These 9 Smart Podcasts Are Perfect to Avoid Getting Stuck in SSO-land!

Round out your day and your self by plugging into different news outlets

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Don’t lock yourself in a shared services silo – being a well-rounded individual will make you stand out

One of the challenges of our time is trying to stay informed. For any of us who grew up pre-email – and that is a lot of you out there! – it's still mind blowing to consider just how much interesting, relevant, and intellectual data is available instantly, and for free.

Remember when The Economist was the only recognized ‘go to’ source of data? [Timewarp warning – this is from the ‘90s]:

But of course there is an easy solution… and it requires only our ears and a headphone. Audio. Yes, it's been around forever, in the shape of radio (I still have a friend who calls it the wireless), but reinvented so it's on tap, and segmented to our interests. And the really GREAT thing – listen anywhere: driving, on the plane, in the bath, cooking, walking the dog … you get the picture.

The part that always stops me is knowing what to listen to and where to find it. We miss out on a lot of stuff we don't know that we are interested in, so reading "Best of … podcast lists” is something I love to do.

If you want to keep your open mind and broaden it just a bit further, check out my favorites:

9. News.

We just need to know the global highlights – right? If you don’t have time to listen to a full hour, PBS has cut down its show into individual segments perfect for those of us with a short attention span. PBS Newshour Segments.

8. Making science cool.

Science Friday, known as SciFri to fans, covers the outer reaches of space to the tiniest microbes in our bodies. A source for entertaining and educational stories about science, technology, and other cool stuff that surrounds us. Science Friday.

7. Energy.

It isn’t often that the word "creative" is used to describe the work of a government agency, but this show produced by the U.S. Department of Energy is, strangely, very creative. Lots of machine noises, and sound effects. Based on the "This American Life" mode of storytelling, and using characters and scenes to describe energy dilemmas, it gives the DOE a human voice. Addictive in an ‘insider nerd’ kind of way. Direct Current.

6. Sustainability and Millennials (2 birds – 1 stone)

Even if you have kids at college, plugging into today’s student zeitgeist isn’t easy. But it’s crucial as they join our companies. Here’s what many care about: sustainability and impact. Students of the Bard MBA Sustainability Program produce this Sustainable Business Fridays podcast, based on how to solve the social and environmental problems of our time. Includes top sustainability leaders from Unilever, HSBC, GM, Campbell’s Soup, PepsiCo, Green Mountain Energy and many more. The Impact Report.

5. The ocean.

It’s huge and undiscovered, and my colleague Rochelle Hood, SSON's Global Head of Customer Analytics and Research, is passionate about it (in a lobster-spearing kind of way). So take 5 minutes, literally, to get inside the mind of Peter Neil, Director of the World Ocean Observatory. World Ocean Radio is a weekly series on a wide range of ocean topics: sail drones for data collection, or the futility of conflicting conversations on the Arctic – strangely uplifting. World Ocean Radio.

4. The News (again). This time from Britain.

I make no excuses for preferring the BBC over just about anything else. Lived there. Love it. Trust it. So I love these highlights from BBC shows like “Newshour,” “World Update,” “Newsday,” etc. BBC Global News.

3. Funnies.

Netflix is my go-to for stand up comedy, but I stumbled across this last week and found myself laughing out loud. Refreshingly goofy, Lauren passes her hosting duties to a new funny friend every week, invites different comedians and actors to “host”. The guest host sets a new fake premise for the podcast and Lapkus, with no prior knowledge of who she will be pretending to be, gamely plays along. With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus.

2. Living a better life through minimalism.

This one is unashamedly for my husband. A passionate minimalist, he has spent years trying to show me the way, and finally, in a last ditch attempt had SOMEONE ELSE explain it to me: Joshua Becker. Joshua explains really well why possessions won’t make you happy, why we constantly purchase new and bigger things to find happiness, and points out some stark truths. Success Talks.

[And here my favorite:]

1. Specialist insights on your industry: the inside scoop on shared services leaders.

Less about career tips, than stories about the careers of others. Seth Adler, host of SSON’s podcasts, invites practitioners from all over the world to sit down with him for a broad ranging discussion on where they grew up, what their childhood quirks were, the circuitous path to their current position – and, last but not least, what’s surprised them most in life, what’s surprised them most at work, and on the soundtrack of their life, what’s their ONE song? Part entertainment, part strategy talk, part think tank. But above all, in his inimitable style, Seth presents global shared services leaders to us as the well-rounded people they are! SSON Podcasts with Seth Adler.