The 5 best TED Talks for business

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The 5 best TED Talks for business

Watch these five videos to expand and develop your business acumen

TED Talks is one of the best resources on the internet. Offering a range of lectures and speeches hosted by some of the most inspirational people on the planet. Whether work advice from optimism coach Shawn Achor, creative guidance from award-winning authors, or tips from successful figures with a lifetime of expertise and experience behind them; it's all on TED Talks. Better yet, they're all completely free to watch and download.

Here are some of the best TED talks for improving your business outlook.

1) Your elusive creative genius - Elizabeth Gilbert

Hosted by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the hugely successful novel 'Eat, Pray Love', this talk breaks down the myth of the genius, and reminds us that everyone has the capacity to generate great ideas.

First, Gilbert argues against the notion that people with the best ideas must exist outside society. Instead, the author explains how genius is something that exists inside each of us. Whether it's creating a business plan, writing or a book or some of the more bizarre examples listed by the author - our genius can show itself when we least expect it.

2) Why it's time to forget the pecking order - Margaret Heffernan

Margaret Heffernan is already known in the business world for acclaimed books such as "The Naked Truth", "Women on Top" and “Wilful Blindness”. In this talk, Heffernan argues that business doesn't need to be a dog eat dog world after all.

Using easy-to-understand terms and a memorable story involving chickens, Heffernan explains why competition doesn't always breed productivity. Instead, Heffernan reveals successful companies don't require fierce competition between workers, but social sensitivity and unity.

3) How to run a company with (almost) no rules - Ricardo Semler

At their very essence, companies are carefully selected groups of people, with a hierarchy of employees designed to maximise productivity. Take away those rules and regulations, and what happens? Not what you'd expect.

Preparing for cancer made Ricardo Semler embrace life in the present, and this enlightening talk charts how he transferred that ethos to his company. Learn how Semler broke down the formal barriers between company and employee - and still achieved a highly productive, happy workforce.

4) The happy secret to better work - Shawn Achor

In business and many others industries, happiness is seen as secondary to productivity. However, in this engaging TED talk from Shawn Achor, you'll learn happiness can be one of the best tools a worker can have.

Achor explains that training our minds in the same way we train our bodies makes us more positive and more productive. However it's not just about the individual; Achor also explains how random compliments and acts of kindness can energise the workplace.

5) Got a wicked problem? First tell me how you make toast - Tom Wujec

Don't be put off by the title, this talk by Tom Wujec will transform how you think about collaboration and the power groups can have. Wujec starts off by explaining how drawing toast shows how people think, but then expands the concept to a business setting.

You'll learn how business visualisation has helped failing companies return to success, and discover how an ongoing process of collaboration and refinement can seriously improve productivity.

This article originally appeared at

Copyright © Alphr, Dennis Publishing

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