Podcasts To Listen To: WorkLife With Adam Grant - A TED Original Podcast

WorkLife With Adam Grant

Examining Workplace Cultures

WorkLife is a new podcast offering from TED, the folks behind the global phenomenon known as the TED Talks.

WorkLife is hosted by organizational psychologist Adam Grant and by trade, he has worked with the biggest brands and heavy hitter organizations across the world to help counsel them on their workplace cultures.

Adam is adept at observing what exactly makes a workplace environment tick and is able to identify some of the pitfalls and traps that a workplace can also be susceptible too. As Grant himself succinctly states on the podcast “he studies how to make work not suck”.

In WorkLife, Adam visits a diverse group of workplace cultures from varying industries. The mission of the show is to highlight these examples of pioneering and proficient cultures for the listeners and discuss today's career focused issues with thought leaders across the business world.

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The Potential Impact

I wonder what the impact of these episodes can be? Can they stoke positive changes to stale or dysfunctional workplace cultures across the country or at the very least open up some of the minds of the individuals contributing to them?

The latter part of my questioning, about impacting the individual worker or hiring entrepreneur, might be the best means of affecting change. That change for workers, though, may take place entirely within their expectations as opposed to their office environments.

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Turning around the actual culture of a workplace is like turning around that metaphorical oil tanker, and quite honestly it could even be a dangerous feat for any individual to attempt, should they get inspired by an episode of WorkLife.

Radical Honesty

The debut episode featuring hedge fund titan Ray Dalio and his firm Bridgewater Associates was utterly fascinating. Claiming your workplace culture has radical honesty is one thing, but the commitment that Bridgewater makes to radical honesty and the manner in which they deploy it is shockingly quite another.

Good luck walking into your workplace on Monday and trying out Bridgewater styled radical honesty. You may very well get shown the door.

That may be the beauty of what the WorkLife podcast is bringing to us. Bridgewater Associates does exist and their culture of a deeply vested commitment to radical honesty is a real thing.

If that type of transparency is something you value and desperately seek for your own career, go find it. Or, If you are an entrepreneur, go create it.

A New Perspective

Certain cultures out there in the work world could be downright toxic, and any attempt to cut through them and bring about positive change could be futile. WorkLife may be best served in changing your own thought patterns, priorities for work culture, and expectations for what you deserve.

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For entrepreneurs and executive leaders, there is great hope that the cultures highlighted in WorkLife could begin to inspire you to instill changes in the cultures you steward.

Themes like radical honesty, fostering open and non-judgmental creativity, and work-life balance are all critical issues worth examining time and time again.  

We spend the bulk of our lives embroiled in our careers and are at the behest of cultures we quite often have little to do with creating. WorkLife is on a mission to show and prove that there are ways to go about work that can cultivate and sustain a deeper and more enriched life experience.

Shining a spotlight on thriving work cultures can hopefully allow individuals to see what could be possible at the workplace while also inspiring us to not settle for toxic or uninspiring work environments.

Whether you choose to roll up your sleeves and enact change upon your company’s culture or seek that desirous culture elsewhere, is completely up to you. Either way, the WorkLife podcast shows us that there are ideals out there in the real world that are worth striving for.

Please Comment

What type of culture featured on WorkLife is most desirable to you? What would you want to change first about your workplace culture? Please comment. We want to hear from you.