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Whatever your business conundrum, there’s a TED Talk for that—whether you want to learn how to land that promotion, set smart goals, undo injustice at work, or unlock the next big innovation. Every Monday, host Modupe Akinola of Columbia Business School presents the most powerful and surprising ideas that illuminate the business world. After the talk, you'll get a mini-lesson from Modupe on how to apply the ideas in your own life. Because business evolves every day, and our ideas about it should, too.
The unexpected habits of original thinkers | Adam Grant
Last week, you heard the latest thinking from Adam Grant, organizational psychologist extraordinaire, about his newest book. This week, we dive into the archives for a classic.
We have a lot of ideas about what leads to our most creative thoughts. Today, Adam and Modupe tell us why we’re wrong. You might want to bring a pen.
|Mar 01, 2021|
Design Matters: Adam Grant
Some exciting news. Today, TED is launching the TED Audio Collective, a collection of podcasts all about ideas, brought to you in audio. So we’re sharing an episode we thought you’d like that features not one, but two TED hosts.
In Design Matters, Debbie Millman interviews creative people about how they design the arc of their lives. In this episode, she interviews Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and host of WorkLife. Together, they examine his astonishing career—quite an exercise with someone who researches success. And they discuss his latest book, Think Again, all about the critical, difficult and timely art of rethinking your old ideas.
|Feb 22, 2021|
How you can shrink the wealth gap. Now. | Kedra Newsome Reeves
Did you know that in the US the average white family has ten times as much wealth as a black family? Ten times. But while we wait for government policies to shrink that gap, we all decide where our money goes. So how can we collectively chip away at that gap, now?
In this episode, we find out. First, through a talk by BCG consultant Kedra Newsome Reeves that follows her family through generations to understand how policy helped build this gap—and what financial institutions can do now to shrink it. Then, Modupe talks with founder Shani Dowell, the first black woman in Tennessee to raise a million dollars in VC funding, about the creative techniques that anybody can use to start redistributing wealth in America.
|Feb 15, 2021|
Should we cry at work? | Susan David
Feelings are complicated. And even more so at work. We like to believe the ultimate professional is stoic, but what important information do we miss when we disregard our emotions on the job?
In this episode, Harvard psychologist Susan David helps us break free from the "tyranny of positivity" and embrace the full range of our emotions. After the talk, Modupe extends this idea to the workplace by examining a time she shed tears at a meeting with colleagues.
|Feb 08, 2021|
Turn critics into allies | Bob Langert
When an organization is battered by critics, how does it usually respond? “Deny and push back, put out some sort of lame statement,” says Bob Langert, “and no progress is made at all.” But based on 25 years leading sustainability and corporate responsibility at McDonald’s, Bob proposes another way: To work with critics.
In this talk, he shares stories that take us from the Amazon to slaughterhouses, from tree huggers to corporate suits, all in the search for common ground with his greatest detractors.
|Feb 01, 2021|
An introvert’s guide to WFH | Morra Aarons-Mele
You might think working from home is an introvert’s fantasy. “But,” says writer Morra Aarons-Mele, “the truth is, for many introverts remote work is kind of a nightmare.” In this talk, she helps introverts understand how to protect their precious energy in a virtual work life. Lessons we can all learn from.
But how do you know if you're an introvert or not? After the talk, Modupe explains why the answer isn’t as clear cut as you might think.
For more from Morra, check out her podcast "The Anxious Achiever" from Harvard Business Review.
|Jan 25, 2021|
To make a company change, turn up the heat | Vinay Shandal
What do you do when a company doesn’t act in line with your values? Boycott? Divest? In essence, stop the flow of money? That's the typical advice. But sustainability consultant (and former comedian) Vinay Shandal says we’re missing a whole set of tools more effective than walking away. He looks to the most intimidating and influential profit-chasing investors in the world for techniques on how to make real social change.
After the talk, Modupe chats with Corey Hajim, TED’s Business Curator, to try to apply Vinay’s ideas to their own lives. Without getting exhausted.
|Jan 18, 2021|
The foundations of confidence | Brittany Packnett
Confidence. We talk about it all the time. We know it matters. And still, educator and activist Brittany Packnett thinks we underestimate it. "Confidence,” she says, “is the necessary spark before everything that follows.”
In this talk, Brittany identifies the three basic elements of this elusive force, which can be especially valuable for people whose role models don’t look like them.
After the talk, Modupe shares one more technique that has propelled her year after year at work. Spiderman makes a brief appearance.
|Jan 11, 2021|
WorkLife: We don’t have to fight loneliness alone
Today, an episode from WorkLife with Adam Grant, another TED podcast.
Many workplaces have become increasingly lonely, even before the coronavirus pandemic made more of us literally remote. It’s not just an unpleasant feeling—loneliness can hurt our health and our job performance. Find out why it's time for happy hours to finally die—and how it might take less than a minute to start building real connections.
Subscribe to WorkLife wherever you're listening to this.
|Jan 04, 2021|
ZigZag: Arlan Hamilton says capitalism is still the great equalizer
"Today we're sharing an episode from another TED podcast: ZigZag, hosted by Manoush Zomorodi.
In 2018, Backstage Capital's Arlan Hamilton was on the cover of Fast Company magazine. The headline was irresistible: homeless, gay, Black woman becomes hot-shot Silicon Valley investor. But the reality is that Black female founders still get token amounts of funding, despite being the fastest growing demographic in the startup world. On this episode, Arlan reflects on whether she's improved the plight of “underestimated and underrepresented” founders and how she explains privilege to white, male investors who don't understand the point of her investment fund. Plus, Manoush's daughter weighs in on entrepreneurship.
Subscribe to ZigZag wherever you're listening to this. "
|Dec 28, 2020|
Beyond performative diversity | Rosalind G. Brewer
This year we’ve heard a lot of companies step up—or at least, say they’re stepping up—and making diversity a priority. But what does it mean to truly build an inclusive workplace?
In this interview from TED@BCG, Starbucks COO Rosalind G. Brewer lays out how to bring change to companies from the grassroots, by focusing not on metrics, but relationships. In a candid conversation, she shares Starbucks’ missteps over the years and how they addressed their own failings. The lessons aren’t just for the office, but for our own communities and families.
|Dec 21, 2020|
Train yourself to shine under stress | Russell Wilson
Athletes train their bodies to run faster, jump higher, throw farther. So why don't they train their minds, too? Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, the highest paid player in the NFL, shares how “neutral thinking” helps him handle high pressure situations, on and off the field. After the talk, host Modupe Akinola examines how we can use stress to our advantage.
|Dec 14, 2020|
How to lead in a crisis | Amy C. Edmondson
How do you lead in times of absolute upheaval, when you can't predict what change could come tomorrow? With humility, transparency, and urgency, says leadership researcher Amy C. Edmondson, because these are the ingredients that make a workplace psychologically safe. After the talk, host Modupe Akinola breaks down how Amy’s concept can help employees build safer, more resilient workplaces — with or without support from the boss.
|Dec 07, 2020|
How to understand and disrupt racial bias | Jennifer L. Eberhardt
Our brains create categories to make sense of the world, recognize patterns and make quick decisions. But this ability to categorize also exacts a heavy toll when it comes to unconscious bias. In this powerful talk, psychologist Jennifer L. Eberhardt explores how our biases unfairly target Black people at all levels of society — from schools and social media to policing and criminal justice — and discusses how creating points of friction can help us actively interrupt and address this troubling problem. After the talk, host Modupe Akinola gives us tools and tactics to counteract bias when it comes to giving feedback at work.
|Nov 30, 2020|
How we can actually pay people enough | Paypal CEO Dan Schulman
Capitalism urgently needs an upgrade, says PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, and it starts with paying people enough to actually invest in their futures. He explains the epiphany that led PayPal to create a whole new metric for adequate pay, Net Disposable Income, and why investing in employees' financial health is just good business. After the talk, host Modupe Akinola makes the case for going one step further and considering how fair pay might actually mean something pretty different for every employee.
|Nov 23, 2020|
Confessions of a recovering micromanager | Chieh Huang
"If we know that micromanagement isn't really effective, why do we do it?" asks Boxed.com founder Chieh Huang. In a funny talk packed with wisdom and humility, Huang shares the cure for micromanagement — which is also a prescription for innovation and happiness at work. Host Modupe Akinola explains how freedom from excessive scrutiny even benefits us biologically.
|Nov 16, 2020|
How to build (and rebuild) trust | Frances Frei
Trust is the foundation for everything we do. So what do we do when it's broken? Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei gives a crash course on the three essential components of trust, and how to build them — a process she put to use during a stint at Uber. Plus host Modupe Akinola explains how to apply those principles of trust with Black colleagues and others in the minority.
|Nov 09, 2020|
How to disagree productively and find common ground | Julia Dhar
Often it feels like the only thing we can agree on is that we can't agree on anything. World debate champion Julia Dhar offers three techniques to reshape the way we talk to each other so we can take our disagreements somewhere fruitful — over family dinners, during work meetings, and in our national conversations. Plus host Modupe Akinola explains why better arguments might start not with arguments at all, but with better questions.
|Nov 02, 2020|
Why the secret to success is setting the right goals | John Doerr
When promising projects crash and burn, it's not always because of glaring mistakes. Venture capitalist John Doerr reveals it's often because those projects were linked to the wrong objectives. Get Doerr's practical guidance on how to set and execute on audacious goals with "Objectives and Key Results," or OKRs — a goal-setting system that's been employed by the likes of Google, Intel and Bono — plus host Modupe Akinola's twist on the importance of timing.
|Oct 26, 2020|
How to find the person who can help you get ahead at work | Carla Harris
You know you need a mentor to advance your career, but have you ever considered who your sponsor is? Carla Harris, vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, explains the crucial importance of identifying a person who will speak on your behalf in the top-level, closed-door meetings you're not invited to (yet). Learn why your pool of potential sponsors is bigger than you might think—and how to think carefully about how to present yourself to them.
|Oct 19, 2020|
Why the strongest leaders ask for help | Lorna Davis
When confronting huge challenges, sometimes the greatest strength a leader can show is to admit uncertainty. Former Danone North America CEO Lorna Davis learned that the hard way, then discovered the power of publicly committing to big, bold goals—and then inviting others to help her meet them. Host Modupe Akinola shares the benefit of being a collaborative leader—no matter where you are in your career.
|Oct 12, 2020|
Coming soon: the new TED Business!
TED Business is re-launching Oct. 12 in audio with a fresh new sound and a terrific new host, Columbia University's Modupe Akinola. New weekly episodes every Monday will bring you the best talks on business delivered on the TED stage, AND a post-talk lesson that helps you apply these ideas to your own life. Get a first slice of the new sound here.
|Oct 07, 2020|