TED Business Podcast

Every Monday, Bernstein Faculty Director and Associate Professor of Management Modupe Akinola hosts the TED Business podcast where she presents the most powerful and surprising ideas that illuminate the business world. At the end of each episode, Professor Akinola shares a mini-lesson on the talk's real-world applications, helping listeners set and achieve career goals, leverage their power to support others, and become inspiring leaders—because business evolves every day, and our ideas about it should, too. Learn more about the podcast and Professor Akinola

Season 2 Episodes:

DESIGN MATTERS—WITH ADAM GRANT

February 22, 2021

Today, TED is launching the TED Audio Collective, a collection of podcasts all about ideas, brought to you in audio. So we’re sharing an episode we thought you’d like that features not one, but two TED hosts. In Design Matters, Debbie Millman interviews creative people about how they design the arc of their lives. In this episode, she interviews Adam Grant, organizational psychologist and host of WorkLife. Together, they examine his astonishing career—quite an exercise with someone who researches success. And they discuss his latest book, Think Again, all about the critical, difficult and timely art of rethinking your old ideas.


HOW YOU CAN SHRINK THE WEALTH GAP. NOW.—WITH KEDRA NEWSOME REEVES

February 15, 2021

Did you know that in the US the average white family has ten times as much wealth as a black family? Ten times. But while we wait for government policies to shrink that gap, we all decide where our money goes. So how can we collectively chip away at that gap, now?

In this episode, we find out. First, through a talk by BCG consultant Kedra Newsome Reeves that follows her family through generations to understand how policy helped build this gap—and what financial institutions can do now to shrink it. Then, Modupe talks with founder Shani Dowell, the first black woman in Tennessee to raise a million dollars in VC funding, about the creative techniques that anybody can use to start redistributing wealth in America.


SHOULD WE CRY AT WORK?—WITH SUSAN DAVID

February 8, 2021

Feelings are complicated. And even more so at work. We like to believe the ultimate professional is stoic, but what important information do we miss when we disregard our emotions on the job? In this episode, Harvard psychologist Susan David helps us break free from the "tyranny of positivity" and embrace the full range of our emotions. After the talk, Modupe extends this idea to the workplace by examining a time she shed tears at a meeting with colleagues.


TURN CRITICS INTO ALLIES—WITH BOB LANGERT

February 1, 2021

When an organization is battered by critics, how does it usually respond? “Deny and push back, put out some sort of lame statement,” says Bob Langert, “and no progress is made at all.” But based on 25 years leading sustainability and corporate responsibility at McDonald’s, Bob proposes another way: To work with critics. In this talk, he shares stories that take us from the Amazon to slaughterhouses, from tree huggers to corporate suits, all in the search for common ground with his greatest detractors.


AN INTROVERT'S GUIDE TO WFH—WITH MORRA AARONS-MELE

January 25, 2021

You might think working from home is an introvert’s fantasy. “But,” says writer Morra Aarons-Mele, “the truth is, for many introverts remote work is kind of a nightmare.” In this talk, she helps introverts understand how to protect their precious energy in a virtual work life. Lessons we can all learn from. But how do you know if you're an introvert or not? After the talk, Modupe explains why the answer isn’t as clear cut as you might think.


TO MAKE A COMPANY CHANGE, TURN UP THE HEAT—WITH VINAY SHANDAL

January 18, 2021

What do you do when a company doesn’t act in line with your values? Boycott? Divest? In essence, stop the flow of money? That's the typical advice. But sustainability consultant (and former comedian) Vinay Shandal says we’re missing a whole set of tools more effective than walking away. He looks to the most intimidating and influential profit-chasing investors in the world for techniques on how to make real social change. After the talk, Modupe chats with Corey Hajim, TED’s Business Curator, to try to apply Vinay’s ideas to their own lives. Without getting exhausted.


THE FOUNDATIONS OF CONFIDENCE—WITH BRITTANY PACKNETT

January 11, 2021

Confidence. We talk about it all the time. We know it matters. And still, educator and activist Brittany Packnett thinks we underestimate it. "Confidence,” she says, “is the necessary spark before everything that follows.” In this talk, Brittany identifies the three basic elements of this elusive force, which can be especially valuable for people whose role models don’t look like them. After the talk, Modupe shares one more technique that has propelled her year after year at work. Spiderman makes a brief appearance.


LISTEN TO SEASON 1 EPISODES