4 TED Talks to Inspire Innovative Thinking in Your Company

Forbes contributor Cheryl Conner recently shared five TED Talks for entrepreneurs in search of creativity and inspiration. While the presentations she chose offered practical tips for those looking for continued success in business ventures, all of them offer great advice for anyone who  wants to enhance their careers.

Living up to its motto, “ideas worth sharing,” TED is never short on great presentations. We’re expecting even more when TED Global 2014 rolls around this October. While we wait for a fresh set of ideas, here are four TED Talks that can help inspire innovative thinking in your company—regardless of where you are on the corporate ladder.

Shawn Achor: ‘The happy secret to better work’

We’re often taught that happiness follows success, but psychologist Shawn Achor believes otherwise. In his TED Talk, Shawn offers that we reverse this formula. Actually, it’s happiness that inspires productivity.

90 percent of your long-term happiness is predicted not by the external world, but by the way your brain processes the world. And if we change it, if we change our formula for happiness and success, what we can do is change the way that we can then affect reality. What we found is that only 25 percent of job successes are predicted by I.Q. 75 percent of job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat.

Kathryn Schulz: ‘Don’t regret regret’

Kathryn Schulz is a writer that specializes on ‘Wrongology’. In this TED Talk, she discusses the all-too-familiar feeling of regret, and how we should use it as a positive source of motivation.

You’re going to experience more regret in that situation if you missed your flight by three minutes than if you missed it by 20. Why? Well because, if you miss your flight by three minutes, it is painfully easy to imagine that you could have made different decisions that would have led to a better outcome. “I should have taken the bridge and not the tunnel. I should have gone through that yellow light.” These are the classic conditions that create regret. We feel regret when we think we are responsible for a decision that came out badly, but almost came out well.

Stanley McChrystal: ‘Listen, learn… then lead’

Four-star general Stanley McChrystal used to be the commander of the U.S. and International forces in Afghanistan. For his TED Talk, he shares how he managed to lead people of different backgrounds, skills, and ages into working toward a common goal.

And as soon as I hit, the first thing I did is I’d see if I’d broken anything that I needed. I’d shake my head, and I’d ask myself the eternal question: “Why didn’t I go into banking?” (Laughter) And I’d look around, and then I’d see another paratrooper, a young guy or girl, and they’d have pulled out their M4 carbine and they’d be picking up their equipment. They’d be doing everything that we had taught them. And I realized that, if they had to go into combat, they would do what we had taught them and they would follow leaders. And I realized that, if they came out of combat, it would be because we led them well. And I was hooked again on the importance of what I did.

Nilofer Merchant: ‘Got a meeting? Take a walk’

It might seem like an odd idea to have a business meeting while taking a walk, but as corporate director Nilofer Merchant suggests, fresh air and exercise can have a huge impact on how you think.

And if we’re going to solve problems and look at the world really differently, whether it’s in governance or business or environmental issues, job creation, maybe we can think about how to reframe those problems as having both things be true. Because it was when that happened with this walk-and-talk idea that things became doable and sustainable and viable.

Find more inspiring presentations at the TED Talks library.

 

Featured Image: Gisela Giardino via Flickr

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