The three most important questions you can ask are how, what, and why.

But simply asking why are we doing something is simply the start and isn’t enough to develop an action plan. How you conceptualize and idea and put it through the meat grinder of a radiant thinking vs. radical thinking process,  challenge the status quo using radical thinking, and mind map alternatives using radiant thinking will make the difference between whether your organization will be able to execute or not.

Radical Thinking

On October of 2008 I attended my first board of directors meeting at the St. Louis Association of Realtors as a volunteer member.  Discussion went around the room as to what the association could do to better communicate and offer value to its members.  Because it was my first meeting I was initially a bit timid to give feedback.  But if you know me it is only a matter of time before the wheels start turning and the firehose is ready to release.

I suggested…

Let’s create a blog to share upcoming events, important announcements about legislation that impacts transactions, and member services we can’t live without.

Let’s create a social media campaign involving a Facebook group for member conversations, Twitter profile for updates for conversation and dialogue, and YouTube channel to supply ideas.

Let’s create an online retail store where members could make purchase products that exist in the live store or receive an affiliate commission from another online retailer for products that members already buy.

Back in 2008 these ideas were very radical but on course to support the hard line trends that were being proven in other markets.  Less than a year later the Houston Association of Realtors contracted with me to initiate their social media campaign that is now the leader in social media for Realtor Associations with a content rich blog and powerhouse YouTube channel with over 200,000 views.

Before HAR implemented the campaign I discussed this radical conversation with their “go to” consultant Jeremy Conoway and he said…

Doug, what you are suggesting is that we create a stadium venue where anyone can share their opinions on the channels we create and have the potential of hurting the reputation we have worked so hard to build, right?

I said…

Absolutely.  Because if HAR doesn’t create these channels first then the competition will build them for us and we will be playing catch up and/or playing by their rules.

The deciding factor wasn’t so much that the ideas were radical and never been done before.  The deciding factor was how the amount of thinking that stemmed from an initial idea that became the backbone for the entire strategy.

Radiant Thinking

Accelerated Decision Making

In Tony and Barry Buzan’s book The Mind Map Book: How to Use Radiant Thinking to Maximize Your Brain’s Untapped Potential they describe a concept called radiant thinking.  The cliff notes version would suggest how to retain information and communicate faster using the left and right side of your brain.  In other words if we choose one topic or purpose to fulfill, how can we summarize the entire vision using a simple diagram.

One of my favorite tools for radiant thinking and accelerated decision making is Mindmeister.

I use it to:

  • Outline strategy for faster decision making.
  • Take notes from classes to accelerate review and comprehension.
  • Create summaries of books for higher retention.

Which is more important?  Radical thinking or radiant thinking?

In my opinion we need both.  Too many groups suffer from groupthink, regurgitate stale ideas, and argue more about tactics rather than objectives.  We need a process to challenge the status quo, a collaborative mind share that doesn’t limit the scope of under developed ideas, and a nurture a culture of critical thinking that has no limits.  Radical and radiant thinking both support those initiatives.


Organizations bring in Doug Devitre when they want to dramatically improve marketing, productivity, and sales performance with the latest technology. He is changing the way consultants consult, coaches coach, and trainers train professionals with his creative approach to using technology focused on business outcomes. The University of Missouri-Columbia Business School Entrepreneur of the Year, National Association of Realtors Business Specialties Hall of Fame Educator, and Certified Speaking Professional of the National Speakers Association brings a power-packed, innovative punch to managing organizational change outlined in his latest book Screen to Screen Selling™ : How to Increase Sales, Productivity, and the Customer Experience With the Latest Technology. Now Doug is focused on creating thought leadership on how businesses can use the Amazon Alexa platform to reduce operational costs and improve workplace productivity.

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