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Dan Pontefract

Future-of-Work Expert & Chief Envisioner of TELUS Transformation Office

Dan Pontefract is Chief Envisioner at TELUS, a Canadian telecommunications company, where he heads the Transformation Office, a future-of-work consulting group that helps organizations enhance their corporate cultures and collaboration practices. Dan is the bestselling author of FLAT ARMY  and THE PURPOSE EFFECT. Not a typical motivational speaker, Dan is a thinker, connecting dots & providing insights that help attendees understand the critical importance of leadership, culture, purpose and thinking.

Victoria, B.C., Canada

Presentations

No one talk is ever the same. Dan works with each client to determine what the best for the big day. These are some of the key themes, stories and concepts that serve as a basis for the content:

A Field Guide To Genuine Leadership
Genuine leadership—how leaders act as human beings in their daily and strategic work with employees, customers and stakeholders—is arguably missing in many of today’s organizations. The reasons are all too familiar. It has to stop. Author Dan Pontefract recommends several leadership strategies and techniques that are sure to get you thinking about your own leadership habits and track record. The Field Guide to Genuine Leadership tackles the many taboos of bad leadership, while outlining practical, meaningful ways in which to become a more humane and effective leader.

Open to Think: Slow Down, Think Creatively & Make Better Decisions
Many of our current systems train us merely to function. We learn the routine. We master the process. The regiment starts at school, continues at university, and goes into overdrive when we begin to work. The problem? Ultimately we have lost the ability to think critically, to be creative, and to contemplate ideas of the unknown. Standards, procedures, technology, and incessant demand for short-term results over long-term planning are the big winners. In order to mitigate such calamities including the relentless pursuit of action and the pressure to “do more with less,” individuals must return to a state of balance between the three components of productive thought: dreaming, deciding, and doing. In this talk, author Dan Pontefract introduces tangible, actionable strategies to improve the way we think as organizations and individuals through the cyclical process of Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking and Applied Thinking. To become an Open Thinker, one must understand the relationship between reflection and action, and how it can negatively or positively affect an outcome. Dream. Decide. Do, Repeat.

Why Purpose Matters For Employees & The Organization
Leaders may not know it yet, but having a sense of purpose has become table stakes for many employees at work. Equally important, today’s organizations are being pressured to begin exhibiting purpose in their operating practices. If there is a positive interconnection between the three distinct categories of purpose–personal, role and organization—the benefits will be felt by all stakeholders. Author Dan Pontefract refers to this balanced state of purpose as the ‘sweet spot.’ The alignment of purpose between self, role and organization is important not only for employees, but for leaders in the organization itself. The more a leader can assist employees to understand the alignment of personal, organizational and role purpose, the quicker everyone will recognize how important the ‘sweet spot’ is to an engaging and fulfilling lifetime of work. The quicker an employee defines, develops and decides their purpose—alongside how bought in they are to the organization’s purpose—the more engaged and innovative they will be in their role … and in their life in general.

The Critical Importance Of Workplace Culture To Employee Engagement
Ever wonder why global levels of employee engagement in organizations continue to wane and remain so incredibly low? For leaders in any organization seeking to improve productivity and business results, they must first start with its own operating culture. To improve organizational culture is to build up and unleash behaviours that permit employees to connect and collaborate with one another effortlessly and full of goodwill. An employee only becomes engaged when the culture is open, transparent, communicative, collaborative and trustworthy. These are just some of the behaviours that must define how an organization operates. Author Dan Pontefract implores organizations to rethink its workplace culture by instituting systemic-wide behaviours that encourage one another to work together versus in silos or competitively. Engagement of employees occurs as a result of how they feel about the organization’s culture and its purpose. There is a way to fix it, and Dan has a way to help you out.

Awards

2014
ATD Best Award

2012
Corporate University | Best in Class Leader of the Year
SkillSoft | Learning Leader of the Year
CLO Magazine | Learning in Practice Innovation Award

2010
Corporate University | Best in Class Leader of the Year
CLO | Vanguard Award

Summary Profile

Previously, as Head of Learning & Collaboration at TELUS, Dan was responsible for the overarching learning, collaboration & leadership development strategy for the company. Dan championed the introduction of the TELUS Leadership Philosophy (TLP), an open and collaborative-based leadership framework for all 43,000+ TELUS team members.

In parallel to these actions he drove a philosophical and cultural shift in the way TELUS views and experiences learning called “Learning 2.0”; the shift to a social, informal and formal learning and collaboration model bringing TELUS to the forefront of connected learning and leading. He further championed the use and deployment of collaborative technologies to complement both the learning and leadership frameworks. Between 2008 and 2014, employee engagement at TELUS soared from 53% to 85%.

Dan is a passionate leader in the leadership & social collaboration technology spaces and is uniquely skilled to ensure an organization can move from traditional cultures to healthier ways of working. His career is interwoven with both corporate and academic experience, coupled with an MBA, B.Ed and multiple industry certifications and accreditations. 

Dan really loves to talk. So much so, he completes about 50 or so keynotes and discussions a year based on his books, research and professional experience. Every talk is tailored to the audience he is speaking for.

He has delivered his unique presentation style of humour, analogies, metaphors, stories and wicked graphics to the likes of business executives and team members in Europe, America, Australia and of course his home country of Canada.

In 2012 he appeared on the front cover of T+D Magazine and Chief Learning Officer Magazine. His book, FLAT ARMY has been reviewed in both Forbes and The Globe and Mail and sat on the Amazon.com best sellers list in leadership. He was recruited into TELUS in Q4 of 2008, previously holding senior positions with SAP, Business Objects, Crystal Decisions and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).