Building a learning culture — one that thrives on the constant absorption and sharing of relevant knowledge to raise organizational intelligence and agility — is no easy task. And if you’re a business that isn’t enterprise-size, it can be even more difficult to provide access to the right tools, resources, and time necessary to transform your environment.
Learning needs to be relevant and easily accessible, and the content needs to inspire your employees; otherwise, they’ll dread what should be a welcome activity.
This is exactly why TED Talks have become such an important tool for business leaders and corporate talent executives. With a library of nearly 2,000 18-minute videos on myriad topics, TED offers concise, groundbreaking knowledge in a convenient medium for any professional who wants to make inspirational learning a priority in the workplace.
To take the recommendation to include TED in a corporate learning strategy a step further, there are a number of insightful presentations on the topic of learning specifically as well. Each demonstrates how learning is evolving quickly.
5 Must-Watch TED Talks on Learning
Some of the most insightful TED Talks focus on education, specifically on how we all teach, learn, and work differently. Here are five TED Talks focusing on principles of learning that are worth watching:
1. “Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work”
In this talk, Jason Fried explores why no matter how much a company spends on fancy décor or office renovations, the distractions of a shared workspace are simply too much for some workers to overcome. Like students who can’t sit still in a desk at school, some workers are most productive, focused, and inspired when working beyond the walls of their office. Fried encourages managers to find ways to make their whole team more productive by recognizing individual needs.
2. “Bring on the Learning Revolution!”
In his 2010 presentation, Sir Ken Robinson addressed the worldwide human resources crisis, which he blamed on the one-size-fits-all educational practices of our society. Robinson smartly demonstrated where education has gone off-course and examined the ramifications this may have on our workforce in the long run. The talk also offered tips for an education revolution — the creation of a system meant to fit the needs of the person, rather than the group.
3. “The Puzzle of Motivation”
Analyst Dan Pink spoke to TED audiences about the ever-important balance between motivation and performance and discussed why rewards rarely boost productivity. He explains that we learn better when there’s purpose and meaning behind our learning. Rather than a grade or reward, we’re more motivated by “autonomy, mastery, and purpose.” Pink encourages business leaders to apply these ideas to the workplace to create a more focused and productive workforce.
4. “What We’re Learning from Online Education”
In her inspiring 2012 speech, Daphne Koller spoke of how the Internet is democratizing learning by making college education more available and affordable than ever before. She offered a rundown of how online education works and demonstrated its potential to empower and enhance the labor force through global accessibility. Education as a fundamental human right is a beautiful vision Koller challenged us to see.
5. “Let’s Use Video to Reinvent Education”
Salman Khan, founder of Khan Academy, gave a TED Talk in 2011 that addressed the evolution of education and how technology has made learning more accessible. In his speech, Khan shared his vision for interactive, self-paced learning, customized with technology and mixed media made available both inside and outside the classroom. He demonstrated how his own company is putting this into practice through its educational video courses, viewed by more than a million people monthly.
How to Utilize TED Talks in Your Workplace
TED Talks are innovative, captivating, inspiring, and often fun. And integrating these videos into your organization’s learning culture is a good way to promote problem solving, enthusiasm, and brainstorming among employees. But if you’re planning to incorporate TED Talks into your business practices, here are some tips:
· Watch the TED Talk yourself first. You can only accurately retell the whole speech with your work team if you’ve actually watched the entire video. Make sure you prescreen anything you share with others.
· Select videos that are relevant and of value to you and the business. Don’t make everyone watch an 18-minute-long video because it’s “cool.” Keep videos on-topic; make sure it’s clear why you chose to share them with your team.
· Make viewings convenient. To ensure everyone watches, work the video into a relevant meeting or presentation, followed by an open discussion. Otherwise, email the link to employees so they can watch it at their leisure.
· Provide a preview of summary. Just because you think it’s great doesn’t mean others do, nor that they have the time to invest. Share a summary or abstract of the video to more easily communicate, more quickly disseminate, and drive more views of the inspirational TED Talk.
TED Talks have given all of us a tool to leverage the value of an external thought leader presentation in a medium that is affordable and repeatable at recurring meetings. They’ve opened the door for businesses of all sizes to promote continued learning and thought exploration. Companies that continually invest in their employees’ education are positioning themselves for long-term success.
Michel Koopman is the CEO of getAbstract, Inc, a Saba Content Partner.Their mission is to find, compress, and provide access to business knowledge.