It’s been almost a year since our last round of HR-professional-worthy TED talks blog, and we’re back! Here are five more TED talks to inspire you and the work you do.

Yves Morieux:

How too many rules at work keep you from getting things done


In this presentation from TED, Yves Morieux refers to the “holy trinity of efficiency,” which includes: clarity, measurement and accountability. We discover the improvement in productivity when we focus more on cooperation and less on individual performance measurement. Morieux explains why basing rewards solely on measurable performance alters the way employees perform.

Daniel Levitin:

How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed


When stressed, your brain produces cortisol—which makes for fuzzy thinking. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin believes there’s a way to plan ahead for stressful situations (pre-mortem) to avoid disaster. It’s a way to “look ahead to the things that could go wrong, so to minimise the damage.” While his examples mostly pertain to the misplacement of household objects, the principle can be easily translated to the workplace. Reminding yourself how to react in stressful situations, can help you to map out your responses.

Margaret Heffernan:

Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work


Margaret Heffernan’s new TED talk gets her on our list for the second time. In this talk, she speaks of the negative correlation between competition and productivity – with help from a story about “superchickens.” Rather than just putting “superstar” employees together—who will compete for the top spot—it’s important, for productivity, that teams form empathy and show social sensitivity towards one another. As Heffernan explains, when people get to know the people in their team, they will use that social capital to increase productivity.

Barry Schwartz:

The way we think about work is broken


“Why do we work? Why do we drag ourselves out of bed every morning…?” Barry Schwartz asks.
Speaking of what he calls “Idea Technology,” Schwartz explains that there are intangible values—aside from pay—that we should be using to fulfil our employees’ potential. By working in roles that are meaningless and/or monotonous, the employees will only rise to that level of productivity. By fully engaging our employees, and helping them grow and learn, we are helping to “design” human nature.

Carol Dweck:

The power of believing that you can improve


You may recognise her name from our blog on how to build personal resilience, Carol Dweck a motivation researcher explains how to foster success. She is an advocate of the “growth mindset”—a movement that encourages people to take on new challenges and persist in the face of obstacles (rather than a “fixed mindset” which implies that people are motivated only by the intelligence and skills that they already possess).

By using the “power of yet,” a person is able to improve themselves—using each possible opportunity to grow.


Looking for more TED-spiration? Check out our past TED blogs here

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Sara Hultgren

Sara is an Experienced Marketing Manager with demonstrated history of working in the (re)insurance and other b2b industries. Sara's also highly skilled in website management, content marketing and digital distribution.