playlist

TED Talks to help you work smarter

These talks offer uncommonly useful advice on how you can make every workday a little bit better — for you and for your coworkers.

  1. 3:28
    Nilofer Merchant Got a meeting? Take a walk

    Nilofer Merchant suggests a small idea that just might have a big impact on your life and health: Next time you have a one-on-one meeting, make it into a "walking meeting" — and let ideas flow while you walk and talk.

  2. 15:47
    Margaret Heffernan Forget the pecking order at work

    Organizations are often run according to "the superchicken model," where the value is placed on star employees who outperform others. And yet, this isn't what drives the most high-achieving teams. Business leader Margaret Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion — built every coffee break, every time one team member asks another for help — that leads over time to great results. It's a radical rethink of what drives us to do our best work, and what it means to be a leader. Because as Heffernan points out: "Companies don't have ideas. Only people do."

  3. 6:34
    David Grady How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings

    An epidemic of bad, inefficient, overcrowded meetings is plaguing the world’s businesses — and making workers miserable. David Grady has some ideas on how to stop it.

  4. 11:04
    Janet Stovall How to get serious about diversity and inclusion in the workplace

    Imagine a workplace where people of all colors and races are able to climb every rung of the corporate ladder — and where the lessons we learn about diversity at work actually transform the things we do, think and say outside the office. How do we get there? In this candid talk, inclusion advocate Janet Stovall shares a three-part action plan for creating workplaces where people feel safe and expected to be their unassimilated, authentic selves.

  5. 16:33
    Ray Dalio How to build a company where the best ideas win

    What if you knew what your coworkers really thought about you and what they were really like? Ray Dalio makes the business case for using radical transparency and algorithmic decision-making to create an idea meritocracy where people can speak up and say what they really think — even calling out the boss is fair game. Learn more about how these strategies helped Dalio create one of the world's most successful hedge funds and how you might harness the power of data-driven group decision-making.

  6. 10:54
    Luvvie Ajayi Get comfortable with being uncomfortable

    Luvvie Ajayi isn't afraid to speak her mind or to be the one dissenting voice in a crowd, and neither should you. "Your silence serves no one," says the writer, activist and self-proclaimed professional troublemaker. In this bright, uplifting talk, Ajayi shares three questions to ask yourself if you're teetering on the edge of speaking up or quieting down — and encourages all of us to get a little more comfortable with being uncomfortable.

  7. 4:12
    Michael C. Bush This is what makes employees happy at work

    There are three billion working people on this planet, and only 40 percent of them report being happy at work. Michael C. Bush shares his insights into what makes workers unhappy — and how companies can benefit their bottom lines by fostering satisfaction.

  8. 14:06
    Anastasia Penright 5 steps to remove yourself from drama at work

    No matter your industry, you've experienced drama at work. In this funny and all-too-relatable talk, community leader Anastasia Penright outlines five steps you can follow to better coexist with your coworkers and focus on what's really important.

  9. 10:38
    Rob Cooke The cost of work stress — and how to reduce it

    By some estimates, work-related stress drains the US economy of nearly 300 billion dollars a year — and it can hurt your productivity and personal health too, says wellness advocate Rob Cooke. He shares some strategies to help put your mental, physical and emotional well-being back at the forefront.

  10. 15:24
    Christine Porath Why being respectful to your coworkers is good for business

    Looking to get ahead in your career? Start by being respectful to your coworkers, says leadership researcher Christine Porath. In this science-backed talk, she shares surprising insights about the costs of rudeness and shows how little acts of respect can boost your professional success — and your company's bottom line.

  11. 12:01
    Yves Morieux As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

    Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today's businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex — and traditional pillars of management are obsolete, says Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit's warren of interdependencies. In this energetic talk, Morieux offers six rules for "smart simplicity." (Rule one: Understand what your colleagues actually do.)

  12. 12:56
    Margaret Heffernan Dare to disagree

    Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers — and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.