3 Ted Talks That Will Change the Way You Think About Work

Sometimes we all need a little pick me up during the work week. What better way to reboot the mind and motivate ourselves to keep carrying on than a really good Ted Talk? Here are our favorite talks that will help change the way you think about stress and work.

Kelly McGonigal- How to Make Stress Your Friend

In her 2013 Ted Talk, Psychologist Kelly McGonigal challenges the idea that stress is the cause of all our problems by siting a study that illustrates stress is actually only harmful if you believe it is. In this study, participants who experienced stress, but didn’t believe it was harmful, had a lower risk of death than those with less stress.  According to McGonigal, “How you think and act can transform your experience of stress.” Instead of viewing signs of anxiety and stress as the body failing to cope, think of it as the body getting energized and rising to a challenge. Re-framing the way we perceive stress often results in a healthier stress response, or what McGonigal calls a “biology of courage.”

Stressed at work? Watch it here: 

Shawn Achor- The Happy Secret to Better Work

Psychologist Shawn Achor’s 2011 Ted Talk aims to reverse the status quo when it comes to our formula for happiness and success. According to Achor, “Success is predicted by optimism levels, social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of a threat.” Though we tend to think that working harder will give us more success and more success will make us happier, we are always changing the definition of success. “If happiness is on the opposite side of success,” says Achor, “your brain never gets there.” Instead, we should make use of what he calls the “happiness advantage.” When we’re happy, our brain performs better. This is because in addition to making us positive, dopamine also turns on all the learning centers in our brain. As a result, we’re often more productive when we’re happy and every single business outcome improves.

Interested in the happiness advantage? Watch here:

Theresa Glomb- Let’s Make Work Better

Organizational Psychologist Theresa Glomb’s Ted Talk addresses the negative conversation we so often have around work and offers advice on how we can take more power over our work lives. According to Glomb, the bad things that happen at work can have as much as 5 to 10 times the impact on our mood than the good things. To remedy this “asymmetry affect,” Glomb offers a few tricks to make us happier at work. Namely, work hard, have fun, choose kind and be present.

Looking for a fresh perspective at work? Watch here:

At Number8, we connect companies with IT talent and software developers that are fully trained in product development. By encouraging talent to come up with creative solutions, they remain motivated and positively contribute to a healthy company culture. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 give us a call at (502) 890-7665. 

Insights for Business Leaders from a Popular 2016 TED Talk

Insights for business leadersEveryone wants to be original. But what does that really mean? Does it mean being the first, or being the best? In one of 2016’s most popular TED Talk sessions, author and professor Adam Grant explores the concept of what makes someone an “original thinker.” Below, we have outlined the three qualifiers from Grant’s talk and how they apply to becoming a successful business leader.

Adam Grant’s “The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers” TED Talk

Late to the Party

In his TED Talk, The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers, Grant reveals some unexpected details about the link between procrastination and success. He tells a story of former students who asked him to invest in their start-up. They were behind schedule, so Grant declined. He later found out that their company was none other than the widely successful Warby Parker. As a chronic “pre-crastinator”, Grant failed to see that sometimes procrastination is necessary when building something great.

“Originals are non-conformists, they drive creativity in the world,” Grant said. When you procrastinate, you have more time to think through the prompt, and create original, “divergent” ideas. However, procrastination does not always lead to success. There is a “sweet spot” of productivity and creativity somewhere in the middle between pre-crastinating and overly procrastinating. If you start Procrastination can lead to creativity: insights from a TED Talkon a project too early, you aren’t taking advantage of your brain power. Rather you’re solving issues in the easiest, most accessible way, which is most likely how everyone else is working. If you wait too long, you run out of time and do the same thing. But if you procrastinate just long enough, you might reach a truly original solution.

Feel Doubt and Fear

As Grant mentions in his TED Talk, when you think of an original thinker, you think of someone who is unabashedly confident and self-assured. But in reality, people who come up with great and unique ideas are just as afraid of failing as anyone else. What sets them apart however, is that their fear of not trying at all outweighs their fear of failure. They believe in the idea that our biggest regrets are not our actions, but our inactions.

Lots of Bad Ideas

It can be discouraging to have one unsuccessful idea after another, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Original thinkers fail the most because they are the ones that try the most. If you want to be an original, you have to generate a lot of ideas. Is it easy to remember the famous inventors and business-owners for the one idea that made them famous, but that wasn’t their first, or their last idea.

Grant also says that an original idea doesn’t necessarily have to be unique. Take Google for instance. The search engine wasn’t the first of its kind. Yahoo came before, and yet Google is used far more frequently than any other search engine. “You don’t have to be first, you just have to be better,” he said.

At Number8 we strive to empower original thinkers within our own staff, and among our clients. If you are a business leader with an original idea, but need some help making it happen, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or learn more about our services here


A Timeless Ted Talk for Techies

Google TED Talk Although it may seem a little outdated, The Genesis of Google 2004 Ted Talk featuring Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, offers a brief look at the many developments made by Google. These co-creators have a lot of knowledge and experience when it comes to owning a billion dollar corporation dedicated to providing the best information and services to its users all around the world. After the introductions, this Ted Talk delves into the global features associated with Google.

Sergey Brin begins the conversation by casting a revolving image of the globe and its google users. While the image depicts the many google users searching all around the world, it also explores the culture of their searches. This graphic provides a great example of the many searches google receives all around the world, as well as the fact that google is available practically anywhere with an internet connection. The power of google is worldwide. Search queries connect people all over the world to the information they are seeking. And because Google is such a popular search engine, this company is constantly working to improve user satisfaction.

But searching isn’t the only reason why people turn to Google. The co-founders have developed many new ways to use Google for reasons other than searching. And in order to inspire even more, every employee gets 20 percent time, meaning 20 percent of your time at Google may be spent working on a new invention. This imaginative and exploratory time has created several different projects and services for Google including: Google Grants, the Google Foundation and Google News. Because employees are able to spend time working on creative, new assignments, Google is constantly producing different and creative ways to connect with and support users.

Google News is a part of googlettes. These are smaller projects managed by Google. These projects have turned into new features of Google, as well as valuable services. Google is busy working hard every day with new projects and tasks. The best way the co-founders have managed these new projects and existing projects is by creating a list of 100 projects. These projects are prioritized and completed before moving onto the next. Some of these projects have created valuable new tools for Google like the toolbar and deskbar, which allows for searches at the bottom of your computer screen. They have also created Froogle, a way for users to pay $100 for researchers to look up the answers for them. Google has also created Blogger as a free way for users to begin their own writing experience.

As you can see, Google is constantly working to improve and create new products and services. While these employees are working hard, Brin and Page have also enlisted ways for their employees to enjoy their job even more. Google has allowed employees to bring their pets to work every day and has also supplied amenities such as washers and dryers, so everyone has a place to do their laundry. This company takes the time every year to get all of its employees together for a ski trip in Colorado as well.

The bottom line is that Google works hard to connect with its users and employees. Because Google is able to make money off of ad sales, this business model is fortunate to provide its services all around the world, including places in poverty. Google has the responsibility to remain objective and never accepts payments for search results. Brin and Page have developed a company based on strong morals and ingenuity. No matter how many developments Google creates throughout the years, you can be certain there are many more Google-inspired innovations ahead.