To deal with ideas problems and solutions we need to think radically. We need to understand how things are connected. How one thing affects another, how language is used. How we analyze what is being said, offered and executed on behalf of ourselves.
One of the first things you learn in dealing in radical ideas is people are very wary of the title radical. The title conjures up for some the pejorative “trouble making disgruntled lefties”, a form of vilification used in right wing quarters for anyone who speaks against their policies or ideology. So really we are just meaning thinking using the facts available to us rather than what others would like us to think.
Of course if you do a “Radical Thinking” search on the internet, far from the views of disgruntled lefties, you are more likely to come up with titles such as “Annual plan for business requires radical planning,” or “Knowledge revolution demands radical thinking,” or “Modern materials handling requires radical thinking” and “Institute of Radical Thinking”.
Business uses radical thinking, radical planning, radical changes constantly, mostly in order to cut costs, staff and increase profits. Only when “radical thinking” is applied by the person in the street does the term become pejorative, trouble making and dangerous.
My idea of radical thinking is the same as the businessman’s. That is getting down to the root of the situation or problem. It is not useful to concentrate on the beauty of the blooming flower if its roots are infected by disease. You might appreciate the flowers beauty in the short term. But if you wish to enjoy the flower next year, radical action needs to be taken to save the roots. The question to ask is how much do you see happening around you in society that relies on surface gloss but has no basis for sustainability?
The plant and root analogy can be applied to a great many things in our personal and community life. If industry feels the need for radical inspiration in order to exploit the goods and jobs market it would stand to reason that radical thinking would be needed to protect the individual from the same type of forces.
So you can find terms such as “radical” when applied to business are seen as progressive, but the same term used in social inclusion, poverty, unions, or workers rights the word becomes derogatory.
So. What are the benefits of radical thinking and why should we use it when trying to affect change or improve our situation? We need to think radically because we want a lasting effect. We need good foundations to build upon. We need to be sure of the premise (reason) for the arguments put forward as progressive change. Discussing the ideas, how they came about, who will benefit by them and if they are of any real use to ordinary people.
Think of words by what they mean not by what they are used to represent. The term radical from the Latin “radicalis” means “root”… It means getting to the root of the issue or problem. So if we want to understand more about what is going on around us sometimes we need to apply some radical thinking. If you want think of it as common sense.