Use These TED Talks To Help Your Business Grow

TED – technology, education, design – these three words are the platform upon which TED talks have been created. Growing substantially in popularity, there are now branches within TED that reach out to specific groups like TED teen talks, TED women, or TED (insert the name of your city or university here). What do all of these subgroups of TED talks have in common? They talk about success. The secrets to being successful in school, in the workplace, and life in general. We want to specifically focus on which TED talks have taught us the most about being successful in business.

1. Susan Cain: The power of introverts.

This talk looks at how our society has put the extrovert on a pedastool while the introverts in our society are usually shunned and cast off as “shy” or “loners”. What Ms. Cain so eloquently teaches us here is that just because a person is extroverted, doesn’t mean they aren’t smart, creative, and interesting people. So what does this have to do with business? As introverts grow up from the kid reading a book on the playground to the adult reading the novel at their desk during lunch – one thing is clear – introverts prefer to work alone. This doesn’t necessarily imply that introverts hate people or that they don’t work well in groups – they just work much better on their own where the extroverts aren’t all talking over each other and trying to battle it out for the official title of “project leader”. How is it then, that introverts can become successful in business if they are constantly being thought of as outcasts? Susan Cain explains it like this: “Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Gandhi…all these people describe themselves as quiet. soft spoken and even shy. And they all took the spotlight even though every bone in their bodies was telling them not to [...] they were there because they had no choice, because they were driven to do what they thought was right.” Introverts of the world, take this as a lesson, you may not think you have power but you do, it’s just a quiet power.

2. Seth Godin: The tribes we lead.

When it comes to marketing, Seth Godin has some interesting ideas. Mr. Godin explains, step by step how spreading ideas and leadership has changed. It started out as word of mouth, then print advertising, moving on to television, and eventually our current approach which is digital but no money or particular influence is needed, just the intense urge to make a change. Unfortunately, all of this mass marketing has made consumers weary. They’re bombarded with ads from every possible outlet, everywhere they look, and it’s just not effective anymore. Mr. Godin has a solution that look to the future by going back nearly 50,000 years, “Turns out that it’s tribes – not money, not factories – that can change our world, that can change politics, that can align large numbers of people. It’s not because you FORCE them to do something against their will, but because they wanted to connect.” In layman’s terms, it’s not about mass marketing, it’s about smart marketing. By forming an idea and spreading that idea across several connecting “tribes” you’re optimizing your effect in the world of modern day marketing.

3. Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world

We all know that one kid that we can’t tear away from their video games, and we’re probably worried about that kid, but should we be? Jane McGonigal would tell you not to be worried, and maybe even encourage you to let that kid play games even more than they already do so that they can one day solve real world problems like world hunger, poverty and climate change. Wait…what? Read that over again and let it sink in. Here’s why, “When we are in “game world” we become the best version of ourselves [...] to get up after failure and try again.” Now your wheels are turning and you’re probably imagining how games can help your business. Here’s just one gem of information and inspiration from this TED talk that can help you on that path. What exactly are gamers getting good at? Urgent optimism – extreme self motivation, anything is possible. Social Fabric – we like people better after we play a game with them because it takes a lot of trust and cooperation.Blissful Productivity – we know when we’re playing a game that we’re happier working hard than we are when relaxing, but we have to be doing the right work. Epic Meaning – building extensive knowledge of one specific thing. By introducing gamification to a business and relating gaming goals to work goals, a workplace could see a substantial difference in how their employees approach and complete their projects.

photo credit: TED Conference via photopin cc