TED talks for learning and development professionals
If you’re looking for inspiration and new ideas from thought leaders then look no further.
In this article we’ll be exploring some of the top TED talks for learning and development professionals.
These videos are available to watch, for free. If nothing else, they provided us with a great opportunity to fan-girl/guy over fantastically polished presentation skills. I’m always taking note of their approach so I can use their techniques in my speaking too.
Let’s take a look into the list!
1. Daniel Pink – The puzzle of motivation
Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t. Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward.
2. Karen Eber – How your brain responds to stories
How do the world’s best leaders and visionaries earn trust? They don’t just present data — they also tell great stories. Leadership consultant Karen Eber demystifies what makes for effective storytelling and explains how anyone can harness it to create empathy and inspire action.
3. Tricia Wang – The human insights missing from big data
Why do so many companies make bad decisions, even with access to unprecedented amounts of data? With stories from Nokia to Netflix to the oracles of ancient Greece, Tricia Wang demystifies big data and identifies its pitfalls, suggesting that we focus instead on “thick data” — precious, unquantifiable insights from actual people — to make the right business decisions and thrive in the unknown.
4. Dan Ariely – What makes us feel good about our work?
What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work.
5. Margaret Heffernan – The human skills we need in an unpredictable world
The more we rely on technology to make us efficient, the fewer skills we have to confront the unexpected, says writer and entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan. She shares why we need less tech and more messy human skills — imagination, humility, bravery — to solve problems in business, government and life in an unpredictable age. “We are brave enough to invent things we’ve never seen before,” she says. “We can make any future we choose.”
6. Rainer Strack – The workforce crisis of 2030 — and how to start solving it now
It sounds counterintuitive, but by 2030, many of the world’s largest economies will have more jobs than adult citizens to do those jobs. In this data-filled — and quite charming — talk, human resources expert Rainer Strack suggests that countries ought to look across borders for mobile and willing job seekers. But to do that, they need to start by changing the culture in their businesses.
7. John Doerr – Why the secret to success is setting the right goals
Our leaders and institutions are failing us, but it’s not always because they’re bad or unethical, says venture capitalist John Doerr. Often, it’s simply because they’re leading us toward the wrong objectives. In this practical talk, Doerr shows us how we can get back on track with “Objectives and Key Results,” or OKRs — a goal-setting system that’s been employed by the likes of Google, Intel and Bono to set and execute on audacious goals. Learn more about how setting the right goals can mean the difference between success and failure — and how we can use OKRs to hold our leaders and ourselves accountable.
8. Sir Ken Robinson – Bring on the learning revolution!
In this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning — creating conditions where kids’ natural talents can flourish.
That was my top ted talks for learning and development professionals. Which was your favourite, or most thought provoking? I, personally like Dan Pink’s content… it’s a classic but really does help you think about how best to motivate others.
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