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For The Love Of

Love is not an illusion but an intrusion

Of the soul, the heart and the mind.

Love is not for sale but to set sail

To unknown ports with someone so kind.


Love is not the answer but the beginning

Of mistakes, of questions and of hilarity.

Love is not a sentence but an endless book

Full of tragedy, hope, success and charity.


Love is not solely one to one but one to many

For love is a state of mind in all that you are.

Love is not hiding but begging to be seen

In the shadows, the light, the near and the far.


Love is not a secret but a truth to uphold

By its most important ally of days anew.

Love is not in flight if you somehow forget

That love is only love when you finally love you.


<For my children, the goats>


Image courtesy Johan Hansson

The Easiest Ways To Create Disengaged Employees

In my line of work, on a fairly regular basis, I get to meet disengaged employees. The factors for their disengagement are often varied, never the same.

But there are unquestionably a few disengagement themes.

Take, for example, Shannon.

She joined her new organization about a year ago. It’s a high-tech company and she’s in a product marketing role.

To lure her over to the firm, Shannon’s boss waxed lyrical about this super cool initiative that was taking flight. There was flowery praise about her diverse background and 10+ years of experience. Shannon was an all-star in her previous roles and companies. Her “fit” would be a natural in the new confines.

Upon her arrival, Shannon could expect to be knee deep in creativity, decision-making, and action, the hallmarks of an Open Thinking organization. Her new boss promised she’d love the existing team—and other teams she would be working with across the business unit—as they progressed the super cool product marketing project. After all, it was a project that was to reshape the company’s product roadmap and future.

A year later, in essence, Shannon has lost her mojo. Her purpose of self is in question, and she most definitely has fallen into the job mindset at work. “What the heck is the point,” she mutters to herself.

Why is this happening?

For starters, Shannon had no idea about the fiefdoms and silos that were already running rampant in the organization she joined. The “teams” she was to be working with keep to themselves, refuse to share information or ideas, and view her as an annoyance. (If they have noticed her at all.)

Put differently, Shannon is a wee bit lost. She is fed scraps of information and has little to no idea what others are doing in the project. Even after repeated attempts to insert herself into aspects of the project she remains in the dark.  Shannon spends a lot of her time not only playing catch-up, she often tries to make sense of what she is supposed to be doing. The subway ride home each day has become arduous and painful as she thinks about what’s going wrong with her life.

Her boss is somewhat oblivious to the situation as well. Empathy is not his strong suit. Worse, he and other leaders at his level have fallen into a deep coma of bureaucratic approval requirements. While the leaders talk up a good game about trust, in fact, their actions are speaking louder than words. When Shannon does have an idea or finishes a task of some sort, the levels of approvals are nightmarish. She waits, and waits, and waits for something—anything—to be approved. Surfing the job boards and playing Words with Friends is not how she envisioned this role.

When Shannon’s boss does involve her in something, it’s as though she has been miscast. Think about tennis great Martina Navratilova playing quarterback for the New York Jets. Martina is a legend, but something just isn’t right.

The misuse of Shannon’s experience was palpable. Her talent was overlooked, forcing her to wither away surfing those job boards. Hired for the 10+ years of experience and what she could bring to this super cool initiative was the original plan. Instead, she waits, and waits, and waits to have her talents adequately utilized. Ultimately, this is not what she signed up for nor the dream job she envisioned.

Let’s break down Shannon’s situation.

She was so excited to join the company and to take part in the development of something awesome.

Within the first few weeks, she noticed things were going awry. I believe it boils down to two key aspects:

She was unable to create any value.

She did not feel valued.

When an employee is not able to create any value, a downward spiral is inevitable. Whether held up by bureaucracy, impeded by command and control leadership or prevented by entrenched hoarding of information through existing silos, any employee is going to become disengaged if there is no purpose to their role. If there is no (or little) opportunity to create value you can rest assured the employee will become disengaged. Yes, like Shannon.

The real tire fire of disengagement happens when the employee does not feel valued in their role. Like a tire fire, you can smell this from miles away. It’s the state in which the employee “checks out” for their boss, team and other peer groups see no need to involve them in the state of affairs.

When we become invisible at work, feelings of inadequateness loom large.

When we lack self-worth in our roles, emptiness is imminent.

There are far too many Shannon’s out there. Yes, she has a responsibility to take ownership and action to right her ship.

But Shannon wasn’t disengaged when she started her new role. In fact, she was a highly engaged, motivated and self-assured professional.

You might say she was once invaluable.

Now she questions her sense of self, purpose, and abilities.

This story is a classic example of how an engaged employee can quickly turn into a disengaged employee, spurred on by the environment she joined.

<Note: a version of this column originally appeared on Forbes>

Photo credit: Neil Moralee CC

It’s Time To Bring The Gig Economy To Employees

Organizations are missing out on a glorious opportunity to improve employee engagement. It’s time to bring a modified version of the so-called Gig Economy to employees.

The Oxford English dictionary describes the Gig Economy as follows:

A way of working that is based on people having temporary jobs or doing separate pieces of work, each paid separately, rather than working for an employer.

Most of us are familiar with popular Gig Economy examples such as UberLyftEtsy and Airbnb. Let’s table these types for a moment. I’m not concerned with selling your artwork or sharing out your car or condo.

What interests me is the hidden skills possessed by employees sitting inside our organizations. These are the people who are already participating in the Gig Economy often unknown to many organizational leaders.

Perhaps you are familiar with other Gig Economy platform examples outside of the popular ones mentioned above. Perhaps not. Have you come across Fiverr or Upwork, for example? These are but two Gig Economy platforms that match a person’s skills with required work posted by those in need of said talent.

In other words, it’s a talent-gig relationship. It’s a heavenly marriage if you’re a talented individual and someone in need of getting a project completed. It’s potentially a marriage from hell if you’re a leader in today’s disengaged and culture killing organizations.

A Real World Scenario

Let’s say, for example, a sales leader we’ll refer to as Beth wants a short video to be produced for an upcoming client meeting. She thinks it should be short, punchy, and less than two minutes in length. There isn’t a media team in the firm and her video skills are non-existent. It’s needed in two days. What to do?

Beth heads on over to Fiverr or Upwork and effortlessly posts the details online. In less time than it takes to say Gig Economy she has received multiple recommendations of freelancers to choose from. Two days later, Beth has her video and the client meeting becomes something more than PowerPoint slides. Win-win. A heavenly marriage for Beth and the Gig Economy freelancer she hired.

Let’s look at things from a different angle.

Imagine the person who took on that short video project was employed by the same firm as Beth. It’s an organization, however, that suffers from horrible employee engagement, in the low 30’s. The employee who took on the gig is named Sue. The company has all sorts of issues not the least of which is a culture where employees are boxed into their role, their job description. There is no deviation allowed. Stay in your lane, get your work done, and you may not get fired. It happens in many organizations around the globe. It’s a root cause of disengagement.

Sue needs the steady paycheck so she plods on as a customer service rep, taking side gigs at night from her freelancing on Fiverr and Upwork to help fill the void she feels at her “real gig.”

To be fair, Sue knows the gig she took on to create the client video was from her own company. But, due to the state of affairs in her organization, she chooses not to divulge her employment. Why dump oil on a burning fire.

The Engagement Connection

The more an organization remains (or becomes) disengaged, the more likely it is that an employee decides it’s just not worth it anymore. Put succinctly, the employee remains in their role (getting paid by the organization) but is more interested and thus engaged in the side “gigs” that they have on the go.

It’s potentially a nightmare situation, just like with our example with Sue and Beth and in particular the organization on the whole. There is effectively no chance for Sue to become engaged at work. It will always remain just a job. It is very likely she ends up leaving when the time is right. And Beth has no idea that Sue possesses such talent. What a waste.

But what if Beth could have posted the gig inside her organization through some version of an internal Fiverr or Upwork system? What if the organization had a mechanism in which to tap into the hidden talent that exists among the people it already employs?

No, it may not increase Sue’s paycheck but I can assure you it will go a long way toward improving her engagement, her sense of purpose at work, and arguably something I’ve previously written about in this column, “Workplace Actualization.”

Benefits of the Internal Gig Economy

There is a treasure trove of hidden talent inside our organizations. If we were to tap into it through an internal “Gig Economy” platform—giving employees the chance to dedicate 10-20% of their time toward in-house gigs—I am certain you would see improvements in factors such as:

  • absenteeism
  • retention
  • internal networks
  • job satisfaction
  • psychological commitment
  • customer satisfaction
  • employee engagement

It may even be the vehicle in which true job rotations might finally happen. At a minimum, it can introduce talent to other parts of the organization possibly acting as the vehicle for cross-departmental movement.

An internal “Gig Economy” platform is only one arrow in the quiver of creating an engaged organization but it could be one of its most important.

N.B. a version of this was originally published to Forbes.


Dan Pontefract is the author of THE PURPOSE EFFECT & FLAT ARMY. His next book, OPEN to THINK, publishes September 11, 2018. He is Chief Envisioner at TELUS.

Books To Devour By Nilofer Merchant, Roger Martin, Jennifer Riel and Daniel Pink

I recently spent three weeks touring the coastlines of Australia. Between the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Manly Beach, Sorrento and Adelaide I devoured some wicked surf and sand in the land Down Under. (Not to mention fantastic beer and wine.) Someone needs to hire me so I can move there.

I managed to plow through a few books when I wasn’t in the water. Three, in particular, delivered a rather unusual troika of goodness, thus I’m recommending you place them on your 2018 reading list. In particular, all three books provide an incredible amount of guidance to improve your self-awareness, albeit each book tackles a different nuance.

The books are:

    • The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World by Nilofer Merchant
    • Creating Great Choices: A Leader’s Guide to Integrative Thinking by Jennifer Riel and Roger L. Martin
    • When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel H. Pink

In Merchant’s third book, The Power of Onlyness, she tackles the importance of our ideas. They must make a dent, they must find a way to bubble up. Our ideas are one thing and clearly important, but the how of an idea’s journey is equally so. This is where the rubber meets the road of Onlyness.

The book argues that connectivity allows the potential for your ideas to be leveraged for greater good more than ever before. Merchant provides practical means and poignant stories that help you shape your ideas (purposeful, meaning driven, etc.) as well as the ways in which you might connect your idea to others to watch it really take shape, if not take off.

My favorite story detailed Leo Bretholz, an escapee of an SNCF train from Paris set for Auschwitz and “how an extended purposeful community formed around an idea to move the world.” It was an idea to have SNCF compensate victims/survivors of those train rides from Paris to Auschwitz decades after the atrocities. That idea sparked others to get involved–including the use of and employees of–and eventually, over a few years, a $60 million settlement came to fruition.

I reached out to Merchant to discuss the notion of teams, networks, and ideas. She said: “We have the idea of teams, and we have the idea of people being badass but we lack the language for how those things connect. It’s why the lexicon of Onlyness matters.” Indeed, the book will certainly help you crystallize your ideas whilst showing you ways in which to connect them to others. Merchant’s Onlyness theorem will increase your self-awareness of making a dent in the world through your ideas and the connections needed to truly make an impact.

In Creating Great Choices, Roger L. Martin teams up with long-time colleague, Jennifer Riel, to revisit his 2007 book, The Opposable Mind. Specifically, the book investigates the use of–and makes improvements to–Martin’s now world-famous strategy model, Integrative Thinking.

The key components of Integrative Thinking remain:

  • Articulate the opposing models
  • Examine the models
  • Explore the possibilities
  • Assess the prototypes

Chock full of stories, graphics and perhaps most importantly templates–where the reader can practice or try out what you’ve just read–the book is a wonderful follow-up from the original manuscript. It’s practical as an Integrative Thinking guide, easily approachable and can be put to use immediately. Being a Canadian, I appreciated that there were several Canadian stories such as Tennis Canada, Toronto International Film Festival and a teacher from Hamilton, Ontario. (My hometown!)

But my most relished story actually opens the book. A brilliant example is laid out by Riel and Martin regarding the creation of The LEGO Movie, one of our family’s favorites. LEGO CEO at the time (and now Executive Chairman) Jørgen Vig Knudstorp insisted that in order to make a great film, LEGO would have to cede creative control to producers, directors, and screenwriters at Warner Bros., but that any personnel involved had to spend time at LEGO and with so-called superfans. LEGO could have done it on its own, or it could have outsourced the entire movie to a studio. Instead, it’s an excellent example of articulating opposing models, examining the good and not-so-good, then exploring and assessing what to do instead.

The self-awareness factor of this book encourages you to look at every problem as not one problem, but potentially two, and perhaps finding a way to improve your decision in a more practical and even economical way.

I was pleased to see that in Daniel Pink’s sixth book, When, he opened it by paying homage to the work of Jean-Jacques d’Ortous de Mairan, a legend in the field of circadian rhythms. Essentially it’s our biological backbeat, our internal clock. The book goes on to explore this notion of our internal clocks in many different and often enlightening ways. As Pink often does in his books, there are helpful tips and insightful solutions to help you, too.

Type-Task-Time, is one of those. Determine your chronotype, determine what you need to do, and then find the optimal time of day to then take on a task, make an impression or make a decision. Pink provides quite a useful, simple, and practical tool. There are many found throughout the book, including a sly reference to the Beastie Boys, one of my favorite hip-hop artists. (There are also some neat “When” goodies found on his website.)

But it’s not only about how we can handle our “When,” it’s how to avoid other people’s “When.” There are some weird if not alarming pieces of research Pink includes supporting his argument. Try to avoid hospitals altogether in July, it seems, as there is a greater chance you might come into contact with an intern who will cause more harm to your body than a more seasoned medical practitioner.

Furthermore, you may want to avoid accepting a scheduled surgery time in the afternoon and push back for one in the morning. The data suggests it is four times more likely that something might go wrong (or not picked up by the doctors) in the afternoon slots versus the morning.

How does When help your self-awareness? Pink masterfully captures it in one of the books final passages:

“I used to believe that timing was everything. Now I believe that everything is timing.”

Three great reads to put to the front of your pile come from Merchant, Riel/Martin and Pink. While each addresses a different topic–ideas/connections, thinking and timing–put together they become a wonderful enhancement to your self-awareness progress in 2018.

I am better for it. As a bonus, they got me out of the water and sun enough while in Australia not to burn too crisply either.

<Originally posted to Forbes>

The Cognitive Era Is Cool But I’d Like To See The Human Era First

Several large-scale organizations have begun to align around a concept known as the “cognitive era.” Based on artificial intelligence and advanced cognitive systems, “cognitive era” technology has the ability to make judgments and form hypotheses based on the synthesis of “big data.”

Furthermore, cognitive systems have the ability both to learn and to adapt their decisions and line of thinking. What’s not to like about the so-called “cognitive era?”

But do those in charge of the “cognitive era” possess “hearts and minds” in their work?

One company in particular, IBM, took a look at its “cognitive era” efforts and put forward a new goal. As it pertains to cognitive computing and artificial intelligence—the hallmarks of the “cognitive era,”—IBM suggested its new purpose would be to “augment human intelligence.”

It got me thinking about the relationship between the so-called “cognitive era” with today’s corporate culture reality and the quest for “hearts and minds.”

If cognitive computing and artificial intelligence is to augment human intelligence, I believe we should be starting with what is really happening inside our organizations.

I’m not certain the purpose of cognitive computing and artificial intelligence ought to be to “augment human intelligence.” Perhaps it needs to be to improve what I would like to call the “human era.”

Put differently, we need to put human intelligence before artificial intelligence.

How do we ultimately get smarter? When employees feel nurtured—when their souls are filled with purpose in the work they perform—there is a far greater chance of their intelligence increasing. You can’t will someone through technology to feel happier.

Let’s put people first. The “cognitive era” needs to be preceded by the “human era.”

I come across the term “hearts and minds” a fair bit in the work that I perform, in addition to the research that I conduct. It seems many organizations are trying to improve the “hearts and minds” of their employees. I liken the term “hearts and minds” to culture and purpose.

If an organization is open, collaborative, innovative and thoughtful, employees generally feel better and it results in them being more engaged in their work. If the organization depicts (and acts upon) a higher purpose while simultaneously providing roles that allow an employee to feel a sense of purpose, again, “hearts and minds” can be won.

While the general thought of “hearts and minds” is noble, the results have been less than satisfactory. I believe it comes down to the pressures that have enveloped and at times engulfed mid-management and senior leaders. It’s akin to singularly and blindly focusing on the “cognitive era” forgetting that it’s the humans we need to be focusing on first.

Let’s review a few real world examples where “hearts and minds” ultimately end up getting squashed.

The expectation for immediate responses—be it through email, instant messaging or texting—is a classic case that leads to the decimation of “hearts and minds.” Imagine a leader who continually badgers their team through electronic messages, asking for constant updates on an initiative or action. Pressure mounts and the employee becomes increasingly stressed over time. There is no relief, and the messages are relentless. How can “hearts and minds” be won let alone salvaged if this sort of daily pressure is exhibited?

Your boss is on holiday, but continues to work from the beach answering emails, taking conference calls, and generally acting as if they are not vacationing. It’s weird, but you don’t say anything. When it comes time for you to take that deserved family vacation with your spouse and children, that same boss schedules meetings into your calendar while pestering you with random telephone calls. You are on holiday but your boss doesn’t care. Is your heart or mind elevated if this sort of behavior is demonstrated?

You’ve been employed in your role and have reported into your boss for five years. You enjoy the work—it keeps you highly motivated and the tasks are rather creative—but you’re not 100% satisfied or engaged. Why? It’s been five years and your boss can’t remember the name of your two children. Moreover your boss has never asked a single question about your personal interests or even how your weekend went. Is your heart or mind fully into your role if the dignity of simple, human interactions is nonexistent?

The “cognitive era” may seem cool. It may even be all the rage.

But it is the “human era” and the true deployment of a “hearts and minds” culture and purpose that needs to happen first.

Any failure to recognize the importance of our humanity is an indictment on leaders putting technology and/or themselves over people.

Perhaps this is why I continue to boycott Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. Maybe I just want the “human era” to come first.



Love is needed in the now,
But now will not be again.
Ask yourself, “Where art thou?”
And know your now is when.

Corporate Social Responsibility Is Not Your Organization’s Purpose

It’s happening again. Companies are confusing important terms. In doing so they are taking advantage of you, the consumer. Equally horrific is that many employees have to stick up for it.

Corporate Social Responsibility. CSR for short. Sounds good. If done right it is good. CSR ought to be a critical component to an organization’s operating ethos, its values, and its purpose. Every organization should be ‘doing’ CSR. Many are doing it exquisitely well.

Take for example The Lego Group, which recently topped the Reputation Institute’s 2017 Global CSR RepTrak list. Among a number of CSR initiatives, Lego introduced their Sustainable Materials Centre, a site “dedicated to research, development and implementation of new, sustainable, raw materials to manufacture LEGO elements as well as packaging materials.” This is CSR at its utmost finest.

But CSR is not purpose.

And Lego’s purpose is not their CSR strategy.

Using Corporate Social Responsibility as a substitute for purpose is Corporate Social Irresponsibility. It’s the dark side of CSR.

For companies that have begun using CSR interchangeably with purpose, please stop. CSR is not purpose.

The Financial Times defines Corporate Social Responsibility as “a business approach that contributes to sustainable development by delivering economic, social and environmental benefits for all stakeholders.” The key point is “sustainable development.”

The purpose of an organization is different than CSR. It ought to be thought of as how it provides its various services in totality. Why is it in business? Why does it serve its stakeholders? Stakeholders include the gamut of employees, customers, partners, community members, environment/planet and those seeking a fair, financial return.

What is Purpose?

While CSR can positively affect all stakeholders it is not to be confused with an organization’s purpose.

An organization’s purpose centers around five “Good DEEDS” defined as follows from my second book, THE PURPOSE EFFECT:

  • Delight your customers.Working with and for the customer always remembering why an organization exists in the first place.
  • Engage your team members.Team members need purpose in their role to flourish, and they need to know they are able to create value while simultaneously feeling valued.
  • Ethical within society.Decisions need to be made—be it financially, environmentally, socially—that are always ethical in nature.
  • Deliver fair practices.Consistent and positive people practices inside the organization to unleash the creativity and productivity of team members.
  • Serve all stakeholders.The organization has a responsibility in society to positively affect customers, team members, the community, environment and owners alike.

More practically, the purpose of an organization is to serve society now and into the future.

It exists to aid all stakeholders, solving wicked problems to better society. It must be thinking and making decisions for the long-term while operating in the day-to-day for the short-term. It is a balancing act between today and the future, using the Good DEEDS outlined above.

One country that seems to understand the importance of Good DEEDS is the Netherlands. The Dutch Corporate Governance Code states:

“A company is a long-term alliance between the various stakeholders of the company. Stakeholders are groups and individuals who, directly or indirectly, influence – or are influenced by – the attainment of the company’s objectives: em­ployees, shareholders and other lenders, suppliers, customers, the public sector and civil society. The management board and the supervisory board have overall responsibility for weighing up these interests, generally with a view to ensuring the continuity of the company and its affiliated enterprise, as the com­pany seeks to create long-term value for all stakeholders.”

Nowhere in the “Code” do the Dutch suggest Corporate Social Responsibility can act as a prosthesis for an organization’s overarching purpose. It indicates a company has a fiduciary responsibility to represent and uphold the long-term health of its stakeholders. That is the purpose of a company. The Dutch even put this sentiment into the Code itself as follows:

“Corporate Social Responsibility is not a goal to be pursued in itself but, rather, an integral part of the day-to-day operations of a company that focuses on long-term value creation.”

CSR does not equal Purpose

Purpose is what your organization stands for. What you stand for must include CSR, but an organization does not solely stand for improving sustainable development. Important, yes. In isolation, no.

When purpose has been commandeered by an organization’s marketing department—robbing the concept of purpose by tapping into CSR as its definition—it in fact relegates the concept of purpose to that of green-washing.

Let’s call it purpose-washing.

A purpose-led or purpose-driven company is not operating with purpose when Marketing uses the term to flaunt Corporate Social Responsibility statistics. Cute commercials with a company switching its fleet of trucks to electric vehicles is superb, but it’s not purpose outright. Cutting CO2 emissions is important, but it’s not purpose outright. Opening an environmentally friendly headquarters is fantastic, but it’s not purpose outright. Being philanthropic and donating money to the community is incredible, but it’s not purpose outright.

Each of these are simply examples of CSR, components of an organization’s purpose.

Author Nilofer Merchant once wrote:

“When corporate executives use the words of purpose to tell a story of same-old-business-models with a focus on profits, they risk being called out for it. When you pursue only the veneer of the idea of ‘purpose’, you miss the opportunity for the larger idea of purpose to change you. You risk ending up with things that are only surface-deep. In the archives of corporate history, this has looked like meaningless mission statements or values carved into the lobby of buildings that nobody lives by.”

Indeed, purpose has become the “new black,” used blatantly as a “feel good” prop to indicate their organization possesses a green thumb.

Language is important. Let’s get it right.

If you work in Marketing, stop stealing the term purpose to exploit CSR. You are purpose-washing.

If you are an executive in the C-Suite, start thinking about purpose as the means to define your organization stands for. (Hint: it’s more than CSR. It begins with deploying some Good DEEDS.)

What’s Lego’s purpose? Glad you asked.

“To inspire and develop children to think creatively, reason systematically and release their potential to shape their own future – experiencing the endless human possibility.”

News From Dan – November, 2017

Introducing My New Publisher

I am so excited and delighted to announce that I have signed a new contract with a new publisher. The good folks at Figure 1 Publishing are magical, and I am stoked to join the team. The official announcement from Figure 1 is over here if you are interested.

Publishing September 8, 2018,

A New Book

In partnership with my new publisher, my third book, OPEN to THINK, will publish on September 8, 2018.

OPEN to THINK proposes a return to balance between the three components of productive thought: dreaming, deciding, and doing.

More details coming soon. Visit the site for a brief book description.

(Draft Table of Contents in yellow to the left.)

Legends in Leadership.

What an Honour!

The first photo is me with Henry Mintzberg & the other is with Charles Handy. Recently I had the chance to keynote after both of these legendary men. With Henry it was at his Rebalancing Society event in Montreal. With Charles it was at the IMF in Washington, DC. As someone who has read most of their insightful wisdom, I cannot express how humbling it was to share the stage with these two titans of leadership & organizational culture intellect.

Buy Signed Books.

Get Personalized Messages.

Exciting news. You can now buy signed copies of THE PURPOSE EFFECT or FLAT ARMY complete with personalized messages. If you are leading a team, what a fab way to say thanks!  Just tell me their names and something special about them that can be written. See below for more details.


Valid until December 2, 2017. Use “THANKYOU50” as the promo code on the links below, or visit the Shopify site directly, and you will receive 50% off your entire order of books. No limits on quantity. (Less than $10/book!)



In 2017 I will have delivered over 50 keynotes about purpose, leadership, culture and engagement. Soon I will be adding “Open Thinking” to the mix. Drop me a line if you would like to discuss opportunities in 2018.


The work I continue to be fortunate to do with TELUS Transformation Office is very rewarding, my sweet spot. If you or your team needs assistance with organizational effectiveness, ring me up at TTO.


Jamie Turner recently placed me on his

Top 100 Motivational Speakers” list.

Check out the entire list over here.


Thinkers50 Conference in London

I had the opportunity to attend the Thinkers50 conference in November, a biennial gathering of leadership and management thinkers. Congratulations to my friend, Roger Martin, for landing the top spot, #1 management thinker! My recap of the event can be found on my Forbes column.

That’s me, with (clockwise) David Burkus, Daniel Pink, Tom Peters and Karl Moore at the Thinkers50 gala in London.

And Finally…

The passing of singer/poet Gord Downie affected me greatly in mid-October. I held him in very high regard, be it as a writer, performer, environmentalist, feminist and goofball. He will be missed.

Sunnybrook Hospital devotes millions of dollars toward research to treat the untreatable. Part of my author/speaker commissions in 2017 went to their Foundation. You can donate, too.

That’s me, Dan, paying homage to Gord Downie, illustrating how he lived & worked a life with purpose. (10-minute video)

Thanks for your support in 2017.

Best of the upcoming holiday season.

I hope we can connect in 2018.