Category Archives: TED business

ted_blog_2_innovation

Two surprising strategies for effective innovation

Picture this: Three kids are given a LEGO set with the pieces to build a fire department. All of them want to build as many new toys as possible.
The first kid goes straight for the easy wins. He puts a tiny red hat on a tiny minifig: presto, a firefighter! In this way, he quickly makes several simple toys. The second kid goes by intuition. He chooses the pieces he’s drawn to and imagines how he could combine them. The third takes a different strategy altogether: She picks up axles, wheels, base plates; pieces she can’t use now but knows she’ll need later if she wants to build complex toys.
By the time they’re finished playing, which kid will have created the most new toys?
Common lore favors the second kid’s strategy — innovation by intuition or visionary foresight. “Innovation has been more of an art than a science,” says Martin Reeves (TED Talk: How to build a business that lasts 100 years), a senior partner and managing director at BCG, and global director of BCG’s think tank. “We think

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TED@BCG, Paris 2016

Seeing opportunities for change: The talks of TED@BCG

At the latest TED@BCG event at the Palais de Tokyo, in Paris, a diverse range of speakers took on the theme “to boldly transform.” Photo: Richard Hadley/TED
The future is built by those who see opportunities for change and act on them. At TED@BCG — the latest TED Institute event, held on May 18, 2016, at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris — speakers explored what it means to transform boldly. In three sessions of talks, curated and hosted by TED’s Editorial Director, Helen Walters, speakers shared insights about the future of our relationship with nature, the changing makeup of our organizations, the evolving interconnectedness of our economies and more, challenging preconceived notions and embracing change as the only constant.
After opening remarks from Rich Lesser, BCG’s president and CEO, the talks in Session 1  challenged us to look around to see how we might create change here and now, in our workplaces, teams and lives.
Develop a relationship with your curiosity. Not everyone has a friendly rapport with the question mark. Culture critic Laura Fox believes that to become intimately acquainted with knowledge,

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tedups_theme

Life and logistics: The speakers at TED@UPS move things, in space and in theory

At TED@UPS, speakers from all parts of the company — from delivery drivers to marketing executives — shared ideas on pushing through challenges. Photo: Mark Tioxon/TED
How exactly do you ship fragile dinosaur bones? Or move a 12.5-ton locomotive through the air? And what are all the little things that have to happen to get relief supplies delivered when and where they’re needed?
Employees at UPS think about these kinds of challenges all the time. It’s why the theme, “Think. Solve, Do.,” just made sense for the first TED@UPS, held on September 2, 2015, at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center in Decatur, Georgia. In two sessions of talks hosted by Kelly Stoetzel and curated by Bryn Freedman, 16 speakers — all but one from within the company — shared ideas on logistics, yes, but also on life. The thread that wove through all the talks: the importance of pushing forward through obstacles.
Great moments from the talks in Session 1:
“Over 98% of exporters are small- and medium-sized businesses. … The borders that they have a hard time crossing are the ones they establish for themselves.”
—Scott Szwast

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margaret_heffernan_ted_bcg

Career advice for millennials (and really, anyone) from Margaret Heffernan

In her career, Margaret Heffernan has been the CEO of five businesses. What advice does she have for people just starting their careers? First: Get to know your coworkers. Photo: Paul Clarke/TED
It’s a month after graduation, which means the luckiest new college grads are a month deep into internships and entry-level jobs. How to stand out? Business writer Margaret Heffernan suggests: Start by taking a coffee break with your coworkers. Companies grow best, she suggests, when workers are connected by social bonds.
Heffernan’s TED Book, Beyond Measure: The Big Impact of Small Changes, rounds up the academic research that backs up her workplace-tested insights. She’s calling for managers to feed workers’ hunger for connection — and for workers to recognize that coffee breaks and hallway chats can actually make them more valuable, and valued, employees. (Learn more in her TED Talk, “Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work.”)
Last week, just before Heffernan hosted the TED@BCG conference, she sat down with curator Juliet Blake to offer advice for young people just starting their careers. Insights from their conversation:
 
The job requirement

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douglas-beal-at-tedbcg

TED@BCG focuses on the many meanings of growth

Douglas Beal kicked off TED@BCG with a look at how growth in terms of GDP doesn’t always align with growth in terms of citizen well-being. Photo: Paul Clarke/TED
Growth is usually a good thing. For a person, it means more wisdom; for a business, it means more profit; for a country, it means increased prosperity. But growth has a darker side too: aging, a sense of impersonality, waste and pollution. At TED@BCG — the latest TED Institute event, held on June 30, 2015, at Old Billingsgate Market in London — speakers explored both edges of this term. In three sessions of talks, curated by Juliet Blake and hosted by Margaret Heffernan, speakers shared their insights on what it means to move “Onwards & Upwards: In Pursuit of Growth.” Below, a taste of each talk.
After opening remarks from Rich Lesser, BCG’s President and CEO, great moments from the talks in session 1:
“Which country do you think is growing faster: China or Poland? … It’s actually Poland. … Poland is the best in converting its GDP growth into improved well-being.” .
—Douglas Beal on why leaders should

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TED@State Street, London, 2014

TED@StateStreet offers words to inspire leaders at every level

At TED@StateStreet, Patrice Thompson shares how two generations with very different ideals can work together effectively. Photo: Paul Sanders/TED
From anti-jargon campaigns to how Gen X and Gen Y can collaborate, TED@StateStreet highlighted ideas to inspire leaders at every level. This TED Institute event, held in London on November 18, showcased speakers from both inside and outside the financial services company. Throughout, the focus was on innovative thinking in work culture.
Below, quotes worth sharing from each of the TED@StateStreet talks:
“The quality of our conversations matter. Great achievements only come after great conversations.” —John O’Leary, communications advocate 
“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We have the rim, the hub and the spokes — we just need to put them together.” —Paul O’Connell, economist
“Big social changes can start with seemingly small, mundane actions.” —Christina Balch, selfie artist
“Imagine if your life were defined by the thing you were most ashamed of. What skills and talents would the world miss out on?” —Alexander McLean, TED Fellow
“What I’d always thought was simply a personal matter, I now see has a ripple effect out into the workplace

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TED@State Street, London, 2014

TED@StateStreet offers words to inspire leaders at every level

At TED@StateStreet, Patrice Thompson shares how two generations with very different ideals can work together effectively. Photo: Paul Sanders/TED
From anti-jargon campaigns to how Gen X and Gen Y can collaborate, TED@StateStreet highlighted ideas to inspire leaders at every level. This TED Institute event, held in London on November 18, showcased speakers from both inside and outside the financial services company. Throughout, the focus was on innovative thinking in work culture.
Below, quotes worth sharing from each of the TED@StateStreet talks:
“The quality of our conversations matter. Great achievements only come after great conversations.” —John O’Leary, communications advocate 
“We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We have the rim, the hub and the spokes — we just need to put them together.” —Paul O’Connell, economist
“Big social changes can start with seemingly small, mundane actions.” —Christina Balch, selfie artist
“Imagine if your life were defined by the thing you were most ashamed of. What skills and talents would the world miss out on?” —Alexander McLean, TED Fellow
“What I’d always thought was simply a personal matter, I now see has a ripple effect out into the workplace

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karin-nilsdotter-at-tedbcg

How business can stay ahead of the curve in the age of data: Report from TED@BCG

Karin Nilsdotter posits an intriguing idea at TED@BCG: “I believe the space is the next business frontier.” Photo: Wolfram Scheible/TED
Tuesday morning in the former East Berlin, the midcentury Kosmos cinema hummed with new ideas on business, technology and self, at an event called TED@BCG. The event was produced by TED Institute, a project that embeds within organizations and companies to help employees develop their ideas. Several hundred BCG’ers and guests filled the main hall for a day of surprising talks hosted by Bruno Giussani. It was, Giussani said, “the first business conference where no one used the word ‘pivot.’”
The talks, in chronological order:
BCG head Rich Lesser started the event by talking about the change he’s seen just this year in businesses’ attitude toward new technology. “Technology used to be something that happened ‘over there,’” he said, in labs, outside the world of companies. “But the conversation about technology has changed. Between Davos 2013 and Davos 2014, it stopped being about what’s happening ‘over there’ and is now more about: how can we rewire our companies and business models? How can

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karin-nilsdotter-at-tedbcg

How business can stay ahead of the curve in the age of data: Report from TED@BCG

Karin Nilsdotter posits an intriguing idea at TED@BCG: “I believe that space is the next business frontier.” Photo: Wolfram Scheible/TED
Tuesday morning in the former East Berlin, the midcentury Kosmos cinema hummed with new ideas on business, technology and self, at an event called TED@BCG. The event was produced by TED Institute, a project that embeds within organizations and companies to help employees develop their ideas. Six hundred TEDsters, BCG’ers and guests filled the main hall for a day of surprising talks curated by Juliet Blake and hosted by Bruno Giussani. It was, Giussani said, “the first business conference in recent times where no one used the word ‘pivot’; may it be on its way out”
The talks, in chronological order:
BCG head Rich Lesser started the event by talking about the change he’s seen just this year in businesses’ attitude toward new technology. “Technology used to be something that happened ‘over there,’” he said, in labs, outside the world of companies. “But the conversation about technology has changed. Between Davos 2013 and Davos 2014, it stopped being about what’s happening ‘over there’ and

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ideas-in-business-art

TED Ideas in Business aims to shake up the same old thinking on professional development

TED Ideas in Business are playlists that bring together talks of interest to professional audiences. Here, the art for “Hidden Trends and Systems” and “Skillful Presentation.”
For many, the words “professional development” conjure up memories of sitting in a human resources office, watching a series of awkward training videos and then taking a mandatory quiz. The TED Distribution Team realized: it doesn’t need to be this way. Earlier this year, they started to think about how companies could use TED Talks to get people thinking about their professional lives.
The team is now rolling out TED Ideas in Business, a collection of 25+ playlists curated around big topics in the professional world, like effective leadership, career development, the future of work, and good decision-making. The playlists range from “The Psychology of Success” to “Democratizing Innovation” to “Invasion of the Cyber-Workers.” Each list contains talks that can help crystallize goals, start conversations and spark collaborations.
“TED Talks offer so many ideas that are great for a business audience,” says Janet Lee, our Content Distribution Editor. “The hope with this collection is that it’s not

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