TED talks contain a wealth of information and advice about how to improve your life and your business. Some of the ideas are directly applicable to only one problem, while others have cross-disciplinary possibilities. In his book ‘The Medici Effect,’ Frans Johannson argues that some of humanity’s most break-through insights come from an intersection of good ideas, concepts, and cultures.

Below is a roundup of three TED talks that approach business insights from a slightly different angle. Each represents a unique intersection of two different ways of thinking that will provoke creativity. We hope they inspire you to come up with out-of-the-box solutions of your own.

Takeaway 1: Making toast could be revolutionary for your business

Tom Wujec: Got a wicked problem? Making toast will solve it

What you will learn: Diagraming the process of making toast could be the solution to a persistent business problem! Designers call these ‘wicked problems.’ Any wicked problem can be diagramed in order to uncover solutions. Wujec explains that as a solo exercise, diagraming a system model can help you understand the level of detail and complexity you are identifying in the process. Doing it as a group exercise allows us to incorporate multiple perspectives from the team.

How it could help your business? A creative way to make your ideas clearer, more engaging, solve a persistent challenge and get everybody involved at the same time. After you’ve watched the talk, there is even more ‘how to’ information at drawtoast.com.

Takeaway 2: Business teams can learn a lot from how conductors maintain harmony

Italy Talgam: Lead Like the Great Conductors

What you will learn: Talgam shows examples of different conductors and how they interact with their orchestras, thereby visually demonstrating that control is not an effective technique. Instead, Talgam argues that a leader should create the conditions for his team members to succeed.

How will it help your business? The videos of conductors in action are very striking and thought-provoking! Talgam demonstrates how conductors get their team members to shine — something that is applicable for any manager or team leader. Additionally, setting a tone of joy and happiness can produce unexpected results.

Takeaway 3: Think about how you engage with your customers — from their perspective

James Veitch: The Agony of Trying to Unsubscribe

What you will learn: Besides having a good laugh at something we have all experienced as consumers, Veitch’s talk is a gentle reminder of purposeful customer engagement in the digital age.

How will it help your business? Ask yourself: How are you handling customer service and bringing value to your customers? Veitch’s creative approach can be applied to any challenge just by considering the unexpected. Turning a situation on its head might just be the solution you needed.


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