There's nothing like a great TED talk to inspire you. I think I could sit here and watch them all day long. Who couldn't, when you have options ranging from what to do when antibiotics don't work any more to child prodigies playing old school jazz? I find TED talks especially helpful when I'm looking for inspiration regarding leadership of continuous improvement. There are so many out there about idea generation, employee engagement, collective intelligence... so, I've collected a handful of the best TED talks to inspire great leadership. I hope you like them as much as I do!
- Steve Johnson: Where Do Ideas Come From?
We often think of ideas coming about in a "Eureka" moment. Steve Johnson's research shows that ideas come about more gradually as the result of time, collaboration, and external influences. In this talk, Steve talks about how partial ideas come together from different starting points to create a complete idea greater than the sum of its parts.
- Matt Ridley: When Ideas Have Sex
In this fascinating summary of the progression of the human existence, Matt Ridley posits that it is the collective intelligence of a people, rather than the intelligence of individuals, that determines the success of the group. Each of us has skills and ideas to contribute to the human experience. Sharing these skills and ideas is what makes us human.
- Tom Wujec: Got A Wicked Problem? First Tell Me How You Make Toast
If you're having trouble solving a complex problem, visualize it. In this talk, Tom Wujec, a pioneer in business visualization, suggests that by breaking down challenges into working parts, we can better solve them. His three-step model of drawing, organizing, and refining the problem as a team helps people arrive at a better solution than any individual could.
- Linda Hill: How to manage for collective creativity
If you think leading innovation is just about creating a vision and motivating your employees to pursue those goals, think again. In this talk, Linda Hill maintains that engaged employees need to not only learn how to ask questions and actively listen, but also to advocate for their own point of view. Innovation can't happen if everyone just goes with the majority. In a truly innovative organization, you need both conflict and diversity; you need creative
- Roselinde Torres: What it takes to be a great leader
It might be time to reassess your mental image of a perfect leader. Roselinde Torres calls into question many of the common beliefs about good leaders, and offers her own explanation of what makes a leader great. She concludes by sharing three simple but essential questions leaders need to ask to thrive in today's market.
- Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe
Management theorist Simon Sinek believes that a good leader is whose employees trust him and are trusted in return. Employees who don't feel safe with their employers are more likely to mindlessly follow the official procedures, not calling attention to any flaws or mistakes out of a fear of getting in trouble. That doesn't make for a good company culture.