More and more organizations are realizing the benefits of TEDx

Injecting new ideas and honest, open dialogue into large organizations is catching on worldwide. The Vatican is the latest organization to announce that they are putting together their own TEDx event.

As the TEDx program now celebrates its 4th birthday, it’s growing in many new directions, particularly within corporations. As more and more leaders wake up to the fact that stiff, old bureaucracies are only contributing to a race to the bottom, they are embracing TEDx to help them race to the top.

For the companies, it helps improve employee engagement, it breaks down internal barriers, it gives their people a forum to share ideas, and it helps to improve recruiting and retention of talent. For the employees, it gets them excited about their teams, it gives them inspiration and motivation, and perhaps most importantly it gives them a sense of purpose and a belief in the fact they’re working toward something bigger than themselves.

On March 15 in Washington DC, National Geographic held TEDxDeExtinction — an open forum discussing everything from the very real possibilities of bringing back the dodo to the not-as-real but fun-to-discuss viability of creating Jurassic Park.

One of the trailblazing companies that started doing TEDx internally in 2011, Intuit has now had two big TEDxIntuit conferences. Samsung has used TEDxSamsung to make their workplace more fun, including paper airplane battles and a pretty awesome Michael Jackson flash mob. Procter & Gamble had their first TEDxP&G event in March. Even the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States government held their first TEDxCIA event earlier this year.

And in a hallmark event last week, Intel joined the fun not directly through TEDx, but by being the first corporation to actually pay TED to help them organize TED@Intel. While this definitely cost them significantly more money than having internal employees do it, it guaranteed exceptional quality, and surely companies will be lining up to pay for this service.

Given that we’re at a tipping point for this format to become mainstream, corporate executives afraid of being left behind will soon be scrambling to set up programs of their own. This brings about its own set of challenges, but it’s great to see the spirit of TED spreading all around us.

If you’re part of a large organization, what are you waiting for?

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