TED Favourites

Since 2006 the TED (technology, entertainment and design) phenomenon has taken hold. Rather like the company you keep, and your bookshelf, your favourite TED Talks say a lot about who you are and what you stand for. Here are our favourites:

  • Inspiring others and letting go

    Trying to learn something new? Is it like learning to drive a manual car – a bit clunky? Try inhabiting a state of ‘flow’. What would flow mean for your leadership? This video clip is of Benjamin Zander, former leader of the Boston Philharmonic. He talks about his quest for classical music to be enjoyed by all, but in doing so describes what flow is like and what it can do. This is one of our favourites – put your feet up and enjoy.

  • Positive Psychology and why it is important

    This 20-minute film from the father of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman, is a powerful insight into what has driven our view of organisational development over the last 100 years. We are used to using the ‘medical model’ of diagnosis and treatment in organizations even when we are dealing with ‘well’ people – is it time for a different approach?

  • The introvert contribution in an extrovert world

    In a world where broadcasting what you are having for lunch can be followed by millions, it is seductive to think that introverts have little to contribute. Yet in your team and your organization, you will have introverts. And their contribution could be invaluable. Journalist Susan Cain shares her work on the ‘power of introverts’.

  • Leadership, Learning and Creativity

    Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. Just as applicable to the workplace as it is to schools, there are powerful lessons for leaders here.

  • Success and Failure

    Alain de Botton, English philosopher and founder of The School of Life, looks at our ideas of success and failure, and how the meaning we attach to both can set us up to flourish or wither on the vine. Entertaining and witty, his perspective is valuable for all individuals working in organizations.

  • Listening for Change

    Daniel Goleman of emotional intelligence fame once described the lack of listening in organizations as the ‘common cold’ of leadership. Here, Ernesto Sirolli shares a story of aid workers to highlight the power of great listening and how it can shift an entire system, releasing creativity and commitment in the process.

  • Creating psychological safety for your team

    Best known for his book ‘Start with why?’ Simon Sinek shares a more subtle message here in responding to the question ‘What makes a great leader?’. He argues that ensuring an environment of safety and trust are both mission critical for the modern leader.

  • Paying attention

    When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. Enhance your ability to function effectively, lead others and stay well into the bargain.

  • Creativity and collaboration – how they fit together

    In a modern organization, an individual’s ability to create solutions with others is at a premium – so knowing how to collaborate is critical. Yet this has always been the case, so argues Steven Johnson who shares the ‘long view’ of idea generation.

  • Leaders: Lift up your heads

    Roselinde Torres takes a fresh view of what leaders will need to be doing to ensure a successful future for their organizations. The three essential elements for leadership that she shares will invite you to lift your heads and look around, and perhaps engage in the world around you in a different way.

  • How to create greater productivity

    Shawn Achor, psychologist, is entertaining and informative in this one – he shares research that shows us that counter-intuitively, a greater level of happiness creates greater productivity.

  • The idea of flow and why it is important

    Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Hungarian Psychologist whose family fled Europe in the 1940s, asks a crucial question for us all, “What makes a life worth living?”. His seminal research into the situations when we are at our most productive and fulfilled created the term “flow”. Do you have enough flow in your work? Can you help others create it?

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