The Power of Impossible Thinking

Start the Book

Recognize the power and limits of mental models

Our models define our world

Running the Miracle Mile

Keeping your models relevant

Off to the Races

New Maps

Transform Your World

Dismantle the Old Order

Find Common Ground to Bridge Adaptive Disconnects

Act Quickly and Effectively

Develop the Intuition to Act Quickly

Challenging Your Own Thinking

The Neuroscience Behind Mental Models

Keeping Your Models Relevant

Off to the Races

The horses are already out of the starting gate. Your life and your business continue to race forward. You have placed your bet on a given model, and it has probably served you well up until now. Is it time to change horses? How do you avoid making the mistakes that GEC made in shifting its business and mental models? How do you know when to switch horses? How do you avoid backing the wrong horse or making a series of bad leaps?

Map Part Two : Keeping Your Models Relevant

Even under the best of circumstances, not all your bets will pay off. The story of Lord Simpson’s decisions in this chapter, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, is not intended as a personal critique. Everyone has made similar—although perhaps less dramatic— mistakes.The important question is: What can you learn going forward?

Given that mental models determine your reality, it is your understanding of your mental models—and knowing when to change them—that determines your opportunities for success and your risks of failure. The chapters that follow discuss this process of building bridges between old and new mindsets, engaging in adaptive experimentation and managing the challenge of complexity. Through these and other approaches, we can recognize the need to change and move in directions that are neither a leap nor in the dark.

You need to keep your drawers stocked with pencils, ballpoints, fountain pens, writing paper, a phone at the ready and a computer and printer, wired to the Internet. With all these options available on your desk and desktop, you are not a prisoner of a certain world view—locked in the castle of a particular paradigm surrounded by a moat to prevent attacks. Instead, you give yourself a passport to travel freely among different paradigms, seeing the sights, crossing back and forth along the bridges, gaining new perspectives and choosing the best path to your goal.


Where to Buy

Wharton School Publishing

Pearson Education

Now in Paperback!

Paperback Cover

ISBN: 0131877283; Published: Jan 30, 2006