Five TED Talks that look toward the future of management

- Leadership

by Jennifer Riggins

To help give us a bit of inspiration and hopefully a lot of good tips, today we offer you five TED Talks on the future of management.

Dan Pink: The puzzle of motivation


OK this is a bit boring or at least predictable, having Dan Pink on a management tips list. Yes, he is the king of motivators but that doesn’t mean this ridiculously popular TED Talk isn’t worth a listen. Dan presents the results of the Candle Problem, which is a typical human resources test or experiment. He offers other studies with rewards. And then he offers these studies as the most important point — employee rewards systems don’t work. They simply don’t motivate.

So how can we make our employees feel valued? How can we increase their intrinsic motivation to work harder? Dan offers the logic that solves this seemingly impossible puzzle of motivation.

Nirmalya Kumar: India’s invisible innovation

When you think of business in India, you probably think first about software and back-office offshoring, and it does have millions of workers in these two areas. And this means that there are loads of white-collar jobs in India. But what about innovation? Could India become the next hub for innovation? That’s what Nirmalya researched the possibility of creativity in a culture that maybe doesn’t embrace creativity. Innovation is just for Silicon Valley, right? Nope.

What Nirmalya discovered four types of “invisible innovation,” broadening it past our concept of it being only for end users:

  1. Innovation for business customers via R&D centers.
  2. Outsourcing major project management pieces.
  3. Process innovation because of an injection of intelligence.
  4. Management innovation, a new way to organize work.

Is your business looking for these invisible innovators within your own company?

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Yves Morieux: As work gets complex, six rules for simplicity

Why is productivity so disappointing? Why is there so little engagement at work? Yves has worked at about 500 companies and yet the same problems are the same, no matter what type of leadership and motivation programs. He says it comes straight down to two pillars: the hard and the soft forms of management. He says they are both obsolete in our new complexity of business.

It all comes down to adaptiveness and intelligence coming together for cooperation. The hard solution here is to create more bureaucracy to increase cooperation. The soft solution tries to increase likeability to increase cooperation. Yves says to deal with the complexity, follow these simple rules:

  1. Understand what others do.
  2. Find your fighters.
  3. Give more people more power.
  4. Have fewer resources.
  5. Dogfooding.
  6. Don’t punish failure, punish failure to cooperate.

Listen to the whole talk to get into how to make these six seemingly complex things simply work with your team or company.

David Burkus: Why you should know how much your coworkers get paid

“What if openness actually increased the sense of fairness and collaboration inside a company?” At Happy Melly One, we practice this wacky art of financial transparency too. Keeping salaries secret is proven just plain bad. In this TED Talk, David goes into the data behind the reason to be transparent about pay… before we bring down whole economies.

Also listen to our own interview of David on our podcast!

Tim Leberecht: 3 ways to (usefully) lose control of your brand

“Your brand is what other people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Tim’s talk is a great follow-up to David’s because it gets into trusting your employees and your customers to portray your brand, as well as your pricing. Giving employees and your customers more control, makes them happier, more loyal, and more productive.

Tim’s TED Talk walks us through the fun case stories of real companies large and small experimenting with empowering its people by allowing them to influence your design, content and delivery.

What TED Talks do you go to for your leadership inspiration? Which ones keep you focused on the future of management? Tell us in the comments below! 

Photo: Unsplash

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