Marketing Strategy Blog

8 Must-Watch TED Talks to Ignite Creativity

Adam Grant, TED

Do you love TED Talks as much as I do? Well, grab your popcorn and get ready to enjoy eight utterly awesome and mind-bending presentations.

I often find great inspiration from TED videos. Are you looking for some ideas to spark your creativity? Or ideas to fuel your imagination? Check out these eight TED and TEDx Talks on creative thinking, and then get ready to achieve the amazing!

Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

Steve Johnson, Author – Ideas do not come through flashes and epiphanies, Johnson asserts. Most come from what he calls “the slow hunch,” and in fact many of the biggest breakthrough ideas sometimes took decades to actually develop. He also suggests that new ideas are a result of existing ideas being “cobbled together” in nurturing, collaborative environments that are the most effective idea incubators.

Start With Why

Simon Sinek, Leadership Expert and Author – Most people and organizations begin with “what” they do followed by “how” they do it and sometimes finally end up with “why” they do it. Sinek explains that all great leaders think and act in the opposite fashion. They start with “why,” then move to “how” and finally to “what.” That difference is their key to greatness.

Your Elusive Creative Genius

Elizabeth Gilbert, Author of Eat, Pray, Love – Is the individual a creative genius or does that “genius” originate from an outside source? Gilbert suggests that it’s more liberating for artists if they view genius as something that descends on an individual occasionally. She reminds us that this was the way the Ancient Greeks and Romans believed it to be and that returning to that way of thinking could be beneficial. It frees the creative person from the pressure of “genius” and allows him or her to simply do the best work they can.

How Art, Technology and Design Informs Creative Leaders

John Maeda, President of the Rhode Island School of Design – Anything good is the result of combining the old and the new. Content can be changed dramatically if we alter its form. Art is about asking questions. Maeda, with a background in math, art and technology, touches on those topics and more. He discusses the interrelationships among technology, design, art and leadership and asserts that the biggest question facing us is how we are going to approach leadership.

Ideas That Scale

Amy Lukas, Managing Partner at Infinite Scale Design Group – The ability to create ideas is “an essential and defining feature of human beings,” explains Lukas. She goes on to discuss that scaling ideas means being part of something that is bigger than yourself. All ideas must either grow or die, she says, and that scale is the changing of an idea in size and complexity.

The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

Adam Grant, Organizational Psychologist and Professor, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania – How do you champion superior ideas? In this presentation, Wharton’s top-rated professor for seven years speaks to six keys to becoming an original thinker, and effective strategies for championing your ideas. For example, Grant points out that people tend to be very poor judges of their own ideas. Middle managers tend to be even worse. He found that peers tend to be the best and most reliable at identifying winning ideas.

What’s Behind Twitter’s Explosive Growth?

Evan Williams, Twitter Co-Founder – Twitter was just a side project at Williams’ startup company ODEO. Even he couldn’t envision that this simple connectivity tool allowing people to share what they were doing with friends would explode into what it is today. He points out that users rapidly took over and elevated it into a pervasive information sharing application. His conclusion? If you give people ways to share information, good things will happen.

Making Ideas Happen

Scott Belsky, Adobe’s Chief Product Officer and Executive VP for Creative Cloud, and former CEO of Behance – Most ideas never happen, some ideas should never happen and that even great ideas suffer horrible odds, according to Belsky. He explains that many ideas die because of what he calls “The Project Plateau,” which is the point where the excitement of the “new idea” drops off into the long execution phase. The only way to overcome that syndrome, he says, is through adopting a formula he defines as Ideas + Organization & Execution + Community Forces + Leadership Capabilities.

Photo Credit: TED

Note: This is an updated, edited version of a previously published post.