3 Ted Talks You Have to Watch
Fabian Dattner: Do we care to change what we cannot really see.
Fabian Dattner is a successful businesswoman who champions female leadership, and promotes the idea that we must change what we value in our leaders. Her underlying message, that you can’t change what you can’t see, is rooted in the notion that we cannot see the ‘real issue’ so are solving the wrong problems.
Dattner explains how workplace gender imbalance comes from the habit of valuing the key traits of men when we actually need to value the traits more prevalent in women.
Benevolent sexism will continue because, as we have seen with smoking in the last half-a-century, you have to see that something is bad for you before you will make the change. For example, Dattner believes we need to stop viewing maternity leave as the dominant solution for our offspring, accept collective responsibility and bring our children into the workplace.
Dattner believes that our values, and in particular fairness, fundamentally do not change the world. We need to ask why exactly should men and women should lead in equal measure. This is not because it would be fair, but because ‘our planet won’t make it if we don’t’.
We must change what we value in leadership, and see that women have the qualities needed for improvement across business.
Niels Juul: Selfie Sapiens
Niels Juul speaks as a father and successful businessman who is worried about the social narrative of the future. Juul states that the average American teenager spends 9 hours in front of a digital device every day, an issue he explores in his program ‘Selfie Sapiens’.
Niels talks about his own past as a founder of the global brand Von Dutch; he cites himself as one of those who helped to create the ‘monster’. This monster is the ‘sex, power and fame driven life going on in social media today’.
In founding Von Dutch, Niels and his friends become ‘non-authentic’, developing what he refers to a ‘fat egos’. Having ended up in a Stockholm hospital in 2008 after a spiraling, glamorous lifestyle, Juul believes his ego started to deflate. Meeting other people with vulnerabilities opened his eyes to his own weaknesses.
Juul highlights how his children’s Instagram feeds resemble a news feed of porn. The new generation have no time to reflect on the consequences of their actions. Online platforms are immediate and ‘everybody can stage their own lives with a click’.
The solution is to stop and consider that we have a responsibility to have a decent impact on the world. Juul urges each of us to consider our motives, look at whether we are ‘real’ and consider the impact we have on those around us to dispel our ‘fat egos’.
Stop and think before you post.
Dan Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation
Dan Pink states that we need to rethink how we run our businesses. He uses a famous puzzle called the ‘candle problem’ to show that we need to overcome a fixed way of thinking which has become ingrained over the years.
Pink states that incentives and rewards actually increase the time it takes us to solve a problem, and looks at the science of motivation. We build our businesses around the carrot and stick, reward and punishment model. It has, however, been repeatedly shown that rewards narrow our focus and restrict our creativity.
Pink argues that organizations are using outdated assumptions when looking at the talent the output of people, and need a new approach.
We need to build our motivation structures around intrinsic motivation. That is, feeling part of something, and enjoying what we do.
This has 3 main factors:
- Autonomy – the sense that we are directing out own lives.
- Mastery – the desire to get better and better at something that matters.
- Purpose – the desire to do what we do in the service of something greater than ourselves.
Dan Pink puts forwards a persuasive argument that there is a mismatch between what science knows and how business behaves.
Alexandra Jane is the writer of graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate marketing jobs are currently available.