Category Archives: TED business

brightline-workshop-at-tedglobal

Free report: Bright ideas in business, distilled from TEDGlobal 2017

What’s a good way to remember an idea in the middle of a conference — so you can turn it into action? Take notes and brainstorm with others. At TEDGlobal 2017 in Tanzania, the Brightline Initiative inspired people to brainstorm ideas around talks they’d just watched, including Pierre Thiam’s celebration of the ancient grain fonio (watch this talk). (Photo: Ryan Lash/TED)
Th Brightline Initiative helps executives implement ambitious ideas from business strategies, so it’s only fitting that the nonprofit group was onsite taking notes and holding brainstorms at TEDGlobal 2017 in Arusha, Tanzania. With the theme “Builders. Truth-Tellers. Catalysts.,” TEDGlobal was a celebration of doers and thinkers, including more than 70 speakers who’ve started companies, nonprofits, education initiatives and even movements.
We’re excited to share the Brightline Initiative’s just-released report on business ideas pulled from the talks of TEDGlobal 2017. These aren’t your typical business ideas — one speaker suggests a way to find brand-new markets by thinking beyond the physical address, while several others share how ancient traditions can spawn fresh ideas and even cutting-edge businesses. Whether you run a startup, sit in the

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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_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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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, we

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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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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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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 few months after graduation, which means the luckiest new college grads are knee-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.”)
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 no one tells

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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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