Global

246 articles

The Business of Creating Meaningful Work

Motivated employees can accomplish a lot. How to get there: Make your business values something people are willing to work for.

There are a lot of challenges facing CEOs and leadership teams today. There’s the fact that a minority of millennials believe in capitalism; there’s the pressure to innovate to compete with low-cost disrupters; pressure to improve environmental and social practices; pressure to improve stagnant productivity; pressure from regulatory upheaval. And on and on. A multiplicity of threats […]

What Mister Rogers Teaches Us About Moral Leadership

Moral leadership begins when one person exhibits one or more virtues at an unconventional level. This gives rise to idealized influence.

The documentary about Mister (Fred) Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, surpassed the $20 million mark at the box office in recent days. Documentaries rarely make it to the big screen and do not tend to do well at the box office, so there have been many articles speculating why it is doing so well. I think […]

The Most Creative Teams Have a Specific Type of Cultural Diversity

Understanding the dynamics of cultural brokerage provides a critical advantage in realizing the creative potential of diverse teams.

Culturally diverse teams, research shows, can help deliver better outcomes in today’s organizations. This is largely a good thing: Diverse teams have the potential to be more creative because of the breadth of information, ideas and perspectives that members bring to the table. But these teams often suffer from conflicting norms and differing assumptions between […]

Looking at the Aging Workforce through a New Lens

When hiring managers mobilize older workers, it’s a win-win.

Many businesses are facing a critical shortage of experienced professionals, with industries such as accounting citing lack of skilled personnel as the No. 1 challenge for three quarters in a row. Much of the conversation is centered on the skills gap, high retirement rates for so-called boomers and the inability to find the skills employers […]

The Latin American Investment Opportunity

Now is the time to spark innovation and entrepreneurship across Latin America.

Discussing Latin America as a region always presents some tough challenges. For starters, Latin America is composed of several countries with different economic, political and cultural conditions. Moreover, information in most Latin American countries is not always easy to find and might even be tainted or incorrect. However, there is at least one characteristic that […]

40 Books to Enjoy this Summer: The TED Reading List

Looking for your next great read? We've got a few (dozen) suggestions for you.

Whether your weeks ahead contain travel, vacations or just longer and lazier days than usual, our list of recommendations from TED speakers has books for all moods, activities and tastes. When you want to understand why we humans do what we do 1. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely (TED Talk: Our […]

The Myth of the Intrapreneur

Innovation is a company-wide endeavor, supported from top to bottom by systems, structures and a culture that nurtures transformative ideas.

The Post-it note. Facebook’s “like” button. The Sony PlayStation. These products are all held up as legendary examples of the power of intrapreneurship – entrepreneurial creativity and innovation within large, established organizations. Since the term was coined in the 1980s, intrapreneurship has been sold to companies as a catchall solution for fostering innovation. It’s been promoted […]

Why Today’s Leaders Need to Know About the Power of Narratives

Crafting meaningful narratives that reshape the way we think, feel and act is the utmost strategic leadership challenge.

When Jack Ma, China’s iconic business leader and founder of the e-commerce giant Alibaba, spoke at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in 2017, the corridors were packed with ministers, business leaders and journalists eager to hear from him.  How would he evaluate the 2016 U.S. election results and President-elect Donald Trump, whom he had […]

7 Customer Service Lessons from the Best Uber Driver Ever

This Toronto Uber driver has maintained a 4.99 rating after driving nearly 5,000 passengers. When I climbed into his car, I found out why.

I’ve probably taken an Uber two or three times a day for the past couple years. And every time I idly check the driver’s rating and number of rides. I’ve found even pretty high marks usually mean good but not great service. 4.5? Get ready for loud GPS directions. 4.7? Messy trunk with no suitcase […]

4 Ways to Ensure You’re Always Learning

Making sure the learning environment in your business never goes stagnant.

Workplace learning isn’t a one-time event that you can launch and then move on to other things. Like most worthwhile initiatives, it requires ongoing care and maintenance if it’s going to provide lasting value. As U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue said in his 2018 State of American Business address: “We need […]

How Marketers Can Connect Profit and Purpose

The journey to purpose is not a tactic. If not authentic, customers will see right through your feel-good message.

Six years ago, Harvard’s Michael Porter and FSG’s Mark Kramer made the bold statement that shared value – the idea that the purpose of a company is to achieve both shareholder profit and social purpose – would “reinvent capitalism.” They encouraged companies to go beyond corporate social responsibility and integrate social impact into their competitive strategy. Since […]

Listen, Amplify, Include: Leadership for the Modern Age

Leaders in all walks of life would be wise to adopt a philosophy of radical inclusion.

Retired Gen. Martin Dempsey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Berkeley professor Ori Brafman come from very different backgrounds. One is a 41-year veteran of the U.S. military, the other a 41-year-old liberal academic. But they share a common passion: helping people develop new forms of leadership for the modern age. In […]

The Right Way to Respond to Negative Feedback

With the right approach, our biggest critics can become our greatest champions.

Feedback, as they say, is a gift. Negative feedback, in particular, can be valuable because it allows us to monitor our performance and alerts us to important changes we need to make. But processing and acting on negative feedback is not always easy, and there’s comparatively little guidance on how to navigate the hard feedback […]

In a Fast-Changing World, What Should Workers Learn?

Leaders must evolve from gatekeepers of knowledge to facilitators of learning.

At a time when workplace transformation is accelerating, building skills for the future can feel like an impossible task. Keeping up with what we need to know right now consumes our time and attention, and who can even predict which new technologies and tools we’ll need to adopt? The answer isn’t to give up, of […]

Happiness at Work Doesn’t Just Depend on Your Employer

Contentment at work isn't about happiness gimmicks. It's largely about how bosses treat their people.

When Google promoted a software engineer named Chade-Meng Tan to the role of “Jolly Good Fellow,” his career – and the entire culture of Silicon Valley – took a sharp turn. Meng, a cheerful employee valued for his motivational qualities, went from developing mobile search tools to spreading happiness across the organization. Happiness became his […]

4 Hidden Reasons You Might Be Rambling at Work

Here’s when and why you might be overdoing it – and what to do instead.

Several years ago, someone sent me a Fortune 100 executive for coaching. His main problem? “He talks too much.” I was curious to see what that would look like. So when I met with him, I asked a question that required some elaboration. He ended up rambling for 45 minutes nonstop. I was exhausted. When […]

5 Ways to Project Confidence in Front of an Audience

You might have a great idea or results to share, but if you don’t deliver your message with confidence, it will fall on deaf ears.

When you are presenting or speaking in front of an audience, you’re being judged on your confidence and competence, not just your content, and the way you appear and sound matters. A study on CEOs giving IPO presentations found that even hardened financial advisers judge a leader’s “competence and trustworthiness” within as little as 30 […]

Graduation Advice You Wish You’d Gotten, from 25 TED Speakers

Whether you put on your cap and gown last week — or last century — these honest answers can give you some insight and guidance.

“If you don’t know what you want to do with the rest of your life, you’re not a failure. Give yourself time and get yourself experience to figure things out.” — Angela Duckworth (TED Talk: Grit — the power of passion and persistence) “Although I think I already knew this back when I graduated from […]

Want to Move Fast on a Strategic Opportunity?

Deploy a focused team, and get out of the way.

No doubt about it: We live in a rapidly changing world. Disruptive technologies, shifting customer behaviors and emerging business models are shaking up nearly every industry. If you are going to survive and succeed amid this change, you need to move in a fast and adaptable way. Yes … even if you’re a huge global […]

23 Female TED Speakers Tell Us About the Books that Shaped Them

These books can provide wisdom and inspiration for the next generation of women leaders.

Here are the books that profoundly influenced women from our speaker community, and they’re just as wonderfully diverse as TED itself. Jane Eyre  by Charlotte Brontë When I read this book for the first time as a deeply odd fifth-grader (or, as Jane says, “poor, plain and little”), it felt like grasping onto a life […]

How Humble Leadership Really Works

Certain forms of top-down leadership are outdated and more importantly, counterproductive.

When you’re a leader, you are merely overhead unless you’re bringing out the best in your employees. Unfortunately, many leaders lose sight of this reality. Power can cause leaders to become overly obsessed with outcomes and control and therefore, treat their employees as means to an end. As I’ve discovered in my own research, this […]

5 Lessons Other Small Business Owners Have Already Learned

Go ahead and take some notes – there's no need to repeat these small business mistakes.

Experience is a very good teacher, and every small business owner learns some lessons the hard way. But you can avoid many hassles and headaches by learning from the mistakes of other entrepreneurs who have already faced the same issues you’re facing. Here are five lessons small business owners have learned that they wish they […]

To Take Charge of Your Career, Start by Building Your Tribe

Without tribes, it would be impossible to remember who we are and imagine who we might become.

Show me a person who sees uncertainty as opportunity, and I’ll show you a person who has mastered the new world of work. Sue Ashford, Amy Wrzesniewski and I have collected many stories that show as much for a study of knowledge and creative workers. We heard freelance journalists, consultants, designers, software engineers and executive coaches […]

Female Workforces Can Revolutionize Latin American Business

To bring change to SMEs, public policies are not enough. Entrepreneurs and managers must also embrace the cause of gender equality.

Daniel Velasquez owns a small snack manufacturing firm in Honduras, which produces plantain chips sold in bodegas across the country. A few years ago, Daniel was struggling to consistently find enough plantains that met the company’s quality standards. Supply issues are a typical headache for business owners, but the solution to Daniel’s problem came from […]

How to Deal With Life’s Risks More Rationally

An economist explores how to weigh risk in our personal and work lives more accurately.

The world is an uncertain and risky place. The news constantly bombards us with scary situations from school shootings to gruesome murders. Risk is everywhere and associated with everything. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention a decade ago estimated 234,000 people a year ended up in emergency rooms because of bathroom injuries […]

Small Business Success: Charlotte Mobile Makery

Do you have the initial ingredients to survive in the startup world?

Shannon Hale and Jess Murphy recently left their jobs and started a small business together. Was it a difficult decision? “It was the worst decision I ever made,” Jess told me. OK … just kidding. She never said that. In fact, Jess said something very different. “Best decision ever,” she actually said. “Shannon and I […]

Avoid Plateaus to Keep Your Competitive Edge

Companies that settle into a comfortable plateau are vulnerable and may become obsolete.

Knowledge calcifies. People begin to believe the status quo is the only logical way to do business. When presented with ideas for change, they mostly see obstacles. When you are stable and stationary, you are a sitting duck, easy to copy and vulnerable to commoditization. You quickly lose your edge. To achieve quantum leaps in […]

What Type of Strategic Thinker Are You?

How do executives shape their long-term vision?

Supply chain and operations executives are increasingly involved in making supply chain strategy decisions that have long-term implications. But how do these executives, whose job responsibilities involve mainly short-term decision making, think about the long term? Researchers at MIT CTL asked this question seven years ago. The findings of their multi-method study, which involved collecting survey […]

The Best Way to Network in a New Job

Here's how to learn the ropes in your new organization.

Anyone who hopes to hit the ground running in a new organization must first cultivate allies – a network of people who can provide the information, resources and support needed to succeed. But few onboarding programs offer concrete advice on how to build those all-important connections. Our research during the past decade shows that replicating the […]

What Disasters Teach Us About Avoiding Mistakes at Work

How can people and artificial intelligence cooperate to achieve what neither could individually?

On the late morning of Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger took off in Cape Canaveral, Florida, only to break up midair within two minutes – and come crashing down into the Atlantic Ocean. All seven crew members were killed. The multimillion-dollar project went tragically and disastrously wrong due to an inexpensive rubber O-ring seal, […]