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Cornerstone Editors

You've got a decent commute and a penchant for podcasts. Hence the morning dilemma: Do you download an industry favorite (hello, Bill Kutik) or seek out the next pop-culture hit like "Serial"? We vouch for a happy medium. While HR podcasts provide meaningful insights, even the most passionate pro needs a break from talent management buzzwords. What's more, a recent study revealed that exposing yourself to ideas from a variety of industries makes you more innovative at work.

The following five podcasts aren't hosted by talent management heavyweights, but they do highlight experts and topics that relate to HR. Most importantly, they're likely to spark new ideas—and maybe even make you better at your job.


A deep understanding of how people operate is essential to a successful HR career. This podcast uses the stories of real people, fused with the latest psychological and scientific research, to explore the invisible guiding forces that control basic human behavior. With episodes like "Entanglement" exploring how we are all connected, you'll learn surprising things about what influences your employees' behavior on a team, and how groupthink operates. (Did you know you're likely breathing at the same pace as your colleagues during a meeting?) Plus, "Invisibilia" is produced by some of the best names in podcasting: Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller, contributors to "This American Life" and "Radiolab."

TED Radio Hour

Whether it's a round of interviews or conversations over a business lunch, "TED Radio Hour" from NPR will help turn your small talk into big talk. Based on the riveting TED Talks, this podcast features themed interviews with TED speakers who will challenge the way you think about everything—from business software to millennial trends. We recently forged a partnership with TED to provide curated HR-relevant video content, and this podcast offers another on-the-go medium to expose you to TED's "ideas worth sharing."

Planet Money

"Planet Money," another NPR-produced podcast, describes itself as "The Economy Explained" and features the best and brightest experts in the financial world. While the economy may seem like a nebulous bogeyman, it affects every choice you and your employees make—and since you're often the one managing payroll and benefits, there's something to be said for knowing what's happening on a grand scale.


"StartUp" chronicles the lives of entrepreneurs as they work through the ups and downs of starting a business. Alex Blumberg, former NPR producer of "This American Life" and "Planet Money," is the host and subject of the first season as he embarks on starting his own podcast company (meta), and season two (produced by said podcast company) follows two young women and their dating startup. The podcast is a powerful reminder of the importance of maintaining a nimble, innovative business mindset, no matter the size of your company. If you've ever made a mistake, dealt with debt, worried about growth or felt like you were flying by the seat of your pants, this podcast's insider look into the trials and tribulations of entrepreneurs will provide both solace and inspiration.

HBR Ideacast

"Ideacast" from Harvard Business Review is a crash course in leadership and management, taught by the best names in business. Released weekly, it has a cache of over 400 episodes covering topics from productivity to negotiation to ethics in the office (and, okay, you might find a little bit of HR jargon). Featured guests include renowned international leaders like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, best-selling author and speaker Daniel Pink and President of Chile Michelle Bachelet. What's more, each episode clocks in at under 20 minutes—just enough time to let inspiration sink in while you're waiting for your morning caffeine to kick-in.

Photo: Shutterstock

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