"We live in a time of profound disruption and accelerating change. As leaders, we must shift our thinking and update our mental maps to navigate this new and unfamiliar landscape."

– Mark Bonchek


Shift Thinking™ helps companies make the shift from incremental to exponential growth and change. The Shift Thinking mindset and methodology is the result of over 20 years at the forefront of business innovation. Our work with leaders and organizations centers on building an enduring capacity for growth and change. Shift Thinking is not a consultancy or agency; it is a catalyst for new capabilities. 

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Mark Bonchek’s journey began at MIT in the early 1990s where he led a research project on digital engagement and political participation.  His findings proved to be prescient:

“Whereas television creates an audience, the Internet creates community. No other medium provides the same opportunity for such immediate interaction, collaboration, and participation.”

“Politicians who capitalize on the community-building capabilities of the Internet will emerge victorious in the politics of the 21st century.”

”The press no longer has a monopoly position as an information source. The role of the press will be as an information broker, rather than a gatekeeper, connecting suppliers and consumers of information by providing expertise, context, and credibility.”

In 1997, Harvard University’s granted Mark its first doctorate on the topic of social media. Mark then became the first director of research at the Strategos Institute, where he explored the strategies that enable companies to reinvent themselves and transform their business models.  Once again his insights were ahead of their time:

“We are entering an era of unprecedented consumer power. ‘What I want, where I want it, when I want it, and how I want it’ is the credo of the emerging consumer.”

In the early 2000's, Mark began to put his research into practice. He left Strategos to lead the strategy practice in Boston for iXL, and then served as COO of TomorrowLab for McKinsey & Company. At McKinsey, Mark designed a new offering using digital media and collaborative community to help leaders build disruptive business models.  When McKinsey went back to its traditional business model, Mark left to begin his entrepreneurial journey at the crossroads of leadership, strategy, and learning.  


As the founder and CEO of Truman Company, Mark created a new model for strategy development and executive engagement based on co-creation and peer exchange. Working with market leaders including IBM, Avaya, The Economist, Manpower, and Gerson Lehrman Group, Mark’s team reinvented advisory boards, conferences, and online communities as vehicles for customer advocacy, organizational alignment, and transformative change.  

In 2006, Mark led the merger of Truman Company with Fifty Lessons, a pioneer in the use of storytelling and digital video for leadership development and executive education. The new company demonstrated the power of combining digital media, online community, and in-person events.  


To understand the internal dynamics of transformative change, Mark accepted a position as the SVP of Communities and Networks for Sears Holdings, where he was responsible for creating a strategic narrative for the company’s transformation and the SHOP framework for multi-channel retail (Store|Home|Online|Phone).  

Mark’s experience at Sears Holdings revealed that it wasn’t enough to do digital. You also had to think digital. And this new kind of thinking wasn’t about how to use technology. It was about the core insight that Mark discovered in his original research: digital technology fundamentally changes the flow of communication and the relationship between individuals and organizations. Engagement is no longer about pushing messages through channels to drive transactions, it’s about creating ORBITs (Ongoing Relationship Beyond Individual Transactions).





In 2012, Mark left Sears to start the consultancy thinkORBIT helping companies develop engagement strategies that pull customers, employees, and partners into orbit around their brand. Clients of thinkORBIT have included Kaiser Permanente, Staples, Adobe, Briggs & Stratton, Jive Software, and the American Heart Association.  


Shift Thinking


Mark’s work with thinkORBIT clients revealed that the shift from push to pull is only one of the mental shifts required to succeed in our digital age. There are many others as well, including product to platform, audience to community, consumer to co-creator, and hierarchy to network. This led to the development of the Shift Thinking approach, and the creation of a new catalytic consulting platform, Shift Thinking.


Shift X Causeit


We’ve expanded our team to include partners from Causeit, Inc., a futurist think tank and innovation consultancy that has been helping leaders upgrade their thinking since 2005. Shift and Causeit have worked closely together for over a decade and have now fully combined operations. As Shift Thinking continues to evolve as a body of thought and a movement, our ability to catalyze epiphanies is also growing through our enlarged team and upcoming certification program.


To accelerate the adoption of Shift Thinking, Mark is a frequent speaker and regular columnist for the Harvard Business Review. As recognition for his insight and contribution, Mark was also recently named to the Agenda Digital 50 list of board candidates by The Financial Times.  



The first Shift Academy Summit was held in 2014, providing an interactive forum for Shift Thinkers from across the country to convene for an immersive experience in new thinking.