The Power of Impossible Thinking
By Yoram (Jerry) Wind and Colin Crook with Robert Gunther
*A Book Review*
by Michael C. Gray
© 2021 by Michael C. Gray
Sometimes our thinking doesn't agree with reality.
For example, when test subjects were shown mocked-up pictures of Bugs Bunny greeting guests at Disneyland, 40% of them suddenly developed memories of actually seeing Bugs Bunny at that park!
Our mental models shape our vision and our actions. In order to make accurate decisions, we have to challenge our mental models.
It may be that accepted reality has changed. For example, before 1954, everyone knew it was impossible for a man to run a mile under four minutes. In May 1954, Roger Bannister broke that barrier, and suddenly many other athletes found they could break it, too.
The Power of Impossible Thinking outlines a process for reexamining our mental models and beliefs to lead and adapt to change in our personal and business lives.
The four-step process is:
- Understand the power and limits of mental models.
- Test the relevance of your mental models against the changing environment, generate new models and develop an integrated portfolio of models.
- Overcome inhibitions to change by reshaping infrastructure and the thinking of others.
- Transform your world by acting quickly on the new models, continuously experimenting and applying a process for assessing and strengthening your models.
The challenges of implementing this process are (1) Failing to recognize an important new model, and (2) Leaping to a new model too soon and too enthusiastically.
To deal with the complexity of changing thinking, try "zooming in" and "zooming out." How does it fit in the "big picture"? Try treating the new model as a hypothesis to be tested instead of assuming it's reality.
In order to identify and implement changes often requires informed intuition. Sometimes there isn't time for a formal process when making decisions. Intuition should be based on a deep experience in a certain area.
As the CEO of Intel, Andy Grove developed the concept of "strategic inflection points." He described strategic inflection points as a mental map of the new world where the territory may be unknown but the need for a shift in thinking and action is recognized. Based on this shift in thinking, Grove decided to abandon DRAM chips and focus on processor chips during the 1980s.
For a worthwhile examination of personal and business thinking to lead and adapt to change, get and study The Power of Impossible Thinking.
Buy it at Amazon: The Power of Impossible Thinking: Transform the Business of Your Life and the Life of Your Business.
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