TED Talks for Small BusinessUnderstanding your business and becoming a better leader sometimes requires stepping outside of your industry for knowledge and inspiration. Getting perspective from leaders in different disciplines can help to open your eyes to some possibilities within your company.

TED, a nonprofit that spreads ideas through talks given by industry experts, can help provide innovative and inspirational lessons that you can apply to your business.

No matter what industry you work in, these TED Talks could benefit you and your company. Here are some specific ways that TED Talks can help:

Help Making Business Choices

Decision-making can make or break a business, so this talk by Sheena Iyengar, author of The Art of Choosing, can be helpful for anyone who faces decisions at work.

Though people might think having more options is preferable for making strong choices, this video examines actionable ways to streamline the process of making decisions.

Iyengar goes over four techniques to help make it easier to make informed decisions:

  1. Cut- eliminate unnecessary choices
  2. Concretize- make it authentic
  3. Categorize- increase categories, decrease individual choices
  4. Condition- gradually introduce complexity

Help Turning an Error into an Opportunity

At some point in your personal life or career, you’ve probably come across a 404 page while browsing the internet. These pages show up when a website can’t find the particular page that you’re looking for.

Getting a 404 message can be frustrating, irritating or even infuriating, depending on the circumstances. This TED Talk by Renny Gleeson shows how companies can use this often ignored page to tell a story or further develop their company’s voice.

His talk gives some specific examples of 404 pages that turn a mistake into an opportunity to connect with the customer or client. Watching this video may help inspire you to reexamine your website’s 404 message.

“A simple mistake can tell me what you’re not or remind me of why I should love you,” said Gleeson in his closing remarks.

Help Building a Following for Your Business

Building a business, running a business or even working in a business have one thing in common: they require other people to be successful. Creating a following of loyal customers or loyal employees can be crucial to the success of a business.

In this under three minute long TED Talk, entrepreneur Derek Sivers teaches an important lesson about building a following.

“The first follower is an underestimated form of leadership itself,” Sivers said.

Having a vision for the business isn’t enough. It’s the first loyal follower that can really set you on the path for success.

Help Getting Customers to Figure Out What They Want

In order to give customers and clients what they want, you first have to get them to figure out what they want. Unfortunately, sometimes the customer doesn’t know what they want until they have it. So how do you proceed?

This TED Talk by author Malcolm Gladwell uses examples from the food industry to demonstrate the problem with crunching data when the data makes no sense. Helping customers figure out what they want can help your business get the right data and provide the best product or service.

“In embracing the diversity of human beings, we will find a surer way to true happiness,” Gladwell said.

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