Power of impossible thinking

Yoram (Jerry) Wind, professor of marketing at Wharton school and co-author of The Power of Impossible Thinking and Ranjan Kapur, country head, WPP, discuss the power of mental models on CNBC's new series, Lessons in Excellence: The Power of Impossible Thinking, to be telecast on Saturday April 16, 2005, at 10:30 pm, and repeat telecast on Sunday April 17, 2005, at 8:30 pm, anchored by CNBC-TV18's Anuradha Sengupta.

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Anuradha Sengupta: As the world around us changes radically and seems to spin out of control, cutting edge management philosophies are helping us make sense of what is happening. These are mental models about the way we think. When recognised and adapted, they lead to 'impossible thinking' that will, in turn, transform businesses, lives and the very societies we belong to. Taking us on this journey into the mind is Yoram Jerry Wind, professor at the Wharton school and co-author of the book — The Power of Impossible Thinking, and Ranjan Kapoor, one of the most authoritative voices in the Indian communications business.

Jerry, you spent a lifetime researching marketing strategy and marketing-led corporate growth strategies. What prompted you to shift into the sphere of mental models?

Yoram Wind: Three things. First, I started a programme: 'The Wharton Fellow', a life-long education programme for top executive-owned transformation leadership. We realised that one of the major obstacles to effective transformation is the mental models of the participants. This was the first major incentive to start thinking about mental models.

The second is the dramatic changes we have seen in the business environment, especially in terms of consumer behaviour, other changes in technology and the like as well as the fact that a lot of businesses are not reacting to them. If you think about it… you mentioned marketing… think about the changing role of the 30-second commercial — a dramatic impact, yet the industry is very slow to react to it. Napster — major innovation — a huge change of behaviour but the record companies behave as if nothing has happened. You have these changes but no reaction.