Shift Thinking™ Glossary


The ability to shift between incremental and exponential mindsets and ways of working as required by circumstances.


Decision principles that guide actions in support of objectives and in alignment with Shared Purpose, values and goals.


A network of people and entities connected by a Shared Purpose.


A sudden insight that comes from recognizing a new mental model and its relevance to your current situation.

Exponential thinking

Thinking focused on creating 10X change through network effects. Compare with incremental thinking, which aims to create linear change.

Financial capital

Monetary resources like cash, savings and credit.

Intellectual capital

Knowledge resources, such as data, software, algorithms and ideas.

Horseless carriage

An early name for the automobile, used as a metaphor for making a new mental model understandable in terms of the old. Other examples are “web page,” “digital wallet,” “artificial intelligence” and “Internet of things.”

Human capital

People with ideas, skills and capacity for work, such as employees and volunteers.

Mental model

A set of cognitive assumptions about how things work. Mental models can be hard to identify and shift because they are usually unconscious and deeply embedded in mental and physical habits.


A collection of related mental models.


The move from one mindset to another. See also unlearning.

Multi-sided platform

A business model that connects players in an ecosystem and enables them to co-create value via reusable, extensible infrastructure and data.

Network orchestrator

The player in a platform ecosystem that provides value by enabling other parties to connect and co-create value.


Ongoing Relationships Beyond Individual Transactions. A new mental model for brand and customer relationships based on seeing customers as co-creators rather than consumers.

Physical capital

Tangible assets such as products, equipment and buildings.

Platform thinking

A mindset for creating exponential value by creating and leveraging network effects.

Relational capital

The value inherent in a company's relationships with its customers, vendors, and other members of its ecosystem.

Network effects

A phenomenon where value increases for all members of a network as each new member joins. For example, the more AirBnB hosts there are, the more value the service has for each new user. Similarly, the more users there are, the more value it has for each new host.

Shared Purpose

The common intention that connects members of an ecosystem. It’s what an organization does WITH other players in its ecosystem, not just what it sells TO or does FOR them.

Shift Thinking™

Created by Mark Bonchek, Shift Thinking is a set of mindshifts for exponential value creation in the Digital Age.

Thinking Styles

A framework that looks at eight key ways people think in the workplace, developed by Mark Bonchek and Elisa Steele. The premise is that people tend to have a typical area of focus on Ideas, Process, Action or Relationships, along with an orientation towards the big picture (macro) or details (micro).


A metaphor for unlearning: finding the new bar (new mindset), getting it close enough to reach, making the jump from the old to the new and then bringing others along with you.


The process of moving from an existing mental model to a new one. Unlike learning, unlearning is not about adding new information, but rather seeing things in a new way, which may be counter-intuitive based on your previous mindset.