TED Talks are speaking presentations from TED (Technology, Entertainment & Design) Conferences which began in the USA in 1990. No longer reserved for tech topics they have gone on to become a global phenomenon and now cover almost any subject matter you can think of.

Once reserved for a very select audience, many TED Talks are now available on YouTube, representing ridiculous value for us. Tickets to the live events can be around US $6,000 each so you can imagine the calibre of speakers is pretty high.

Once you’ve watched a couple of TED Talks I suspect you’ll find yourself wandering down the windy road of watching more and more – a habit that has chipped away at a number of my Saturday afternoons.

There aren’t many any workers comp specific TED Talks I can recommend, but there are a bunch that massively support my message around injury prevention. I firmly believe that great leadership, an engaged workforce and a productive work environment will reduce and prevent workplace injuries.

These are my top 5 TED Talks that support this message and that I’m sure will help you along in your career in rehabilitation.

Did I miss any? What are your favourite TED Talks?

Rainer Strack: “The Surprising Workforce Crisis of 2030 – and how to Start Solving it Now”

The ageing workforce is a constant worry for many employers and for compensation schemes in general. It’s a challenge that is hard to step up to and proactively address.

If you didn’t already understand the scope of the impact our ageing population is going to have on the way we work then you need to check out Rainer Stack’s take on it.

Dan Ariely: “What Makes Us Feel Good About our Work?”

Dan Ariely has a fascinating mind, he’s my kind of researcher. Somehow he manages to get permission (and presumably funding) for some of the coolest, quirkiest areas of research. His study linking Donald Trump supporters with small male genitals stands out in this area.

In this TED Talk Dan Ariely enlightens us on some of the surprising reasons we actually enjoy hard work.

Josh Kaufman: “The First 20 Hours: How To Learn Anything”

Anyone working in the field of RTW will likely need to be a “juggler” at some stage of their career.

We often need to dabble in Human Resources, Health & Safety, payroll and more. If you’re new to it, any one of these can be daunting and well outside your comfort zone.

Many people will tell you it takes 10,000 hours to master something which can be overwhelming and discouraging. While it may take that long to master a craft, Josh Kaufman shows that you can actually get good at something new in as little as 20 hours.

Dan Pink: “The Puzzle of Motivation”

This author, researcher and former White House speechwriter is one of the best storytellers and greatest modern business minds around. This is as true as ever in Dan Pink’s TED Talk about what motivates us to work.

Dan Pink’s TED Talk dives into many of the themes of his book “Drive” which I also highly recommend.

Simon Sinek: “Start With Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Action”

Similar to Dan Pink, Simon Sinek is the sort of writer/speaker that you could turn any sentence he says into a quote. He’s written a number of inspirational books.

This TED Talk explains the power of your “why” statement. Once you get your head around this, the applications in your career, business and personal life can be astounding.