TED Talks gather some of the greatest thinkers from around the world and explore complex issues and ideas. They distribute these actionable talks around the world for free, in hopes of inspiring its listeners. Under the slogan "ideas worth spreading," they bring us insights from business leaders and important innovators at the top of their fields.
These talks have proven to be incredibly useful and many companies attempt to employ them to improve their company culture. Culture has proved to be a silver bullet behind some of the most successful companies, and these TED Talks to inspire company culture can help give any sized company a competitive edge.
Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Aspire Action
Simon Sinek is an author and motivational speaker who examines why great leadership inspires action, cooperation, and trust. He starts with the simple question: Why? He uses a simple model that's easy to follow to show how our greatest leaders inspire action.
He uses examples like Apple, Martin Luther King, and even the Wright Brothers to make his point. It's one of the best TED Talks to inspire company culture because it stresses that great leaders cannot accomplish their goals on their own, and they will need help from the collective.
Ray Dalio: How to Build a Company Where the Best Ideas Win
Ray Dalio is the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, and at Bridgewater they do things a bit differently. At Bridgewater, they use radical transparency to create an idea meritocracy where the best idea wins. This culture of brutal honesty and algorithmic decision making has made them a global leader.
Dalio and his associates never hide their feelings about one another, and even Dalio himself is fair game. In one of the best TED Talks to inspire company culture, you can glean Dalio's insights and maybe even attempt to implement some of the data-driven strategies he advocates for.
Dan Ariely: What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work
Dan Ariely attempts to find answers for why we work and, sometimes, why we don't. He gets into how our motivation isn't really about money, but more about progress and a sense of purpose.
He highlights two experiments, and finds that employees are more motivated when they are moving toward something and are acknowledged for their work. If you're looking to create a happier workforce, it's one of the best TED Talks to inspire company culture.
Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work
Shawn Achor challenges the idea that we should work hard in order to be happy, and he shares his happy secret to better work. He argues that we may be thinking about things backwards, and in fact happiness itself will inspire most to be more productive.
He calls it "reversing the formula" and it is one of the best TED Talks for inspiring company culture, especially if many employees seem to be struggling with work-life balance.
Nilofer Merchant: Got a Meeting? Take a Walk
They say sitting is the new smoking, and when you take in to account that most of us spend the majority of the day in a chair, that's a scary notion. In order to improve this, Merchant suggests that you take a walk during your meetings, as it's a great way to boost creativity and get rid of that stagnant energy.
For those companies that are worried about employees well-being and are already opting for standing desks, try taking some mobile meetings, one of the simplest suggestions from these TED Talks to inspire company culture.
Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation
What makes us feel good about our work? Dan Pink wades into the unclear science behind motivation and how incentives sometime lead to poorer performance.
Pink's thesis is mainly about how traditional rewards aren't as important as we think they are, and people's motivation comes from harder to pin down things such as freedom, mastery, and a sense of purpose.
Stanley McChrystal: Listen, Learn... Then Lead
Four-star general Stanley McChrystal discusses what he's learned over four decades in the military. He talks about how you can instill a shared sense of purpose by listening and learning as much as you can—and then leading.
It's one of the best TED Talks to inspire company culture because the shared goals will bring everyone closer together, much like service people in the armed forces.
Ricardo Semler: How to Run a Company With (Almost) No Rules
Ricardo Semler's talk is all about work-life balance and a better way to create a more democratic company. He has a system where workers don't even have to report their vacation days; it's his version of a radical corporate democracy
The idea of autonomy makes this one of the best TED Talks to inspire company culture, as it stresses as long as employees get their work done, it matters very little when, where, or how they do it.
Jason Fried: Why Work Doesn't Happen at Work
Jason Fried argues that a lot of stuff doesn't get done at work because of the intrusion of constant meetings and managers pulling in a bunch of different directions. He claims it's a drain on productivity, as a bunch of workers half-listening in a long meeting takes away from work they can be doing elsewhere.
The office is no longer becoming the most productive place to work, and his advice on limiting the meetings is among the best TED Talks to inspire company culture.
Rainer Strack: The Workforce Crisis of 2030—and How to Start Solving It
Last but still safely among TED Talks that inspire company culture is Rainer Strack and his theories about attracting capable talent in the future. He makes the argument that the top four things young people look for are all connected to company culture.
Obviously people want to be compensated comfortably, but salary wasn't even in the top five. Create a dynamic work environment and the young talent will be sure to come flocking.