TED Talks For Team Building

Feb 9, 2022

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Professional development conferences are a regular part of corporate life. However, with more and more companies transitioning to a hybrid or remote working model, is it possible to continue this practice? Yes! And team building related TED Talks are one of the best and easiest solutions.

Watching a motivational Ted Talk as a group is a fantastic way learn together, without comprising safety or travel. Great leaders inspire action. We’ve gathered five Ted Talks here geared towards leadership and team building. Your team can use them as inspirational material in your next team building activity.

Top 5 Ted Talks For Team Building

1. “Build A Tower, Build A Team” By Tom Wujec

In Tom Wujec’s “Build A Tower, Build a Team” he explains how teams solve problems together using an example called the “Marshmallow Problem.” Teams are tasked with building a tower with 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of string, one yard of tape, and a marshmallow. Teams have only 18 minutes to complete what seems like a simple team building exercise. However, this task is not as simple as you might think!

The “Marshmallow Problem” requires collaboration amongst team members and fosters a sense of camaraderie that can spread to the rest of the company. This fun activity works well for companies of various sizes.


2. “The Power Of Introverts” By Susan Cain

Susan Cain is the author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.” She is often regarded as a leading voice on how introverted people are often misunderstood and undervalued. According to studies, 30-50 percent of the world’s population is introverted. Therefore it’s would be a safe assumption that a sizable portion of your company identifies as introverts.

Cain’s TED Talk discusses facilitating healthy dialogue with introverted coworkers and helping them feel comfortable being a part of the collective.


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3. “How To Foster True Diversity And Inclusion At Work (And In Your Community)” By Rosalind G. Brewer

Creating more diverse workspaces is something that many companies are seeking to make a larger priority for their organization. Statistically speaking, diversity has been shown to positively impact productivity and creativity for companies.

In her TED Talk, the former chief operating officer of Starbucks addresses the benefits of creating a culture where all people feel seen and heard. Brewer encourages companies to rethink how to foster an inclusive workplace by focusing more on the building of personal relationships within the organization.


4. “Confessions Of A Recovering Micromanager” By Chieh Huang

There are few things that breed frustration and suppress team engagement more than being micromanaged. As companies continue to learn what working remotely looks like, managers find themselves having to re-learn how to lead effectively without virtually hovering.

In his TED Talk, Chieh Huang speaks about the importance of trusting team members to function autonomously. Company culture is a reflection of the culture of the teams within it, and managers ultimately are the ones who set the tone.


5. “How To Turn A Group Of Strangers Into A Team” By Amy Edmondson

Our world is becoming more globalized. The way that organizations now address problem solving reflects that shift. Businesses are resolving complex issues with a greater level of partnership that extends past the limits of time, location, and fields of expertise.

Collaborative work aimed at addressing some of the world’s greatest issues requires a more flexible team dynamic. That may call for teams made up of people who are unfamiliar with one another. So how can a group of strangers team up to solve unpredictable and challenging problems?

In her TED Talk, Amy Edmondson addresses the concept of teaming, which she defines as “teamwork on the fly”. Edmonson explains how teamwork functions by examining the 2010 Chilean mining accident. In that tragedy, 33 workers were trapped in a mine for 69 days until a team of experts worked together to pull off an extraordinary rescue. 


Why Ted Talks For Team Building?

We are continuing to discover the ways that the pandemic has redefined teamwork. Viewing these TED Talks together can be a starting point to create an environment where each employee feels a part of a bigger picture.

The distance that comes with working remotely doesn’t have to lead to stifled creativity and innovation. Instead, organizations can capitalize on the opportunity to create healthy teams and productive work culture through intentional virtual team building activities.

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