Top 5 TED talks on Team

by Wendy Soon on June 10, 2015

Tired of reading loads of information about team, but not getting much of the essence? Watch TED talks instead, which has the best spokespersons about teamwork to speak about the topic in 10-20 minute sessions. Below are some of the popular picks of TED talks regarding teamwork – some of which are also highly recommended by the top MBA schools.


1. Tom Wujec – Build a Tower, Build a Team. Tom explains the “marshmallow problem” – of how the almost simplistic game of building a tower with the commonest tools you can find, can contribute significantly to team building. (Read more about how to play the game here) Not only does the game develop team work, but it also highlights many problems that teams commonly face in the workplace.

2. Susan Cain – The Power of Introverts. Just as we recommended aspiring team leaders to read the bestseller book by Susan Cain, do watch her speak at the TED talk if you want to spend less time but gather the same gist of what she wants to teach you. Find out how Susan emphasizes that in a world that values extroverts, many valuable gifts that introverts can offer are often muffled and forgotten. Let this video transform how you bring your team together and maximize what they have to offer.

3. Clay Shirky – Institutions vs Collaboration. Despite being a talk given almost a decade ago, this talk remains one of the best materials to teach teamwork. Clay describes how collaboration in business is changing, replacing closed networks with more fluid, interacting networks.

4. Jason Fried – Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work. Fried is the Founder and CEO of Basecamp, one of the greatest examples of how startups can still survive without a co-located workspace. Speaking from experience, Fried explains why sometimes physical workplaces can be the bane of getting any work done, commonly brought about by the “M&M”s – Managers and Meetings. He goes on to explain how to create an ideal workplace where your team members can actually get work done.

5. Deborah Gordon – The Emergent Genius of Ant Colonies. Learning teamwork isn’t necessarily about watching and studying only the best companies that display excellent teamwork. Ants are nature’s best example of intricate teamwork, with each ant holding a different role that fits within the colony so that it functions as a coherent, effective whole. Gordon shares her research on how lessons from the ant colonies can be applied to human teams everywhere.


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