New York Times Best Seller
Discover your hidden brainpower with this newly expanded guide to the simple but powerful technique that unlocks potential in all areas of your life.
Former banker and CEO Bill Donius drove his bank’s eightfold growth over twelve years. And the surprising secret to his success is something we all have access to, right in our own two hands. The methodology described in Thought Revolution is simple and revolutionary—so simple, it begins by moving your pen from one hand to the other. Whether you’re right-handed or left-handed, a whole world of change is possible. Writing with your non-dominant hand opens you up to creative solutions, giving you the ability to see new ways through problems in your business, career, relationships, health, and spiritual life.
In Thought Revolution, Donius explains the science behind non-dominant handwriting and teaches you how to incorporate the technique into your business and your life. New stories from Donius’s extensive seminars illuminate how employees and managers can unite in a new vision for their company’s growth and culture, increase employee and customer satisfaction, and improve profits. Thought-provoking, easy-to-do exercises and prompts show how to connect more fully with your subconscious right brain to help you reduce stress, discover your hidden talents, heal from trauma, and come to a deeper spiritual awareness.
Thought Revolution shows how your non-dominant hand serves as a direct pipeline to the right brain’s wisdom. Incorporate this simple practice into your career and your life, and you’ll find insights that lead to lasting change.
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You’ve Got a Problem
You’ve got this BIG, THORNY problem. It’s ok. You can admit it. All big businesses have them. You feel like your team has struggled with it forever and tried to solve it with countless brainstorming sessions and “thinking outside the box” workshops. It feels hopeless. EVERYONE inside your organization has finally accepted it as “just how it is”.
The Current “Fix”
It’s these monster problems that trigger the hiring of an incredibly expensive outside consulting firm to come in and fix them. Of course these relationships are never really what you hope for, are they? I mean, sure, a lot of these consultants are great at what they do. And most of them can get some decent results for you (even if they aren’t always particularly innovative). But by the time you do see any results, six months have passed (or more), and you just watched several LARGE checks change hands to get this to happen. This is the way it’s done now. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m not even saying that it isn’t ever worth the money (sometimes I’m sure it is).
Here is what I am saying: THERE IS A BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER WAY.
What are the biggest issues with these consulting relationships? They take a long time. They are really expensive. When they are done, they’re gone (or they will gladly keep taking the checks with all those zeros on them). They have very little long-term, vested interest in your company.
So how do we fix all of these issues?
Solve your biggest problems with your own team.
I know, I know. They’ve all already given up! You’ve already tried over and over again! It’s hopeless!
But think about it for a second. Who knows everything about the problem? Who knows everything else about your business and your products or services and your customers? Who are you already paying to solve these problems? And who has a long-term, vested interest in solving these problems and creating success for your company?
“Outside the Box” Thinking From Inside Your Organization
The answer to all of these questions is obvious, right? Your team is already in place to solve these big problems. They just need one little missing piece: the key to unlock innovative thinking on-demand.
THAT is exactly what right-brain thinking provides. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us are left-brain thinkers. And most of the time this serves us well. But when it comes to these big, thorny problems in our businesses and in our lives, our left brains simply don’t have the ability to work around all the logistics and roadblocks to allow ourselves to see innovative solutions to problems.
It is this process of triggering your right brain that inspired me to write Thought Revolution. And it is this process that has allowed me to help some really big companies (Disney, Kawasaki & Nestlé to name a few) around the world solve their own problems. And the best part? The exponential power of this innovative thinking technique allows these teams to solve these big, seemingly impossible problems in a matter of HOURS. That’s right! They don’t have to spend weeks and months getting to know the company inside and out. They don’t have to study the problem extensively. They are living it!
So there you go! “Outside the box” thinking from INSIDE your organization…on-demand. It isn’t hard to imagine how powerful that can be.
But in case your imagination is lacking, feel free to download a case-study of what this method has done for one of my clients, Crown Vision. They are just one of many stories of success.
William A. Donius
Author of Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius, updated book released on August, 2014 by Simon & Schuster.
P.S. Most people that hear about what I do are really skeptical. I understand that. I really do. It’s why I LOVE to talk to people and show them how it works! I know I mentioned that I have worked with some big businesses in the past. I’ve had an absolute blast doing it and am looking for more of the right types of businesses to help. If you are interested in learning more and you are the right type of business…and are still skeptical…I want to offer you a free 30 minute phone call where I will be happy to help you solve one of your biggest problems using my method. I only have time to do a couple of these calls every week, so if you are interested, the earlier you apply the better. You can apply for the free call here.
“Freedom” will be celebrated in pools, backyards and BBQ’s over the coming weeks. Celebrating our country’s independence is clearly worthy of celebration.
Rarely do we take time to contemplate what freedom means within the context of our personal lives. We’re fortunate to live in a country where we’re free to do as we wish. Does this mean that we’re truly “free”? During the research phase of writing my book, Thought Revolution, I interviewed 200 people. It was a very eye-opening experience in which I discovered the majority felt they were trapped or stuck in some aspect of their lives. Relationships were not quite what they desired or their career wasn’t living up to expectations. The net result was a majority of this group did not feel as if they were living a completely intentional and authentic life. This feeling was not foreign to me, as I too had felt this way at an earlier stage in my life when it came to intimate relationships.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to break out of this “comfort zone,” even if it’s not all that comfortable. Remember, Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same things over and over again, expecting a different result.” Yet we’re all guilty of this and tend to dismiss it with some type of lie to ourselves, such as “I’ll get to it later.” Thus, we return our attention to pool parties, BBQ’s and cocktails. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the aforementioned, just not at the expense of solving those thorny issues that keep us from attaining our full potential in life.
Steps you can take
- The first step is to be willing to devote some time and potential resources to take a look at what’s not working in your life.
- The second step is to become open to the possibility that you can address and solve the issue you’ve not been able to solve.
- The third step is to determine why that problem exists in your life.
- The final step is to take action to change your behavior and resolve the problem.
You will be able to be intentional and authentic in every part of your life, and much happier, too. I realize this sounds daunting or even impossible to imagine. Take it from me, however, it is a journey worth taking. Please don’t postpone it for decades as I did. It is truly liberating and empowering to get “unstuck.”
How to achieve this result
My solution was to seek assistance from a professional therapist. During the course of this therapy, I learned a methodology that was transformational for me, helping me to break through my “stuck” place. I found it fascinating and decided to take time at a later stage in my life to take a deeper dive into finding a way to adapt the methodology into a tool that could be applied to solve problems both in personal lives and in organizations. Over three years of research, interviews and applications of the methodology convinced me that there was a simple, powerful and effective way to think in a truly revolutionary manner. I learned that what worked for me could indeed work for others. Fortunately, my publisher, Simon & Schuster, agreed to publish a book containing these findings and stories: Thought Revolution, How to Unlock Your Inner Genius.
If you are interested in becoming “unstuck,” this book is a good place to start. Obviously I’m biased as I have invested years of my life in this project, but I’ve also seen enough evidence to suggest that it works. If you are not a big reader, you might also consider attending my upcoming workshop at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California.
While celebrating our country’s freedom this year, make sure you’re also able to celebrate your own freedom from whatever it is that is keeping you trapped in life.
Every organization has some level of confusion running through its veins. This is the stuff that causes blocks, blind spots and slows revenue growth. Blame is partially attributable to both individuals and sometimes entire organizations wanting to stay in their comfort zones.
Over the course of the past week, I was fortunate enough to work with three different organizations that busted out of their typical comfort zones. The result? They reached consensus about ways they could move forward, producing substantially greater clarity regarding their missions.
What happened exactly?
Each case was very different. The first engagement was with one of the largest global brands, the second a group of entrepreneurs — Maverick 1000 — and third was with a trade group representing the travel industry. This seemingly disparate grouping of organizations did have one common element among them, however, and this was that each group hired me to help blast them out of the status quo.
They were all used to doing the same thing over and over again, and knew they couldn’t expect a different result. What they needed was to “Think outside the box”, but weren’t exactly certain how to accomplish this. After all this is, perhaps, the most over utilized hyperbole in business, because facilitators encourage groups to think differently but then don’t explain “how” this is done.
That’s why I get called into help.
I have a process that actually works, plus it’s quick and effective! The common denominator with each of these three clients was discovering the pain points and problems they wanted to solve. These are typically the big, thorny issues they have not already solved, otherwise there would be no need to convene these sessions.
What are the steps?
First step is the intake session. The global company had acquired the remainder of a company they owned a piece of already. Their issue was one of better and faster integration to boost teamwork. The entrepreneurs were interested in identifying blind spots and finding ways to dive more deeply into thinking about a particular problem before making a quick decision. And, finally, the travel group was interested in finding more innovative solutions to problems they’ve wrestled with for years.
The next step is to teach them the Ideation process. Part of this process is very conventional, but because participants are capturing their ideas in silence, we’re breaking through one of the limiting factors in brainstorming sessions!
This part is incredibly unorthodox, and would even be deemed to be inconceivable if it weren’t for the fact there’s a Nobel prize in neuroscience at the core of this methodology. Furthermore, my three years of research, including 200 interviews, resulted in the book Simon & Schuster published to detail my process and how it works, titled, Thought Revolution.
It’s at this stage where participants in all three groups discover the truly unique, creative, intuitive and sometimes breakthrough ideas that have eluded them. However, it’s not over until they can reconcile these new ideas with the more logical, conventional ways of thinking. This is where the rubber meets the road and solutions emerge that are both creative, but also highly pragmatic and applicable for organization or the individual.
It’s amazing to facilitate a process where disparate organizations can learn a new way to think, then apply it to a problem they’re having in real time and conclude with solutions they’re willing to implement!
That’s not an average day at work. That’s an exceptional day that allows individuals and teams to feels as if their full potential was harnessed and applied to make a big impact for the organization. It’s also a very rewarding and fun process for me to facilitate.
Brainstorming…the darling strategic planning management tool that dates back to the late 1930’s, oftentimes in today’s world comes up short of producing new, exciting and workable ideas. The “tried and true” gold standard since its inception, brainstorming has been discovered to have developed a number of problems that have evolved over the past decades.
Research indicates that big groups actually experience worse results than smaller groups. Participants tend to forget their ideas when others have the floor. “Quiet” people (see Susan Cain’s TED Talk) among us are also less likely to speak up and make their ideas heard. Others are reluctant to reveal a politically incorrect idea. Many find themselves unable to contradict the authority of more senior, tenured employees. Net result? Brainstorming sessions end without solving problems.
What’s the solution? It’s time for a fresh approach known as Ideation.
A Reinvention of Traditional Brainstorming
Ideation is a technique that involves both the left and right sides of the brain to allow breakthroughs from entrenched habits of thought and persistent difficult problems. It also helps participants avoid the circular thinking of channeling ideas along a constrained path that often occurs when individuals brainstorm together. The process of Ideation begins with individual ideas, more accountability, consensus building and ultimate involvement with participants “voting with their feet.”
The solution, then, begins with the individual, or phrased differently, the “I” in Ideation. If each individual participant takes more responsibility by being a better participant in a problem solving-process, the results are likely to be better. The next logical question, then, is “What can I do to be a better participant?” A simple question but one that is actually tougher than it seems. To be successful, participants need to be able to burst out of their comfort zones of complacent, conventional thinking to get to a place where big, bold, breakthrough ideas are possible. Everyone loves their comfort zones, however, and tend to become completely entrenched within these zones.
That’s why in meetings people are constantly admonished to “think outside the box.” One problem: they are generally not told how to do this.
An answer to finding a path out of individuals’ comfort zones into what may be called their “Inner Genius,” subconscious, higher conscious, inner Yoda, or even their inner five-year-old. This is the place where those creative, intuitive, innovate ideas dwell. A problem is that typically most people don’t have a direct path to accessing that place. It’s difficult to unlock those big ideas on demand.
This is Why the Right Hemisphere of the Brain is So Important
The right hemisphere of the brain is the most reliable place to go hunting for these ideas. Scientists have discovered that the right hemisphere of the brain is independent from the left and is believed to be responsible for artistry, music, emotions, intuition and creative problem solving, while the left hemisphere performs the more traditional linear, logical, mathematical and analytical functions. Over the past 18 years I’ve learned to trust the right brain as the reliable “go to” place when I need to think differently, search for a big idea or solve a problem.
When individuals need solutions to tough problems, they can truly use both sides of their brains in an Ideation Session. By activating the right side of the brain, they are able to pull in those insights that are typically missed.
How can this happen?
I recommend three resources: “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain,” by Dr. Betty Edwards, particularly effective for artists; “Recovery of Your Inner Child” by Dr. Lucia Capacchione, effective for struggling with psychological issues; and “Thought Revolution”, my book written to help those interested in solving mainstream problems in their personal and business lives.
Combining right brain insights with conventional, logical ideas can produce new, fresh, and potentially “doable” ideas. Individuals who use this process become better participants in Ideation sessions if they arrive at the session by thinking about the topic or issue before the session, posing the question to themselves and then unleashing both sides of their brains.
Facilitators of Ideation Sessions must consider allowing participants some quiet time to capture their best thinking before beginning the distracting and potentially diluting influence of everyone voicing their ideas. Then, consider building momentum for the ideas by dividing the participants into smaller groups of 4-8 people. Ask small group participants to vote on the ideas that will “make the cut” and are deserving of consideration by the bigger group. Then facilitators may consider democratizing the strategic thinking or problem session by allowing participants to “vote with their feet” (like the Iowa caucuses), voting on the ideas they like the most. This process can immediately demonstrate where there is consensus and a more likely chance for internal acceptance and backing. Sound interesting? Taking the above steps will boost the effectiveness of thinking sessions.
Over the past 30 years as a participant, leader and facilitator of strategic planning processes, I have come to believe too much time is spent on planning and not enough on thinking.
In a fast-changing, globally competitive world, if individuals, businesses and corporations are not thinking about better solutions, someone else is guaranteed to be doing just that.
William A. Donius
Author of Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius, updated book released on August, 2014 by Simon & Schuster.
P.S. I know you are tired of hearing about the lackluster ideas that are coming out of brainstorming sessions in your organization. As a former bank CEO, I lived that unhappy reality for far too long. But that was when I came upon this amazing methodology that I crafted and moulded to fit what I needed make my organization thrive! And I’ve been able to share this methodology in Ideation Sessions with some amazing companies (like Disney, Kawasaki & Nestlé to name a few). If you are interested in learning more about these ideation sessions and how they can help your organization, CLICK HERE AND REQUEST MORE DETAILS.
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