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10 Inspiring Ted Talks for Your Team

Ted Talks for Your Team

While individual achievement can be great, sometimes it takes some serious teamwork to get things done, from winning a game to completing a client project on time.

TED talks are a great resource to learn from the experts on almost any topic.

Here are a few you can use to reignite your team’s creative fire, foster collaboration, and team management.

#1. Susan Cain‘s TED Talk on “The Power of Introverts”.

Former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant Susan Cain, author of the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts, demonstrates the often unappreciated gifts that introverted people bring to the workplace and the world at large.  Find out how Susan emphasizes that in a world that values extroverts, many valuable gifts that introverts can offer are often muffled and forgotten.

Let this video transform how you bring your team together and maximize what they have to offer.

#2. Tom Wujec’s TED Talk on “Build a tower, build a team”.

In this talk, Autodesk Fellow Tom Wujec explores what we can learn about team building and productivity from the “marshmallow problem”– a simple team-building exercise to see who can build the tallest tower using dry spaghetti, tape and a marshmallow. What makes for the most successful teams may surprise you. Not only does the game develop teamwork, but it also highlights many problems that teams commonly face in the workplace.

#3. Clay Shirky‘s TED Talk on “Institutions vs Collaboration”.

Despite being a talk given almost a decade ago, this talk remains one of the best materials to teach teamwork. Clay Shirky describes how collaboration in business is changing, replacing closed networks with more fluid, interacting networks.

#4. Simon Sinek’s TED Talk on “How great leaders inspire action”.

In simple terms, teamwork is all about working collaboratively with a group of people to achieve a goal. Therefore, acting together in order to turn objectives into results. In order to inspire better teamwork, you need to inspire people to act by starting with the golden circle and the question “Why?”.

In this TED Talk, Simon Sinek introduces simple, yet an immensely powerful model for inspirational leadership. After having watched and analyzed inspiring leaders and politicians, he discovered a remarkable pattern in the way these people think, act and communicate. Summing up his discoveries in the Golden Circle, which he calls a naturally occurring pattern explaining why we are inspired by some people over others.

#5. Deborah Gordon’s TED Talk on “The Emergent Genius of Ant Colonies”.

Deborah Gordon studies ant colonies in the Arizona desert to understand their complex social system. She asks: How do these chitinous creatures get down to business — and even multitask when they need to — with no language, memory or visible leadership? Her answers could lead to a better understanding of all complex systems, from the brain to the Web. Thanks, ants.

Gordon shares her research on how lessons from the ant colonies can be applied to human teams everywhere.

#6. Jason Fried’s TED Talk on “Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work”.

Jason Fried explains why sometimes physical workplaces can be the bane of getting any work done, commonly brought about by the “M&M”s – Managers and Meetings. He goes on to explain how to create an ideal workplace where your team members can actually get work done. He distinguishes between voluntary and involuntary distractions, claiming that involuntary distractions happen the most while at the office.

#7. Dan Ariely’s TED Talk on “What makes us feel good about our work?”

In this talk, Dan Ariely outlines two experiments that highlight what motivates us to work. He suggests that you should create a culture of acknowledgment and meaning for a more productive, happier workforce.

#8. Howard Rheingold’s TED Talk on “The new power of collaboration”.

Howard Rheingold talks about the coming world of collaboration, participatory media, and collective action. He talks about how the digital collaborative settings are really just outgrowths of our own natural instinct to work in a group.

#9. Dan Pink’s TED Talk on “The puzzle of motivation”.

It’s no secret better teamwork includes motivating your team, which is an important task – a task that falls on the shoulders of the team leaders. Here’s where Dan Pink jumps in and offers some great insights to the puzzle of motivation. As a matter of fact, there is a considerable mismatch between what science knows and what business leader do.

#10. Brene Brown’s TED Talk on “The Power of Vulnerability”.

One of the biggest barriers to creativity is fear.   This talk by Brene Brown outlines why vulnerability is an important and necessary part of being creative. With a decade of research to back her up, Brene talks about why we should be kinder and gentler to ourselves and to not fear mistakes.  This is an important philosophy to foster when the success of your team depends on the creativity of the individuals on that team.

Show this video if you want to impress upon your team that they work in a safe space.  A place where it’s ok to fail as long as lessons are learned and they give it their all.

These TED Talks are great reminders how to inspire better teamwork. But in order to find the exact routes to success, you need to know how your team is performing. You need to keep up with their progress, plans, and challenges, which enables you to jump in and motivate your people when things go off-road or when praise is needed.

We hope you found these talks interesting and inspiring. Which ones do you think are the best? Have we missed any great TED talks that can be related to Team Hack? Please feel free to leave a comment below.

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