Why You Should Know How Much Your Coworkers Get Paid

How much do you get paid? How does it compare to the people you work with? You should know, and so should they, says management researcher David Burkus. In this talk, Burkus questions our cultural assumptions around keeping salaries secret and makes a compelling case for why sharing them could benefit employees, organizations and society.

The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get

You’re doing everything right at work, taking all the right advice, but you’re just not moving up. Why? Susan Colantuono shares a simple, surprising piece of advice you might not have heard before quite so plainly. This talk, while aimed at an audience of women, has universal takeaways — for men and women, new grads and midcareer workers.

Editor’s Note: Something didn’t really resonate … [ Read more ]

Tom Wujec: Got a wicked problem? First, Tell Me How You Make Toast

Making toast doesn’t sound very complicated — until someone asks you to draw the process, step by step. Tom Wujec loves asking people and teams to draw how they make toast, because the process reveals unexpected truths about how we can solve our biggest, most complicated problems at work. Learn how to run this exercise yourself, and hear Wujec’s surprising insights from watching thousands of … [ Read more ]

Yves Morieux: As Work Gets More Complex, 6 Rules to Simplify

Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today’s businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex — and traditional pillars of management are obsolete, says Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit’s warren of interdependencies. In this energetic talk, Morieux offers six rules for “smart simplicity.” (Rule One: Understand what your colleagues actually do.)

Margaret Heffernan: Dare to Disagree

Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers—and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.

Richard Wilkinson: How Economic Inequality Harms Societies

We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.

Clay Shirky: Institutions vs. Collaboration

In this prescient 2005 talk, Clay Shirky shows how closed groups and companies will give way to looser networks where small contributors have big roles and fluid cooperation replaces rigid planning.

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.

Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice

Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz’s estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

Rachel Botsman: The Case for Collaborative Consumption

Rachel Botsman talks about the power of collaboration and sharing through network technologies, and on how it will transform business, consumerism and the way we live.

Editor’s Note: I think it should be interesting to re-watch this video in 5, 10, 15 years and see how the topic unfolds.

Pankaj Ghemawat: Actually, the World Isn’t Flat

It may seem that we’re living in a borderless world where ideas, goods and people flow freely from nation to nation. We’re not even close, says Pankaj Ghemawat. With great data (and an eye-opening survey), he argues that there’s a delta between perception and reality in a world that’s maybe not so hyperconnected after all.

James B. Glattfelder: Who controls the world?

James Glattfelder studies complexity: how an interconnected system — say, a swarm of birds — is more than the sum of its parts. And complexity theory, it turns out, can reveal a lot about how the economy works. Glattfelder shares a groundbreaking study of how control flows through the global economy, and how concentration of power in the hands of a shockingly small number leaves … [ Read more ]

Richard Wilkinson: How Economic Inequality Harms Societies

We feel instinctively that societies with huge income gaps are somehow going wrong. Richard Wilkinson charts the hard data on economic inequality, and shows what gets worse when rich and poor are too far apart: real effects on health, lifespan, even such basic values as trust.

Rory Sutherland: Sweat the Small Stuff

It may seem that big problems require big solutions, but ad man Rory Sutherland says many flashy, expensive fixes are just obscuring better, simpler answers. To illustrate, he uses behavioral economics and hilarious examples.

Thinking about the optimism bias: Tali Sharot at TED2012

Neuroscientist Tali Sharot comes on stage to discuss the “optimism bias.” It’s a topic that she’s been studying in her lab and she claims that 80% of us experience it. “It” being the tendency to overestimate the likelihood of good things happening to us. As she puts it: “we’re more optimistic than realistic, and we’re oblivious about it.”

Tony Robbins Asks Why We Do What We Do

Tony Robbins discusses the “invisible forces” that motivate everyone’s actions — and high-fives Al Gore in the front row.

Philip Zimbardo Prescribes a Healthy Take on Time

Psychologist Philip Zimbardo says happiness and success are rooted in a trait most of us disregard: the way we orient toward the past, present and future. He suggests we calibrate our outlook on time as a first step to improving our lives.

Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we’re not as rational as we think when we make decisions.

It’s become increasingly obvious that the dismal science of economics is not as firmly grounded in actual behavior as was once supposed. In “Predictably Irrational,” Dan Ariely tells us why. … [ Read more ]

The Happy Planet Index

Statistician Nic Marks asks why we measure a nation’s success by its productivity — instead of by the happiness and well-being of its people. He introduces the Happy Planet Index, which tracks national well-being against resource use (because a happy life doesn’t have to cost the earth). Which countries rank highest in the HPI? You might be surprised.

Matt Ridley: When Ideas Have Sex

At TEDGlobal 2010, author Matt Ridley shows how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. It’s not important how clever individuals are, he says; what really matters is how smart the collective brain is.