50 Useful Open Lectures for Business People

business woman in a room with other business people 

Professional development is a key component to achieving success in a business career. However, because of the hefty price tags associated with business development courses and lectures, many professionals shoo away.

Forget about breaking the bank—the internet is a massive, untapped resource for professional business development compliments of Ivy League schools and other influential academic institutions. We have collected a list of videos that showcase the best.

Our list of lectures spans a wide range of business topics, including: economics, management, finance, marketing, technology, personal development, entrepreneurship, leadership, international relations and business law—and all provide essential material to color and add to your business skills and knowledge. These lectures will augment your Accounting degree; Management degree online or on campus, and many other business-related educational paths, so you are at the top of your game professionally.


1. Business Professions and the Common Good (Wake Forest)


Synopsis: Puzzled by what your next career steps will be? David Brooks of the New York Times addresses how you can “try on different hats” to achieve career fulfillment and eventually achieve professional success by channeling your passion.

2. Business, Knowledge and Global Growth (Columbia)


Synopsis: R. Glenn Hubbard, Dean of the Columbia University’s Business School and former chair of the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers and Russell L. Carson Professor of Finance and Economics, discusses how MBA degrees have contributed to the growth of business and capitalism worldwide, driving innovation and technological advancement.

3. Who Develops Breakthrough New Products and Services - Users or Manufacturers? (MIT)


Synopsis: Technological powerhouse MIT has recently opened up courses from its Sloan School of Management to the general public, unveiling videotaped lectures like, “Who Develops Breakthrough New Products and Services?” to business professionals worldwide. This lecture hopes to explain how businesses must develop an understanding of major product and service innovations in a capitalist economy.

4. Tetley Lecture Series, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. (Kennesaw State University)


Synopsis: Here is a featured lecture from Coles College of Business “Tetley Lecture Series” with Anheuser Busch executive, Steven McDaniel. He shares an introspective and macro view of the American economy, and demonstrates how businesses can emulate the success of Anheuser Busch.

5. Sustainable Business as a Vehicle for Social Change (Boston College)


Synopsis: Dean Cycon, owner of Dean's Beans, an organic, fair-trade coffee producer in Massachusetts, shares his pursuit of societal integrity through sustainable business models in this clip brought to you by Boston College’s “Front Row” program. As the world is latching on to “green business,” this video can help professionals learn how to integrate sustainability into their practices.

6. Ray Anderson on the business logic of sustainability (TED Conference)


Synopsis: Ray Anderson, an executive at Flor, a company that has made carpet tiles hip, addresses the famed TED Conference about sustainable commerce. Anderson notes how he has increased sales and doubled profits of Flor by turning the conventional "take / make / waste" industrial system on its head through sustainable business practices.

7. Passion and the Customer (Stanford)


Synopsis: In this lecture presented by Stanford University, highly successful entrepreneur Vic Verma proves that passion drives commercial success. Verma cites that the most important assets to entrepreneurs are to love the job and to make your customer and their needs the organization’s priority. This lecture is part of the series, “Savi Technology: Know Your Customer,” which offers best practices for entrepreneurship.

8. Finding New Economic Opportunities Amid the Economic Wreckage (Cornell University)


Synopsis: Robert H. Frank, author of the Sunday Times bestseller The Economic Naturalist and Professor of Economics at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management relates the hypothesis of Charles Darwin and how it relates to modern economics challenges, such as competition.


9. Making Lemonade: Coping Strategies for Corporate Stresses (Stanford)


Synopsis: In this online lecture presented by Stanford University Carol Bartz, a veteran business executive, unveils tips on battling stagnation issues in the workplace. She maintains that keeping your professional options open and opening your arms to learning is essential to professional success.

10. Motivation and Organization Culture (Indian Institute of Technology)


Synopsis: Professor K.B Akhilesh from the Department of Management Studies at the Indian Institute of Technology shares his knowledge on factors that impede or cultivate motivation in the workplace. Akhilesh fluently discusses how business leaders can energize their team and create a healthy work environment filled with productive workers.

11. Pyramids, Not Ladders (Stanford)


Synopsis: Seasoned CEO Carol Bartz eloquently speaks about how people should climb the “professional pyramid” not the “professional ladder,” as pyramids provide depth, safety and strength—while ladders can come crashing down. She points out that ambitious business professional should welcome lateral movement in their professional lifetime because it creates well-roundedness.

12. The Top 10 Ways You Shoot Yourself in the Foot in the Workplace (University of California)


Synopsis: Successful business leaders can make giant faux pas in their career, and Intuit executive, Norah Denzel shares how to avoid these workplace pitfalls. Combining wit and personal examples, Denzel shares what she learned as she rose above the ranks at IBM and Hewlett Packard, while citing the 10 most common ways people can squelch their careers.

13. Audio Podcast: Nine Lessons Learned about Creativity at Google (Stanford)


Synopsis: Vice President of Search Products and User Experience at Google Marissa Mayer reveals nine important tips about fostering creative ideas and innovation, based on her career developing winning ideas at Google. She offers two concepts that every professional should stand by: “Ideas come from anywhere” and “share everything you can.”

14. Time Management (University of Virginia)


Synopsis: Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch (http://www.randypausch.com) offers invaluable time management tips in this lecture presented by the University of Virginia. The lecture describes why time is the only commodity that matters and how to set goals, deal with a boss and delegate tasks.

15. Career Development and Management (University of Dallas)


Synopsis: This video clip shows University of Dallas director Pamela Ravare-Jones giving a lecture to students at the University of Dallas campus on the subject of career development and management in America. The lecture gives a macro view of issues on career development and how everyone’s definition of success should be individualized.

16. Richard St. Johnson’s 8 Secrets to Success (TED Conference)


Synopsis: Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into a three-minute lecture on the real secrets of achievement. Seven years and 500 interviews later, he unveils the secrets of success, which includes passion, focus, persistence through failure, serving others, and pushing yourself physically, mentally and creatively.


17. Winston Forum on Business Ethics: Sharon Allen (Boston College)


Synopsis: In the famed lecture series “Front Row” presented by Boston College, Sharon Allen, executive at Deloitte, shares guidelines on how to work ethically and have a balanced life.

18. Ethical Leadership Qualities and Responsibilities of Leaders in the New Millennium (Boston College)


Synopsis: In 1995, Aaron Feuerstein's century-old family company, Malden Mills, was devastated by fire. He continued to pay his 3,000 workers their salaries and benefits while rebuilding the Massachusetts plant, making him a walking example of corporate responsibility. In a rare appearance at Boston College, Feuerstein discusses ethical business practices of leaders.


19. Finance and Insurance as Powerful Forces in Our Economy and Society (Yale)


Synopsis: A part of the riveting “Open Yale Courses” Series, this lecture features Economics Professor Robert Schiller, who discusses the importance of studying finance. The series (http://oyc.yale.edu/economics/financial-markets) topics include: behavioral finance, financial technology, financial instruments, commercial banking, investment banking, financial markets and institutions, real estate, regulation, monetary policy and democratization of finance.

20. “What We Know About Investors In Mutual Funds” (Boston College)


Synopsis: In this lecture, chief economist of the Investment Company Institute Brian Ried summarizes mutual funds, the GDP and other important financial matters that business professionals come across in day-to-day life. The lecture was part of the 2006 Center for Asset Management Conference.


21. Leadership and Entrepreneurship in Academia (Cornell)


Synopsis: Cornell University’s twelfth President, David Skorton, supplies great tips on how leadership works in the educational sphere.

22. Value-Based Leadership (University of California-Davis)


Synopsis: Steve Newberry, CEO of Lam Research (http://www.lamrc.com/), goes beyond the traditional concept of business and shares the fundamental assets needed by business leaders. He gives tips on how to create a values-based company, and the benefits these types of companies hold.

23. Leadership and Decision Making (Boston College)


Synopsis: The “Front Row” series at Boston College includes a lecture highlighting University Chancellor J. Donald Monan, the University’s President from 1972 to 1996, to discuss "practical knowledge" and assessment, quoting examples from Boston College’s own history.

24. David Logan on Tribal Leadership (TED Conference)


Synopsis: David Logan talks about the five kinds of tribes that humans naturally form in schools, workplaces—even the driver's license bureau. He states that societies build and function through tribes, or a conglomeration of naturally occurring groups of 40-150 people. Through learning our shared tribal tendencies, he maintains, we can help lead each other to become better leaders and better employees.


25. Management and Supervision 100 (Coastline Community College)


Synopsis: Coastline College professor Dr. Boehler hosts a weekly video series of his class, Management and Supervision 100, where he discusses organizational theory and the practice of management. Through skillful communication, users can grasp organizational functions, decision making and the application of leadership and management in various organizational environments.

26. Strategic Management (New Jersey Institute of Technology)

Synopsis: This lecture series, supported by New Jersey Institute of Technology’s Business Management Program dives into all things management, from data management to project management and behavioral science.

27. Management of Nonprofits


Synopsis: Interested in furthering your knowledge of niche management? If your business is nonprofits, this video with lecturer Dr. Linda Johnson is for you.


28. Communication (Indian Institute of Science)


Synopsis: Management Professor K.B Akhilesh from the Indian Institute of Science delves into all aspects of idea transmission—from sender to receiver. The lecture covers the basics of communication through simple definitions and by detailing the process of workplace verbal exchange.

29. Make a Great Pitch (Stanford)


Synopsis: An entrepreneur is always pitching. Sales pitches, partnership pitches, or customer pitches—business men and women need to do it every day. This lecture showcases savvy entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki’s and his ideas on how to ensure pitching success through his 10/20/30 PowerPoint Slide Rule—10 slides, 20 minutes and 30 point font.

30. Principles of Digital Communication (MIT)


Synopsis: Business professionals now must be well versed in technology and the internet; this online lecture is perfect for sharing detailed information about information technology. Follow an actual MIT class on the web, called Principals of Digital Communication (http://www.youtube.com/user/MIT) to learn codes and communication tools online.


31. The Leader's Role in Building the Brand, (Cornell)


Synopsis: As part of the fall 2008 Park Leadership Speaker Series, Daniel Hesse, executive leader at the telecommunications giant Sprint, offers breakthrough insights into leadership and marketing. Put away the leadership books, he says: real leaders live and breathe their company’s brand. In this great business lecture, Hess also explains, “A brand is who you are and what you want to be."

32-35. Financial Times Series on Marketing (Columbia Business School)


Synopsis: Financial Times (http://www.financialtimes.com) and Columbia School of Business joined forces to create an executive education course series with lectures provided by the director of The Center on Global Brand Leadership at Columbia Business School in New York, Bernd Schmitt. The series includes lectures called, “Experiential Brands are Everywhere (http://www.ft.com/cms/a5dd621a-e39d-11dc-8799-0000779fd2ac.html?_i_referralObject=429873204&fromSearch=n),” “Key Concepts of Experiential Marketing (http://www.ft.com/cms/a5dd621a-e39d-11dc-8799-0000779fd2ac.html?_i_referralObject=429881155&fromSearch=n),” and “Customer Experiences (http://www.ft.com/cms/a5dd621a-e39d-11dc-8799-0000779fd2ac.html?_i_referralObject=429860664&fromSearch=n).”

36. Tetley Lecture Series, Business Week (Kennisaw University)


Synopsis: Coles College of Business streams great videotaped lectures online from the Tetley Distinguished Lecture Leader Series. This lecture features William Kupper Jr., President and CEO of Business Week, who preaches about how marketing is the center of the universe, and thus, marketers need to know your audience. Kupper also details things that business students should bear in mind as they embark on their careers.

37. Marketing Guru David Aaker, "Spanning Silos" (University of California-Berkley)


Synopsis: Emeritus Marketing Professor David Aaker shares insights from his recently published book, Spanning Silos, at the Haas School of Business at the University of California-Berkeley. Aaker elucidates how organizational silos—categorized by products, countries or functions—have become inhibitors to effective and efficient marketing and branding.

38. Streetwise Marketing (Expert Lectures)


Synopsis: In this free lecture, Action Coach’s Neale Lewis introduces the concept of ”Streetwise Marketing,” covering issues of competition in commerce, differentiation, selling points and sealing sales deals. Action Coach offers a multitude of other business-related lectures that will increase your knowledge base (http://www.youtube.com/user/expertlectures).

39. Tailoring Products for Different Consumer Groups (Stanford)


Synopsis: Carol Bartz, chairman of the board, president and CEO of Autodesk, talks about the need to speak with customers to tailor a standard product for different customer groups. She uses the example of AutoCad and the way it has been tailored to specific customers to meet their requirements. She also says that the best way to make a product a standard is to get it up to volume.


40. Josh Berman: My Entrepreneurial Journey from UCSB to MySpace and Beyond (University of California-Santa Barbara)


Synopsis: Josh Berman, co-founder and chief operating officer of MySpace.com (http://www.myspace.com), chronicles his rising professional journey, from accounting to technology, and offers tips on professional success.

41. Inside the Mind of a Reluctant Entrepreneur (Stanford)


Synopsis: Numenta’s (http://www.numenta.com/) Jeff Hawkins, who is also a product designer for Palm and Handspring technologies, highlights lessons learned during his tenure in technology and unveils that your career path may not always one that you had planned.

42. New Media Entrepreneurship (University of California-Santa Barbara)


Synopsis: In this videotaped lecture, John Hartman maps his career from the mailroom to serving as Elvis Presley’s agent. A personal manager and record executive, John has provided career direction for such luminaries as Sonny & Cher, The Eagles, Jackson Browne, Ringo Starr and more.

43. Startups that Fail (Stanford University)


Synopsis: Frank Levinson, founder of Finisar (http://investor.finisar.com/), talks of his personal entrepreneurial failures. Netek is an example of company that had all of the components that are commonly considered to be necessary - idea, business plan, team and space—but fell through the cracks.


44. Technology and Invention in Finance (Yale)


Synopsis: Technology and innovation are underlying principals of finance. In this informative lecture, Yale Professor Robert Schiller speaks about risk—both personal and economic—in order to understand American commerce. To manage risks, particularly long-term, Schiller explains that individuals must pool large amounts of risk among many diverse people and create new technology that encourages financial systems to control risk.

45. Mena Trott on Blogs (TED Conference)


Synopsis: Mena Trott speaks about blogs? and how they can serve to build a friendlier, more connected world. She also explains how you companies make money and market their products through this ever-growing channel.

46. Technology Management Program UCSB: New Ventures (University of California-Santa Barbara)


Synopsis: Kurt Johnson, founder of SocialVibe and former CEO ValueClick, offers anecdotes on his rise to a technology career while offering entrepreneurial insights into “innovation, opportunity and value creation.”

47. Berges Lecture Series in Business Ethics (Notre Dame)


Synopsis: Notre Dame faculty members Jerry Langley (Department of Finance) and Reverend Oliver Willia

Allie Gray Freeland

Allie Gray is an Online Marketing Manager for Rasmussen College. In her position, she drives online promotion and content production for Rasmussen College School of Business, School of Technology and Design, and School of Nursing. Allie has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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