TED (standing for Technology, Entertainment, Design) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.”
I enjoy TED talks..
I love listening to TED talks. I enjoy the stories and the style. I have good recall on many of the talks and in some cases, it changes my life or perspective. In most cases these talks are designed to make us think and feel. People remember the talk because there is emotion wrapped into the story. This is a far cry from the HR videos designed to deter us from making mistakes in harassment or hostile work environment in the office.
If you don’t know what a TED talk is.. take a look at this
That was a great one..
Not @ Work
A few years ago as part of a change management activity I suggested we do “TED talks” for our employees. As a result, nothing good happened. TED talks are written and spoken with passion and purpose. There is something organic feeling about a TED talk. It is something that is honest or at least feels honest. There are plenty of lack luster TED talks out there but there is a style here that is almost like making music or a play.
Use Anecdotes: If you can’t connect the anecdote to the current content and it isn’t emotionally connected, it is a waste of effort.
Rotate: Weaving in entertainment and content and consistently looping it back in.
Share New Info: The information has to be new and fresh, even if it is a fresh take on an old thing. It has to be new!
Have Passion: HAVE PASSION
The ideas are “ideas worth spreading” This is the kind of thing that drives a person to share the video or discussion with others. It becomes personal and it is new even if it is old.
Corporate La La
When watching a TED, there is a good chance that you were introduced to the talk by someone sharing it with you. A few months ago, someone shared an Apple video from 1987 that was fascinating to watch today.
This video is TED worthy almost by itself.
The reason is that it is new, compelling and it emotionally touches some part of you. It came from a source that was not “approved by corporate communications.”
There is a level of authenticity involved, even if you don’t agree with the content. I believe that the person speaking is authentic. In a corporate situation, it is much more complicated. If you come to listen or watch a TED talk with a closed mind from the beginning, there isn’t anything that can be said to pull you in a different direction because we need proof. Most TED talks address some kind of research.
If your CEO is talking about how he researched that all figs have wasps in them and so we all need to understand the concept of “mutualism.” You would potentially walk away scratching your head. (Yes, figs can have wasps in them.)
These talks have to be authentic and if this is the first time you are ever hearing someone from the C-level come out to speak with you in the TED format, there is a reason or driver for this that is questionable to anyone. Corporate leaders should speak often to employees but this format is made for a purpose and people will need to believe before they receive information that these are “ideas worth receiving and sharing.”
Testing You ..
Name 3 CEO’s or any C-level people that you believe should do a TED talk or have possibly done TED talks. Were any of them your CEO or C-level person? If not, why?
There are many ways to communicate with employees, start by writing and showing up more. Become present in the lives of your employees. TED is for ideas not for companies to build relationships with their employees… think about it.