3 TED Talks Every Facilities Leader Should Watch

by Kaitlan Whitteberry on September 8, 2017

The brightest minds of our generation sharing insight on the world? Definitely something most people would want to hear. That’s what makes TED Talks so valuable, seeing things from a different perspective from people who really know what they’re talking about. There are hundreds of talks out there on topics covering everything from volunteering to fixing the way you sleep. Here are three talks that facilities leaders shouldn’t miss.

What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work? | Dan Ariely 

Why do we do what we do? What drives us to achieve our goals and why do some goals seem easier to attain than others? Questions surrounding this topic seem to plague CEOs, managers and employees alike. Human motivation is such a difficult idea to grasp, possibly because it varies so much between people. 

Dan walks us through different variables that affect human engagement and what fulfills the longing for purpose so many people struggle with. His talk is strikingly familiar yet you’ve probably never heard anything like it before. It appeals to the nagging question many of your employees are probably asking themselves, “Does my work even matter?”

This TED Talk should provoke managers to question their leadership style, and even suggests if you can get people to work harder, they will actually appreciate what they do even more.

"And the good news is that if we added all of those components…meaning, pride, motivation, and how do we do it in our workplace and for the employees, I think we could get people to both be more productive and happier." 

Closing The Gap: A Millennial Proposal | Patrice Thompson 

This topic has been beaten to death, but nearly every facilities leader understands integrating millennials into the modern workplace can be a challenge. Patrice presents a different perspective, one from the eyes of the challenger. She explains why the youngest working generation is frustrated, and why they have the right to be. She acknowledges why previous generations are reluctant to meet the demands of this “inexperienced” group, and how that has created distance between employers and their teams.

She proposes varying solutions to help integrate your youngest workers while allowing more experienced employees to pass down knowledge in a constructive way.  She explains that both generations have unique characteristics the entire workforce can benefit from. More experienced generations bring wisdom and patience while the youngest bring new ideas and a comprehensive understanding of how the right workplace technology can positively impact how we work. 

"Regardless of our generational differences, we all want the same things. We all want the opportunity to be fairly compensated for our efforts, to have a greater work/life balance, and opportunities to fulfill our potential." 

Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work | Jason Fried 

Jason makes a compelling argument against offices, and while he’s at it, meetings and managers. While this sounds as thought it could be coming from a disgruntled former employee, he makes a very valid point. Jason explains that employees come to a structured gathering place to accomplish their assigned tasks, also known as the traditional office. However by the end of the day, they sometimes haven’t completed those tasks. Why is this? Jason believes it’s those darn (mismanaged) offices, meetings and managers. In today’s hyper-controlled environments, some workers are too interrupted, too distracted or too managed to get work done.

"Businesses are spending all this money on this place called the office, and they’re making people go to it all the time, yet people don’t do work in the office."

Jason points out that not all workers are the same, and the way they work isn’t all the same either. They’re individuals, while some may work best in a secluded space, others may get more done in an open environment. Jason wants those in positions of power to understand that allowing flexibility and using activity-based working to give employees options in how they want to complete their work benefits everyone. He believes just hours of uninterrupted time is the greatest gift of productivity you could ever give. Trusting your employees to manage their own time shouldn’t be something that happens every once and a while, it should be a staple in your office’s management structure. 

Want more TED Talks? Check out their website for the latest uploads to their comprehensive video library. 


Kaitlan Whitteberry

Kaitlan Whitteberry is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Missouri's journalism program, and currently focuses on iOFFICE press releases, software updates and related news.

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