“Less Schooling, More Learning: A Better Approach Is Hidden in Plain Sight”
Originally posted in our December 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter. Continuing on the theme of change, we often talk about how learning in the 21st century could be different. More engaging and transformative learning is possible, but many systems seem to be suffering from immunity to change. Jal Mehta, Graduate Professor of Education at Harvard, and his colleague Sarah Fine embarked on a study of the American school system. They hoped to review the practices of…
“Obliquity: How Complex Goals Are Best Achieved Indirectly”
Originally posted in our May 2021 Top of Mind Newsletter. In his TEDx talk from 2012, economist John Kay unpacks the concept of obliquity. That is, “our complex goals are often best achieved indirectly.” Kay provides a variety of examples, from geography and rocket science to architecture and philosophy, that show how sometimes the most effective route towards a goal is one that appears indirect. As he says, “defining what our objectives are is actually…
Adam Grant’s The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers
How do creative people come up with great ideas? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies “originals”: thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world. In this talk, learn three unexpected habits of originals — including embracing failure. “The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most,” Grant says. “You need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a…
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow: The Secret to Happiness
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.” Listen to the TED Talk here.
Martin Seligman’s The New Era of Positive Psychology
Martin Seligman talks about psychology — as a field of study and as it works one-on-one with each patient and each practitioner. As it moves beyond a focus on disease, what can modern psychology help us to become? Listen to his TED Talk here.
Nicholas Christakis’s The Hidden Influence of Social Networks
We’re all embedded in vast social networks of friends, family, co-workers and more. Nicholas Christakis tracks how a wide variety of traits — from happiness to obesity — can spread from person to person, showing how your location in the network might impact your life in ways you don’t even know. Listen to the TED Talk here.
Dan Pink’s The Puzzle of Motivation
Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don’t: Traditional rewards aren’t always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward. Listen to the TED Talk here.
Sir Ken Robinson’s Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. Listen to the TED Talk here.
Brene Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability
Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share. Listen to the TED Talk here.