind to it," or "It's all in the way you look at it." This book helps readers unleash the straitjacket of your current thinking and unleash your potential with powerful new mental models so you can do the seemingly impossible! 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. Next, they show how to keep your models relevant and fresh. You'll learn how to develop new ways of seeing; when to change to a new model; how to swap amongst a portfolio of models; how to "zoom in and out" to understand complex environments; and how to do "mind RD" -- improving your models through constant experimentation. Wind and Crook tell why it's so hard to change mental models, and offer practical strategies for dismantling the "hardened missile silos" that are your old and obsolete models. Finally, they show how to access models quickly through intuition, and help you assess the effectiveness of any mental model.With profiles on Howard Schultz, Oprah Winfrey and Andy Grove the authors provide real examples of their ideas in action. Simply put, this is the first "hands-on" guide to enhancing your mental models: the key to breakthrough success in business -- and in life.

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Review:

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

From the Back Cover:

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 decisions

Understand what's real, so you can act on it

How people get "stuck," and what to do about it

How obsolete mental models keep you from making changes

The neuroscience of mental models

What scientists can teach us about perception—and reality

Creating new models

Practical 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 Zigarmi
Author 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 Ohmae
Author 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. Manz
Best-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 Pudar
Director of Strategic Initiatives, General Motors

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