11 TED Talks That Anyone in Small Business Should Watch

11 TED Talks That Anyone in Small Business Should Watch



Considering TEDxSydney is on today at the Sydney Opera House, here’s an article for those of you who missed out, or just can’t get enough!

We’ve compiled a short collection of the TED Talks that every small business owner should have already watched. There are the ones that will without a doubt help you become a better businessperson, leader, strategist, and an overall happier and healthier person.

Our collection of talks for you, from shortest to longest:

1) 8 secrets of success

Richard St. John, at TED2005

In this decade-old, three-minute long TED talk, Richard St. John asks some of the important questions about true success: Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither.

2) The single biggest reason why startups succeed

Bill Gross, at TED2015

As an incubator of new inventions, ideas and businesses, Bill Gross has seen some startups rise and others fall — which lead him to gather data from hundreds of companies, and rank each company on five significant factors of success. One of which is the most important, and for small business owners, this could be the key to success.

3) The way we think about work is broken

Barry Schwartz, at TED2014

Barry Schwartz questions how and why we currently think about work and what makes work satisfying. Is it for money? Intrinsic motivation? Or just because you need something to fill your time and cure your boredom? Our question is: how do small business owners think about work, and how can they extend this to their partners/employees?

4) What it takes to be a great leader

Roselinde Torres, at [email protected] San Francisco 2013

Leadership expert Roselinde Torres states that the best way to learn leadership is literally right under your nose (no, not your keyboard or phone). In her talk, she describes 25 years observing great leaders at work and shares the three crucial questions that small business owners and business leaders need to ask to thrive in the future.

5) Two reasons companies fail — and how to avoid them

Knut Haanaes, at [email protected] London 2015

Business strategist Knut Haanaes asks, is it possible to run a company and reinvent at the same time? He believes that showing innovation after becoming successful is the epitome of a great organisation, and in his TED talk, shares insights on how to maintain a balance between perfecting what we already know and exploring new ideas — and how to avoid two major strategy traps.

6) The happy secret to better work

Shawn Achor, at TEDxBloomington 2011

Happiness researcher Shawn Achor unlocks the secrets to happiness and its effects on your work — be more positive in every way possible, and this extremely affects your brain state. The little things count, or as he puts it, “small changes ripple outward.” Especially,

7) How data will transform business

Philip Evans, at [email protected] San Francisco 2013

Consultant Philip Evans talks about the future of business and discusses two long-standing theories in strategy — and explains why he thinks they are essentially invalid. Here is a bold prediction for the future of small business strategy, and it starts with Big Data.

8) Profit’s not always the point

Harish Manwani, at [email protected] Singapore 2013

As the COO of Unilever, Harish Manwani makes a passionate argument about looking past the financial side of a business and into the “only way to run a 21st Century business responsibly”, by including value, purpose and sustainability. Small business owners ready your ears to learn from one of the big players in the game!

9) How to find the work you love

Scott Dinsmore, at TEDxGoldenGatePark 2012

Writer and traveller Scott Dinsmore shares what he has learnt about finding what matters to you, and how to get started doing it. This one is great for startups or anyone thinking about starting a small business.

10) The puzzle of motivation

Dan Pink, at TEDGlobal 2009

Career analyst Dan Pink revolves his speech around motivation and states that traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. It makes us think, what motivates small business owners, or rather, how can we motivate our customers?

11) Why we do what we do

Tony Robbins, at TED2006

An oldie but goldie, renowned life coach Tony Robbins discusses what motivates each and every one of our actions. It’s the 7th most watched TED Talk to date, and, well, Tony high-fives Al Gore in the front row.