Ten Podcasts to Help Stimulate Innovative Thinking

It can be difficult for business professionals from all levels within a company to maintain an innovative mindset. Between client meetings, deadlines, and even rush hour traffic, the “daily grind” can cause a narrowing effect on one’s thought process, closing off our peripheral scope of projects or goals. The best way to prevent this from happening is to allow ourselves time for creative stimulation.

Books are a phenomenal option due to the numerous genres available. Both fiction and non-fiction novels offer complex narratives, riveting plotlines and problem-solving, and inspirational characters. Unfortunately, many of us are pressed for time. Self-driving cars are still years away from mass adoption, but even then, it is unlikely that regulations will allow us to read a book while stuck in traffic.

That’s where podcasts come in to play, where topics and styles have as much versatility as a book. Our consultants here at Concentre are huge fans of podcasts. After discussing internally some of the ways we keep ourselves knowledgeable, inspired, and entertained, we wanted to share some of our favorite podcasts with you. Here are our Top 10, ranging from pure thought-provoking entertainment to business news and insights.

Top 10 Podcasts for Innovative Business Professionals

favorite podcast infographics

Serial – Tells one true story over the course of a season.
Host: Sarah Koenig
Created by: This American Life
Best Known For: Season 1 took the podcast world by storm with its own investigation into a 1999 Baltimore murder and whether Adnan Syed may be innocent.
Awards: Peabody, Edward R. Murrow, duPont-Columbia, Scripps Howard, and Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts
How to listen: Each episode is the next chapter in the story – it’s important to listen in order.

This American Life
A documentary show for people who normally hate documentaries. A public radio show for people who don’t necessarily care for public radio.
Host: Ira Glass
What it’s about: It’s not news. It’s not a talk show. It’s not your typical radio show. Each episode has a theme, and the stories are like movies for radio.
Awards: Peabody, the duPont-Columbia, Edward R. Murrow, and the Overseas Press Club, to name a few
When to listen: Weekly

99% Invisible
All the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about.
Host & Creator: Roman Mars
Got its start: As a project of KALW public radio and the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco
What you’ll learn: How inflatable men came to be the regular fixtures at used car lots, the origin of the fortune cookie, and why Sigmund Freud opted for a couch over an armchair.
When to listen: Weekly

Freakonomics Radio
Conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature.
Host: Stephen J. Dubner
Best Known For: The book, Freakonomics, written by Stephen J. Dubner and Steve Levitt
Guests: Nobel laureates, provocateurs, social scientists, professional athletes, scholars,  entrepreneurs, and more
When to listen: Weekly

The Tim Ferriss Show
It’s about positive tactics you can use, not “gotchas” or other B.S. The Internet has enough of that.
Host: Tim Ferriss
What it’s about: Deconstruct world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, sports, business, art, etc.) to extract the tactics, tools, and routines you can use – things like favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and more.
Previous Guests: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Popova, Peter Thiel, Jon Favreau, Whitney Cummings

Exploring how economics emerges in practice, using topical books and the news to illustrate those economic principles.
Host: Russ Roberts
Carried by: The Library of Economics and Liberty
Previous Guests: Authors, professors, Nobel Laureates, entrepreneurs, leaders of charities and business, and people on the street
When to listen: Every Monday morning

Discussing all things tech and culture trends, news, and the future as “software eats the world.”
Created by: Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz
Style: Discussions, Advice, How-To, News, and more
When to listen: Multiple podcasts released throughout the week

What it’s really like to get a business off the ground.
Hosts: Lisa Chow & Alex Blumberg
Genre: Narrative storytelling

Planet Money
Imagine you could call up a friend and say, “Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.” Now imagine that’s actually a fun evening.
How it began: Spawned from an award-winning episode of This American Life
When to listen: Twice weekly

How I Built This
The true stories of innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the movements they built.
Host: Guy Raz
Style: Each episode is a narrative journey told by the founders of some of the world’s best known companies and brands.
Previous Guests: Steve Case of AOL, Haim Saban of Power Rangers, Richard Branson of Virgin, Suroosh Alvi of VICE

Have a podcast you want to recommend to the team? Let us know in the comments!

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