Ideas Worth Sharing: The Goldmine That is TED

“Great minds discuss ideas.  Average minds discuss events.  Small minds discuss people.”

This terrific quote, attributed to former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, is a perfect way to tee up today’s blog post — and to introduce you to an organization called TED, in case there are still some of you out there who haven’t yet discovered it.

In the off-chance you haven’t yet heard of the organization, it is essentially (as I understand it) a loose collaboration of people around the globe who are dedicated to a simple purpose: the discussion and dissemination of big ideas.  Formed over 20 years ago as a collaboration among leading minds in the Technology, Entertainment, and Design professions (hence the TED acronym) the group now, thanks to the power of the Internet, has attracted hundreds of thousands of members, followers, and fans from around the globe.  Several of the videos they have posted on YouTube, in fact, have attracted in excess of 2 million viewers.  Those are far from “Star Wars Kid” or “Dramatic Staring Squirrel” numbers, of course, but they’re still pretty darn good for content that’s, well, highly intellectual in nature!

As to where TED  fits into the mix of those going through career transition?   For starters, there’s the sheer inspirational aspect of their material, since you can’t help but be uplifted (as well as slightly intimidated, at times) by the caliber of speakers TED attracts and some of the amazing insights and wisdom the members dispense.  We’re talking big thinking, folks, with a capital B.  And if you’re currently at a career crossroads, watching some of these paradigm-changing video clips will not only help you stay as open as possible about your own career potential, but will also load you up with some very interesting things to talk about at networking events and cocktail parties.

Additionally, if any aspect of your career involves public speaking or presentation delivery, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better cadre of role models to emulate from than the speakers on the TED circuit.  If you pay close attention to how these world-class presenters frame their arguments, keep the audience engaged, and enhance their points via visual aids and multimedia usage, you can pick up some dynamite tips that might enhance your own communications effectiveness in a variety of different situations.

So for starters, as a primer to the overall mix of TED content, we’d first point you to the link here, where you’ll find a great list of the “10 TED Talks That Will Transform Your Career” as rated by the staff of the Bschool.com website.  By and large, they’ve made some excellent selections, and after watching most of them myself I think some of these pieces will resonate quite strongly with many of you out there.

Additionally, we’re proud to announce that one of our good friends, Dr. Andre Golard, was also recently invited to deliver a talk featured by the TED organization.   Andre’s presentation, available in video form here, is entitled “The Neuroscience of Eureka Moments” and contains some fascinating insights about how the human brain works and where the concepts of imagination and inspiration derive from, biologically.  Just as importantly, he talks about the steps you can take to improve your own ability to think creatively on an individual basis — as well as how organizations encourage or inhibit this kind of breakthrough thinking via their org charts and the very ways they are structured.

In closing, if you enjoy the realm of ideas or simply need to shake up your thought process a bit, you’ll discover that the TED site is an absolute goldmine.  If you click here to visit their main site, you can browse through the full archive of TED presentations, and they’ve even categorized the content in a clever and innovative way.  Instead of using a boring “5-star, 4-star…” etc. rating system like YouTube and so many other sources, you’ll find the group’s presentations organized in categories such as “jaw-dropping”, “beautiful”, “courageous”, “fascinating”, “ingenuous” etc.

“Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.”  That’s the TED tagline, and boy, do they deliver!

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