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TED Business

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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.
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Why do we encourage kids to play sports? Why does writing “captain of the lacrosse team” mean anything on a résumé? And why don’t we extend that same respect to people who play video games at the highest levels? In this episode, William Collis, maestro of esports – aka competitive video games – makes the case that video games develop real, tangible and transferable skills. And it’s time that we appreciate them. So, after the talk, Modupe figures out how we can bring more video games into the workplace.
Profit, money, shareholders: these are the priorities of most companies today. But at what cost? In an appeal to corporate leaders worldwide, Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya calls for an end to the business playbook of the past – and shares his vision for a new, "anti-CEO playbook" that prioritizes people over profits. "This is the difference between profit and true wealth," he says. After the talk, Modupe offers some simple practices that can help leaders realize this vision, by putting people back at the center of a CEO’s workday.
Today, another episode from ZigZag, hosted by Manoush Zomorodi. This is episode 3 of The ZigZag Project, a special season all about how to realign your work with your core values. The third step requires getting weird. Because we're gonna need to dig deep to find new ways to roll back climate change, bring equity to society, and pay our bills. If, after a year of lockdowns and stress, you feel drained at the thought, meet Rob Walker, author of The Art of Noticing. Rob has some unusual ways to inspire you to get creative and figure out your next job, business model, or project. Manoush turns Rob’s insight into this episode’s assignment: The Board of All Ideas, No Matter How Weird. The ZigZag Project is six steps (and episodes) to help you map out a path that aligns your personal values with your professional ambitions. Think of it as a RESET for your career or business. Find the assignments, survey, newsletter and more at ZigZagPod.com
If it’s the richest country in the world, why does the American economy fail so much of the American public? Heather C. McGhee is a public policy expert who has spent the past several years trying to understand that question. Her conclusion, carefully detailed in a NYT bestselling book called The Sum of US, is that racism leads to bad public policy. Policies that have a cost for everyone—not just people of color. In this talk, she proposes a new way of thinking that can lead to a more prosperous nation for everyone. After the talk, Heather and Modupe continue the conversation to get practical and figure out how to bring this mindset to work.
The pandemic showed HR consultant Patty McCord something she has been espousing for years: workers are adults, with responsibilities and obligations. It seems obvious, yet at work, so many people are treated like children: too much oversight, micromanaged, with rules that get in the way of performance, rather than enhance it. But before you go set everyone free, how do you separate the rules that liberate from the ones that constrain? In this episode, hosts Corey Hajim and Modupe Akinola wrestle with this question. Hang on till the end, for a never-before-heard framework that helps you make sense of which rules to keep and which to let go.
Today, an episode from another show in the TED Audio Collective: ZigZag, hosted by Manoush Zomorodi. This is episode 2 of The ZigZag Project, a special season all about how to realign your work with your core values. Conflict resolution specialist Priya Parker joins Manoush to talk about visioning: Taking time out of our daily lives to clarify our professional and personal purpose. With 60% of the project’s beta testers reporting that work is an important part of their identity (and 25% saying they define themselves by the work they do), picturing the future is a particularly crucial step. Manoush shares instructions for listeners to conduct their own visioning lab, similar to the session she did with Priya years ago, but with a ZigZag twist. For more ZigZag, find and follow the podcast wherever you're listening to this. For the assignments, survey, newsletter and more, head to ZigZagPod.com
As technology gets smarter and encroaches on more and more jobs, we have to face a question: how do we differentiate the work that humans should do from the work machines should do? In other words, no matter how smart the machines get, what will humans always do better? In this talk, Kai Fu Lee, technology investor and author of AI Superpowers, offers a surprising answer: love. And proposes nothing short of a redesign of the labor market to prioritize jobs that require compassion. But why wait? After the talk, Modupe explores how we can bring more compassion to the workplace now. (FYI that lovable robot in the introduction? That’s Kismet, invented by Cynthia Breazeal, born at the MIT Media Lab. For more on sociable robots, check out her work at https://cynthiabreazeal.media.mit.edu/)
To accomplish environmental change at the scale and pace we need, huge corporations have to make some fundamental changes. How will they do it? In this talk, the head of sustainability at Google, Kate Brandt, shows how one of the biggest companies in the world is aiming to translate techniques from nature, to build a circular system where nothing goes to waste.
The past year changed us. We’re defining success differently. We’re ready for a reset. So for the next few months, we're sharing something special: The ZigZag Project, another show from the TED Audio Collective. In six episodes of ZigZag, a podcast about being human, host Manoush Zomorodi will help you better align your personal values with your professional ambitions. In a process that has been beta tested by listeners and with insight from luminaries who have helped her stay the course, the show will offer an interactive experience, combining audio storytelling with written exercises and a companion newsletter. Join the community at ZigZagPod.com. In this first episode, Manoush shares stories, struggles, and data from the 150 listeners who beta tested the project. And we learn about transition theory and “the neutral zone” from MIT Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein. If you enjoy the episode and want to listen to the next episode, find and follow ZigZag wherever you're listening to this.
More and more, we buy through online marketplaces: Amazon, Uber, Airbnb — the list goes on. But this convenience and efficiency comes with a hidden cost, mostly to small local businesses and workers. Does it have to be that way? Amane Dannouni doesn’t think so. In this talk, the BCG technology consultant shares stories we’re not used to hearing: of online apps in Southeast Asia and Africa that have found a way to help local economies, even as they disrupt them.
We’re seeing more and more full-time work replaced with part-time jobs, contract work, side gigs. “The term side hustle just seems to fit with this ethos where people are putting together a few different things to make a living,” says Nicaila Matthews Okome. Nicaila is the host of Side Hustle Pro, a podcast that spotlights Black female entrepreneurs. And in this talk she introduces us to the entrepreneurial spirit inside today’s side hustle revolution. Is a side hustle right for you? How do you decide what it should be? Stick around after the talk, for a little guidance from Corey and Modupe.
You know the "forgotten middle": they're the students, coworkers and regular people who are often overlooked because they're seen as neither exceptional nor problematic. How can we empower them to reach their full potential? In this talk, Danielle R. Moss describes how her mother’s special attention allowed her to climb out of the middle and towards her potential. Now, she offers that same kind of attention to high school students across the country. After the talk, Modupe and Corey explore what it looks like to bring Danielle’s ideas to work.
What do companies get when they go public on a major stock exchange? The opportunity for anyone to invest, giving the company access to a bunch of cash that allows for huge growth. And...pressure to think in the short term. This can end up hurting their workers, the environment, and even their own long-term strategy. In this episode, a proposal for a new kind of stock exchange, that isn’t just trying to shift a few rules but is building a whole new system to incentivize thinking in the long term. How do you do that? When is it better to just fix what you already have? And will it work? After the talk, Modupe and Corey dig in.
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.
Design Matters: Adam Grant

Design Matters: Adam Grant

2021-02-2201:15:597

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.  
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Comments (66)

Dani Turner

Anyone else unable to hear any audio on this clip?

Mar 22nd
Reply

Burhan L

great episode, thanks for the knowledge/guidance.

Dec 20th
Reply

Mir Media

Here's a good OKR. Pay your fucking taxes.

Oct 26th
Reply

Zoe Effa

It is by grace that we are saved through faith grounded in compassion and love.

Sep 29th
Reply

Riad Zalihic

well done. admire your effort and fights 🙌

Sep 23rd
Reply (1)

Haider Baker

if it's simple, ask for assistance... if its urgent then ask for help.

Aug 1st
Reply

Oche Chula

...lawyers happened... 😁

Jul 22nd
Reply

kagimub

this is beautiful. thanks for sharing

Jul 17th
Reply

S.Mahdi Ahmadi

wounderfull

May 21st
Reply

Jargalmaa Jamiyandorj

k oo l^&;2m8k

May 16th
Reply

Nipul_1

hi https://youtu.be/rEehwM4-29A

Dec 11th
Reply

Rahul

Talk seems great on surface but her statements sort of contradict here and there. On one hand she is asking not to depend on technology but then saying we have great inventiveness and we should use it. What we will build with that inventiveness if not technology? But I agree that efficiency can't work in each situation and we need friends in tough times.

Nov 8th
Reply

Matthew Stafford

fuck she annoying me for no reason

Oct 17th
Reply

Bojan Kovačević

Big thanks!

Oct 2nd
Reply

Steve Kimani

Very relevant to anyone

Sep 19th
Reply

Karin Yong

Really astute observations that are so often overlooked! Love it

Sep 10th
Reply

Reema A AboAjeeb II

truly inspiring

Aug 29th
Reply

Jaded Mage

bravo. excellent insight!

Aug 23rd
Reply

Jasper SaKeanu Ndebele

loved it

Jul 21st
Reply

Abhi Patel

wonderful work!!! i want to ask so much questions tp you mam

Jul 20th
Reply
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