6 Podcast Episodes for a Better Workplace

There are over 550,000 podcasts with more than 18.5 million episodes to choose from. That’s a lot of morning commutes.

With so many voices on a veritable smorgasbord of topics, sifting through the noise can be a challenge. If you’re interested in how to create a better workplace for yourself, your team, or your organization as a whole, here are 6 episodes on a range of topics to get started.


1. WorkLife with Adam Grant – Work/Life Balance

As the name implies, this podcast deals with the intersection of work and life. Psychologist, Wharton Professor, and best-selling author Adam Grant tackles real-world issues with innovative solutions from actual organizations. This episode tackles the age-old dilemma of work/life balance head on with scientific data and practical experience. Like what if a consulting firm put boundaries on when you could and couldn’t send emails, not just for coworkers, but clients too?

2. Recode Media with Peter Kafka – The Challenges of Leadership Communication

This is one of my favorite podcast episodes of all time. Peter Kafa of the Recode network interviews David Cheng, creator of the Momofuku restaurant empire. Cheng gives a candid response to the challenges of scaling culture in today’s evolving food industry. He discusses the emergence of “blue collar work with white collar values” and his own leadership development, particularly learning how to communicate more effectively.

3. How I Built This – Virgin: Richard Branson

Virgin founder Richard Branson made his billions taking risks and living on the edge. Despite what his Instagram may imply, however, Branson is something of a media unicorn. He rarely gives public interviews or speechless. This interview from NPR mainstay Guy Raz reveals the story behind Branson’s success and, more importantly, his many failures. For example, how acquiring a bridal dress-making company when your name is Virgin might be an issue. He also addresses the unique culture that keeps Virgin ahead of the competition.

4. HBR Ideacast – Self-Awareness

Organizational psychologist and executive coach Tasha Eurich shares insights from her research on leadership and self-awareness in this quick-hit episode from Harvard Business Review. In a manageable 20 minutes, Eurich explains the two types of self-awareness and how too much introspection can actually be detrimental. As the modern workplace evolves toward higher emotional intelligence, self-awareness is a must-have for every employee no matter the rank.

5. 99% Invisible – Making a Mark: Visual Identity with Tom Geismar

“Design Thinking” has become a popular methodology recently as the problems facing many industry leaders are no longer linear and logical. Design Thinking models the approach “creatives” have used for years to engage outside-the-box ideas and solve problems in a more agile and collaborative manner. This episode of 99% Invisible investigates the creative process of renown graphic designer Tim Geismar. Creating something as simple as a logo requires an immense amount of careful thought and teamwork, qualities many organizations are finding to be necessities for the digital age.

6. 1-3-20 – The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups with Dan Coyle

Author of New York Times Best-Seller “Culture Code: The Secret of Highly Successful Groups”, Dan Coyle shares revelations from his research on what makes teams across diverse industries successful. From professional basketball to Pixar, successful teams show a particular set of similarities. Learning how to create, implement, and lead these attributes is the key to effective culture, which in turn dramatically increases an organization’s chances of long-term success (not to mention a happy workforce).