Mavenlink, a popular project management software, shared with us their 5 most popular articles. One of which was an article that showcased 5 TED talks about leadership. These TED talks discussed how to be an effective leader, be happy at work, be friends with stress, how kids can teach themselves, and the evolution of humans. Spoiler alert! The best talk was saved for last, after you have watched it you’ll never be the same. As these talks are informative and valuable for the project management field and Mavenlink participates in this field, as a software provider, I thought it would be interesting to examine Mavenlink, a review of sort, according to the perspectives in these talks. In other words, how does Mavenlink look through the TED lens? Specifically, is Mavenlink, according to TED, the following: an effective leader, positive, friends with stress, self-organizing, and, a good fictional story?
1st TED Talk that Mavenlink Showcased, Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action
Sinek stresses, repeatedly, the importance of communicating the ‘’why’’, to not only your team but to everyone who’s listening. According to Sinek, if we, as leaders, communicate why we do something we are going to attract people who believe the same thing we do; on the other hand, if we simply explain what we need do, that is an approach that is significantly less effective. For Sinek, in order for a group to follow your idea, or concept, they need to understand its purpose or reason. If they can relate to or agree with it, they are more likely to follow what you say. On the flip side, if you explain first, what needs to be done, then how to do it, and you end with the why it’s done – people are less likely to buy into your idea. They are less likely to follow your lead.
Ok, Mavenlink tell us what your why is? Why do you do what you do? As found on their website, Mavenlink aspires to connect & serve. Mavenlink’s why: the business landscape is global, interconnected and moving fast. Their how: have the right tool – Mavenlink’s tool of course. And lastly, their what: as in what can you do with that tool; you can do more than just get by. You can thrive. So what do they believe? To quote Mavenlink: “Every company can be successful; intense pressure is forcing change; technology helps with scaling and growth”. Your turn! Do you believe what Mavelink believes?
2nd Talk: Shawn Achor: The Happy Secret to Better Work
Achor discusses, in a lighthearted manner, how you perceive the external world will ultimately be predictive of your attitude towards it. To expand, for most, every time we feel we have succeeded we go on to set another goal. And what happens is, we can end up feeling like we never can be good enough. We must do more. We end up always chasing a never ending goal. As Achor eloquently says, ”Happiness is pushed over the cognitive horizon …”.
Achor’s point, train your brain to be more positive. And how do you do such a thing? You’ll have to watch the video to learn the 2-minute fix. After your brain has been trained to be in a positive mode, it’s 31% more productive. For example, a doctor that trains his/her brain to be positive can be 19% faster at a diagnosis in comparison to a state of negativity, neutral or stress. Perhaps this is something that every doctor should incorporate into their daily routine.
Mavenlink, what’s your positivity? Again back to their philosophy, Mavenlink’s positivity is their belief that companies can be successful. Their positivity also includes, helping business’s manage budgets and timelines. Do you need some of this positivity?
3rd Talk: Kelly McGonigal: How to Make Stress Your Friend
Say what! Stress is your friend. Another angle on positive thinking. If you use stress as a mechanism to help you prepare for a challenging job, the research is on your side. The research shows that stress can have little to no harmful affects on your health; under one condition – you must believe, whole heartedly that it’s beneficial for you, rather than harmful. For McGonigal, if you, “Change your mind about stress then you can change your body’s response to it’’. Another point that McGonigal makes is that caring creates a resilience to stress!
Does Mavenlink care – in a way that creates a resilience to stress? Mavenlink cares by providing their clients with an ever evolving support center that not only goes above and beyond the needs of their users but is ahead of the competition.
In addition to McGonigal’s talk, there’s a series of videos about stress. These talks will walk you through how 10 mindful minutes can change your life; how the sun can be good for your health, and finally how changing your life means changing your mind.
4th Talk: Sugata Mitra: Kids Can Teach Themselves
Yes, you read it right! Mitra argues that in privileged schools, students provided with the latest education technology will marginally benefit from it. Mitra’s argument is that technology, like computers and the access to the internet, should be provided in impoverished rural areas. Because, the children in these areas have the capacity, with this technology, to self-organize for learning. His study revealed that 6 – 13-year old’s, who had never seen a computer and had no idea what the internet was, could self instruct. Then, they were capable of teaching others how to use the computer. These children in rural areas had close to the same learning curve as found in school. The only requirement was they had to be in a group.
As demonstrated by Mitra’s research, the youth have the ability to self-organize for learning. Mitra sees this as a better mode of learning rather than with teachers, because teachers can create a context where learning is imposed. For Mitra, this is a less effective way to educate.
Now, does Mavenlink self-organize for learning? Well, there may not be 6-13-year old’s working there but this software company definitely facilitates self organization. Perhaps you have heard of scrum: a team directed approach to complex projects – can we see this as self-organization for learning – how to complete complex projects? Mavenlink’s software compliments this type of project management, and more.
5th Talk and Perhaps the Most Profound, Yuval Noah Harari: What Explains the Rise of Humans?
Harari walks us through how humans compare to the rest of the animal kingdom; we have the capacity to collaborate flexibly and in large numbers. Makes sense when you take a second to think about it. But also, we are the only species that believe fictional stories in which organizes us, or controls us – if you will, on a collective level. Take for example, fictional realities – considered fictional as there’s nothing tangible about them – they occur in our imagination. The example: there’s a god in the sky and if you follow certain laws and rules when you die you will go to a paradise – heaven. People adhere to these religious laws, in large numbers- they believe the story. Again, it’s a fictional story because our imagination participates in believing these stories – not that there’s anything wrong with it. In comparison to an objective reality, like trees, animals, buildings…
The same is true about money. Money, has no objective reality – it’s a green piece of paper. But everyone believes this green piece of paper has value. Hararir believes that money is the most successful story invented and taught by humans as it’s the only story everyone believes. Not everybody believes in things like God, human rights or nationalism. But money, yes.
His final point, humans control the world because we live in a dual reality. All other creatures live in an objective reality. The tangible reality, like mountains, trees and other animals. Humans live in this reality too, but we also we have created another reality – fictional stories – like nations, gods, corporations. It’s these fictional realities which are the most powerful entities in the world. These fictional realities, which exist in our imagination, are what effect the objective realities like rivers, vegetation, animals. If this concept is unclear at this moment, take the time to watch this talk. It’s worth every minute.
So what’s Mavenlink’s fictional story and do you believe in their fictional reality? There’re many who do with over 1.6 million projects managed. As well, Mavnelink was given the title of, “Cool vendor” by Gartner – the world’s leading technology research and advisory firm. I think it’s safe to say they believe Mavenlink’s story too.
There you have it, Mavenlink through the lens of TED.com. According to this lens we see the following: Mavenlink is a great leader; positively works with companies to facility successful projects; cares for their clients – as a result reducing stress; self-organizing is possible with Mavenlink’s software; and they have a story in which has an impact on the objective world. Do you agree? I would like to hear what your thoughts are. Let me know in the leave a reply section below.