May 02

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Staying on the leading edge, my top business podcasts by Max Eskell

As more and more knowledge is created, people have adapted by becoming increasingly specialised – developing expertise in narrower and narrower areas.  The inherent danger of specialisation is that as you lose perspective and context.  I am sure you have heard of the story of the blind men and the elephant.  One man feels the trunk and this that the elephant is a snake.  Another feels the leg and thinks that the elephant is a tree. And yet another feels the side of the elephant and thinks that it is a house!  So, how can you keep up-to-date with this ever increasing amount of specialist knowledge, but retain the ability to maintain a broader perspective and understand how that knowledge fits into a wider context.

Being dyslexic I find reading difficult, and while I am currently pushing myself to read a minimum of a book a week (see my book reviews), I find that podcasts are a more natural way for me to digest information.  In addition, podcasts allow me to absorb more information, as I can listen to podcasts while driving, running, or in the gym.

I try to listen to podcasts on business, leadership & management, politics, philosophy, science and technology.  This spread of topics allows to me to retain a breadth of knowledge while also allowing me to identify and explore similarities, linkages and interdependencies between the topic areas.

Over the next few posts, I will list out my top podcasts for each topic.  Today I start with a list of business podcasts which I hope you will find useful.

FT Listen to Lucy (weekly) – a delightful (and short) podcast which offers deep insight into (and often a contrarian critique of) the latest management topic or business practice.  Listen to Lucy will not only lighten up your day, but it will also provide thoughtful balance to the prevailing thinking in the business world.

The Bottom Line (BBC weekly) – one of my favourite podcasts.  Each week Evan Davis interviews a panel of top business people.  This podcast allows you to listen to CEOs articulating their thoughts on the weeks hot topics.  You should consider this podcast if you are interested in understanding what CEOs find important, how CEOs think, and what CEOs focus on.

Wake up to Money (BBC daily) – each morning the Wake up to Money team digest the main topics in the news and look forward to the main topics for the upcoming day.  Top quality guests and market correspondents provide insight and analysis on the business topics that are likely to shape the day.  Wake up to Money is a great way to start your day.

Peter Day’s World of Business (BBC weekly) – over half an hour, Peter provides an overview of a growing trend in the business world and then provides multiple analysis and perspectives by interviewing key academics and practitioners.  A good, light and balanced podcast addressing some of the major themes and trends in business today.

The Economist: The Week Ahead (weekly) – an excellent forecast of the major global themes and events planned for the following week.  You should consider listening to this is you are time short and don’t have the time to digest the global news often (also read the Week).

The McKinsey Podcast (weekly) – McKincsey Quarterly is renown for well-researched articles, meticulously supported with analysis.  The McKinsey Podcast either provides these articles in audio format or more recently provides additional discussion with the authors.  A good podcast that provides in-depth analysis on hot industry topics.

The Economist: Special Report (weekly) – in this podcast the Economist team provide a more in-depth report on a topic of global region.  This podcast is great if you want to further your international business knowledge.

I hope you found this useful.  The next post will focus on my top leadership and management podcasts.  Please leave comments or feedback below, especially if you know of other podcasts that I, or others, would be interested in.