• Cat Graham

TED NYC: Perspectives and Takeaways

Updated: May 31, 2019

Recently, I attended the TEDNYC “How to Build the Future” curated event presented in partnership with the Brightline™ Initiative. The Brightline Initiative focuses on bridging the gap between the planning and delivery of business strategies; an aim to increase productivity and reduce expenses for business. Leaders in the business world presented ideas about team building, regulations and marketing. All the speakers were very insightful and left lasting impacts on me.

While the event’s speaker lineup was most impressive, one speaker who left a particularly lasting impression on me was Professor Amy Edmonson from Harvard Business School. Professor Edmonson spoke about the importance of team building and discussed common problems that arise within a team. Within her address, she provided an analogy which I found insightful. She presented a patient in a hospital who is seen by many caregivers. These caregivers do not interact, but can coordinate, so that their client – the patient – receives the best possible care and results. She then questioned what prevents teams in the business world from interacting and coordinating to achieve equally measurable results. She believes it is the difference in individual thinking that creates division within a team; for example, an engineer will think differently from a finance manager and both will think differently from a human resources manager. Dr. Edmonson emphasized that we need to find a way to connect teams around a common goal, so that like a patient in a hospital, clients receive the best service possible from a unified team.

Matt Goldman, the founder of Blue Man Group and Blue School, spoke about creativity. I believe creativity is critical in today’s work place, both for the company and in excelling beyond the efforts of competitors. The Blue Man Group was founded on the premise that an idea will only be presented once; creating an ever-evolving show which is in no way similar to traditional theater. Mr. Goldman’s second brainchild, Blue School, educates kindergarten-to-elementary school students in a completely new school of thought. Blue School has three pillars upon which it is founded: creative thinking, academic mastery, and self and social intelligence. Each component builds a foundation for creative thinkers so that they can adapt to solve problems. I believe teaching and developing these skills at a young age establishes a foundation for potential future leaders.

BuzzFeed publisher Dao Nguyen spoke about marketing to the New Age and how people respond to the anticipation of something good happening – ideas that relate to them or ideas that relate to loved ones. Through marketing “shared experiences,” individuals can feel that they are interacting with others at any time, even while sitting at home. Scott Gallaway’s talk focused on how the lack of government regulation has allowed companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple to grow at exponential rates and, essentially, “control our lives.”  Bhu Srinivasan, author of Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism brought up regulations in the tech industry. He noted that we can learn from the past in order to regulate future innovations. As we progress, so must rules and regulations. We can take experiences from America’s past to regulate before innovations are put in place; cars became more popular after the first flight, and only after the overpopulation of cars on the road, were regulations such as speed limits put in place. We can look at these past experiences and regulate pre-market introduction and reduce sunk costs.

The speakers of TED NYC demonstrated the importance of team building, having engaged employees and a connected culture in a company’s success. At Cheer Partners, we know that good intent isn’t enough in today’s workplace. Cheer Partners was founded on knowing that business success prevails in companies with healthy cultures, coupled with leading-edge employee engagement programs, transparency and relevant rewards programs. Our expertise can help your organization achieve the success for which you are striving. If you believe your company could benefit from our thinking, give us a shout at cheerpartners.com.