Thursday, January 26, 2012

University on Four Wheels

If you will be spending a lot of time driving this year, you have a perfect opportunity to explore new ideas through audiobooks and podcasts.  Here are five of my favorite podcasts:

Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders - Few things are more inspirational than listening directly to successful entrepreneurs tell their own stories and what they learned during the process. Each hour long seminar from this weekly Stanford University series features one of the brightest stars of the entrepreneurial scene.

HBR IdeaCast - These weekly interviews include the leading thinkers in business and management from the pages of the Harvard Business Review. Most of these are between 10 and 15 minutes and provide some unique insights not found in other publications. 

TEDTalks - TED is a nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading. These sessions, usually under 15 minutes, are from some of the world's leading thinkers and doers speaking from the stage at TED conferences. These are the ideas that are changing our world now and in the future.

Freakonomics Radio - In these podcasts, which vary in length, writers Steven D. Levitt and Stephen Dubner explore "the hidden side of everything." Using principles and methods from economics, these examples show the motivation behind much of human behavior and how marketing and policy decisions can have unintended consequences.

Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing - If you are in a leadership position, or want to be, your ability to communicate is essential. These are short, friendly tips, always under 10 minutes, to improve your writing.  These are fun grammar, punctuation and style tips that will make anyone a better writer.

These podcasts plus a couple of condensed audiobook summaries each month fill up the time that I spend commuting and have had a tremendous influence on my thought processes in recent years. They are an fun and easy way to learn during time that otherwise would be lost.

What are your favorite podcasts?

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