PREFACE TO THE NEW EDITION
WITH THE INITIAL publication of Thought Revolution, I felt as if I’d lit a match. Just as this methodology illuminated a new path for my life, it has revealed a new way of thinking for others. Since that time, I’ve used this revolutionary approach to help companies improve their business decisions, business systems, functioning, and morale.
Thought Revolution describes a simple way to learn to think differently, by activating the right brain. It relates how I developed the techniques and applied them to bring about the successes my colleagues and I enjoyed at the business I ran from 1997 to 2008. I have come to call these techniques “Ideation” and I believe them to be a reinvention of traditional brainstorming. Ideation is a reflective brainstorming technique that uses the right and left sides of the brain to allow you to break through entrenched habits of thought and difficult problems. It also helps you to avoid the circular thinking or channeling of ideas along a constrained path that can frequently occur when a group of people brainstorm together.
This new edition of Thought Revolution also explores surprising insights uncovered by seven people who generously allowed me to guide them through the Ideation process of working with the right brain and now to share their personal stories. I hope when you learn the techniques in this book, you’ll discover your own truths that will improve your personal and work life.
Without the breakthroughs that Thought Revolution enabled me to make, it might have taken me decades more to gain self-understanding and happiness, so I hope that this book will help you
shorten that process. Along the way, I discovered that the path to happiness is not necessarily lined with gold in the financial sense. Life is not just about getting to your destination or achieving your goals. It’s also about the quality of your journey. Using the techniques in Thought Revolution to make you more aware and intentional about your life will make you happier. This book is your map to buried treasure inside your own mind.
The Ideation process can be equally effective in personal life or at work. I recommend that you begin by focusing on personal questions or challenges. Once you’ve seen how well the exercises work, you’ll have the confidence to use them to make contributions at work.
In public and private interviews since the publication of Thought Revolution, I’ve taken this work to a wide variety of people, from top executives and entrepreneurs to the chronically unemployed, from professional athletes to artists and musicians, from creative advertising types to actuaries. I’ve witnessed astonishing results from applying this technique to organizations from diverse American industries—Big Oil, financial firms, shipping companies, retailers, educational institutions, the world’s largest trade group, and nonprofit organizations. Even when I’ve wondered whether in a new business situation the technique will work, it has carried us through. This makes me very committed to helping others unlock and discover their “inner genius.”
This edition of Thought Revolution includes my experiences in conducting Ideation sessions with employees of corporations. In a new section, I tell stories of a self-employed artist and six companies that dared to explore uncharted territories with me. They had different reasons for taking the journey, but I think it’s safe to say that none of them foresaw fully how much they would learn along the way. These respected businesspeople and organizations allowed me to explore with them the rich creativity and problem solving skills inherent in the right brain. We uncovered extraordinary gifts.