I love Ted Talks. Who doesn’t? I like to watch them when I’m stressed or when I need some inspiration or enthusiasm. But, have you ever watched a Ted Talk and thought, “Man, they are so right, but I really wish they weren’t”? I have. Why? Because if I really believe they are right, then that means I have to make some changes. And change is hard. Change is uncomfortable. But, change is inevitable. And when it comes down to it a large part of the responsibilities of a PMO (Project Management Office) have to do with making changes and change management. So, this list focuses on five Ted Talks that help a PMO professional look at things from a different perspective, and possibly find changes that need to be made to your project teams or project planning.
In this talk, Seth Godin gives examples of products, services and systems that are broken, seven factors that cause them to be broken, and how they can be fixed. One key takeaway is making sure that you design things in such a way that is best for the people that will use them instead of what you think may be best for your company. It stands to reason that if your customers are happy with your product, that is what is truly best for your company.
Have you ever been completely sure about something only to later find out that you were completely wrong? Yeah, me neither. Just kidding. I’m pretty sure that we have all experienced that at one time or another. Julia Galef explores the mindset that keeps us believing things that are wrong, as well as the mindset that can help us to be more objective. Are your projects always completed in the same way? If so, why? Because that is how it’s always been done? Because you think it is the best way? This talk can help the PMO to be more open about challenging the way things are done and to do things differently if proven wrong.
Margaret Heffernan explores the idea that the best model of collaboration is having someone who is completely different and who thinks in a completely different way to disagree with you and challenge you to really prove whether an idea or theory is correct. As a PMO professional, you can use this idea in terms of your project teams. Are they made up of like-minded people who echo each other’s ideas or do they challenge each other for the best possible results?
Rosalinde Torres asks the question, “What are truly great leaders doing distinctly different to thrive and grow?” She also talks about traditional development practices, and how they simply don’t work in the 21st century world that is “more global, digitally enabled and transparent, with faster speeds of information flow and innovation, and where nothing big gets done without some kind of a complex matrix.” This talk may make you rethink ways to be a great leader and ways to grow great leaders within your company.
How far ahead does your company plan? Do you have a five-year plan? A 10-year plan? A 15-year plan? Are you thinking “that’s crazy, we can’t plan that far ahead”? Well, what about a 200-year plan? It may seem quite excessive, but Raghava KK talks about his 200-year plan in this Ted Talk. It may really put things into perspective if you take a look at the extreme long-term horizon and reflect on what effect your projects will have for future generations. This, in turn, may even result in making changes to your planning in the short-term.
I hope you enjoy this list of Ted Talks for PMO professionals as much I did. Feel free to share them with any of your colleagues who aren’t afraid of change. Now, it is time for me to go reflect on what I’ve learned and start making some changes!