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TED Business

Whatever your business conundrum, there’s a TED Talk for that—whether you want to learn how to land that promotion, set smart goals, undo injustice at work, or unlock the next big innovation. Every Monday, host Modupe Akinola of Columbia Business School presents the most powerful and surprising ideas that illuminate the business world. After the talk, you'll get a mini-lesson from Modupe on how to apply the ideas in your own life. Because business evolves every day, and our ideas about it should, too.

Popular episodes

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The best episodes ranked using user listens.

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An introvert’s guide to WFH | Morra Aarons-Mele

You might think working from home is an introvert’s fantasy. “But,” says writer Morra Aarons-Mele, “the truth is, for many introverts remote work is kind of a nightmare.” In this talk, she helps introverts understand how to protect their precious energy in a virtual work life. Lessons we can all learn from. But how do you know if you're an introvert or not? After the talk, Modupe explains why the answer isn’t as clear cut as you might think. For more from Morra, check out her podcast "The Anxious Achiever" from Harvard Business Review.

8mins

25 Jan 2021

Rank #1

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Why the secret to success is setting the right goals | John Doerr

When promising projects crash and burn, it's not always because of glaring mistakes. Venture capitalist John Doerr reveals it's often because those projects were linked to the wrong objectives. Get Doerr's practical guidance on how to set and execute on audacious goals with "Objectives and Key Results," or OKRs — a goal-setting system that's been employed by the likes of Google, Intel and Bono — plus host Modupe Akinola's twist on the importance of timing.

18mins

26 Oct 2020

Rank #2

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How to find the person who can help you get ahead at work | Carla Harris

You know you need a mentor to advance your career, but have you ever considered who your sponsor is? Carla Harris, vice chairman at Morgan Stanley, explains the crucial importance of identifying a person who will speak on your behalf in the top-level, closed-door meetings you're not invited to (yet). Learn why your pool of potential sponsors is bigger than you might think—and how to think carefully about how to present yourself to them.

19mins

19 Oct 2020

Rank #3

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To make a company change, turn up the heat | Vinay Shandal

What do you do when a company doesn’t act in line with your values? Boycott? Divest? In essence, stop the flow of money? That's the typical advice. But sustainability consultant (and former comedian) Vinay Shandal says we’re missing a whole set of tools more effective than walking away. He looks to the most intimidating and influential profit-chasing investors in the world for techniques on how to make real social change.  After the talk, Modupe chats with Corey Hajim, TED’s Business Curator, to try to apply Vinay’s ideas to their own lives. Without getting exhausted.  

30mins

18 Jan 2021

Rank #4

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Why the strongest leaders ask for help | Lorna Davis

When confronting huge challenges, sometimes the greatest strength a leader can show is to admit uncertainty. Former Danone North America CEO Lorna Davis learned that the hard way, then discovered the power of publicly committing to big, bold goals—and then inviting others to help her meet them. Host Modupe Akinola shares the benefit of being a collaborative leader—no matter where you are in your career.

19mins

12 Oct 2020

Rank #5

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Coming soon: the new TED Business!

TED Business is re-launching Oct. 12 in audio with a fresh new sound and a terrific new host, Columbia University's Modupe Akinola. New weekly episodes every Monday will bring you the best talks on business delivered on the TED stage, AND a post-talk lesson that helps you apply these ideas to your own life. Get a first slice of the new sound here.

1min

7 Oct 2020

Rank #6

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The unexpected habits of original thinkers | Adam Grant

Last week, you heard the latest thinking from Adam Grant, organizational psychologist extraordinaire, about his newest book. This week, we dive into the archives for a classic. We have a lot of ideas about what leads to our most creative thoughts. Today, Adam and Modupe tell us why we’re wrong. You might want to bring a pen.

19mins

1 Mar 2021

Rank #7

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Should we cry at work? | Susan David

Feelings are complicated. And even more so at work. We like to believe the ultimate professional is stoic, but what important information do we miss when we disregard our emotions on the job? In this episode, Harvard psychologist Susan David helps us break free from the "tyranny of positivity" and embrace the full range of our emotions. After the talk, Modupe extends this idea to the workplace by examining a time she shed tears at a meeting with colleagues.

24mins

8 Feb 2021

Rank #8

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Turn critics into allies | Bob Langert

When an organization is battered by critics, how does it usually respond? “Deny and push back, put out some sort of lame statement,” says Bob Langert, “and no progress is made at all.” But based on 25 years leading sustainability and corporate responsibility at McDonald’s, Bob proposes another way: To work with critics. In this talk, he shares stories that take us from the Amazon to slaughterhouses, from tree huggers to corporate suits, all in the search for common ground with his greatest detractors.

26mins

1 Feb 2021

Rank #9

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Design Matters: Adam Grant

Some exciting news. Today, TED is launching the TED Audio Collective, a collection of podcasts all about ideas, brought to you in audio. So we’re sharing an episode we thought you’d like that features not one, but two TED hosts. In Design Matters, Debbie Millman interviews creative people about how they design the arc of their lives. In this episode, she interviews Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and host of WorkLife. Together, they examine his astonishing career—quite an exercise with someone who researches success. And they discuss his latest book, Think Again, all about the critical, difficult and timely art of rethinking your old ideas.

1hr 15mins

22 Feb 2021

Rank #10