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Dan Pontefract | dan pontefract
Dan Pontefract is a multi-award winning author, keynote speaker and leadership strategist who helps people become better at their jobs.
speaker, keynote, speaking, author, books, leadership, culture, employee engagement, strategy, thinking, purpose
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Dan Pontefract

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OPEN TO THINK gets down to the basics — providing a model for how to optimize your thinking to become more creative, more efficient, and more effective.”


– Daniel H. Pink, author of WHEN and DRIVE


Hi there! I’m Dan. Thanks for dropping by.

I’m the best-selling author of three books:

  • OPEN TO THINK: Slow Down, Think Creatively, and Make Better Decisions (2018)
  • THE PURPOSE EFFECT: Building Meaning in Yourself, Your Role and Your Organization (2016)
  • FLAT ARMY: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization (2013)

Speaking of thinking, in 2018 the Thinkers50 organization placed me on their “On the Radar” list. What an honour.

I am delighted to be an Adjunct Professor at the Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria.

I’m also Chief Envisioner of TELUS Transformation Office where I help organizations and leaders who are looking to improve all facets of the ‘future of work’ including employee engagement, leadership development, collaborative behaviours, organizational purpose, digital transformation and corporate culture.

Most importantly, however, I am a dad, husband, son, brother, and friend. I am defined not by what I say but what others say about me.


Scroll down for more details about me.



Dan delivers 50+ keynote talks and facilitated sessions every year on topics ranging from leadership, culture, purpose, engagement, thinking and the future of work.



Contact Dan to chat about your speaker and/or facilitator requirements.


I live, love, parent and work by three key beliefs that have

held me together for several years:





We’re not here to see through each other;

We’re here to see each other through.


    An engaged leader is the beginning.


    Purpose is what you stand for.


    Open Thinking: Dream, Decide, Do, Repeat.


    Leadership, Purpose & Open Thinking is the key.


Previously responsible for the overarching leadership development, learning and collaboration strategy at TELUS.


I helped to drive a philosophical and cultural shift in the way TELUS views and experiences leadership with the introduction of the TELUS Leadership Philosophy (TLP), an open and collaborative-based leadership framework for all TELUS team members, alongside a litany of collaboration technologies.


This included the launch of “Learning 2.0”; the shift to a social, informal and formal learning and collaboration model for all 43,000+ team members, bringing TELUS to the forefront of learning leadership.


Amazingly, over my tenure, employee engagement at TELUS skyrocketed from 53% to 87%.

Prior to TELUS, I spent six years in the business intelligence space as the Head of University of Business Intelligence (UBI), an outfit that sat at SAP, Business Objects and Crystal Decisions. I also spent five years in higher education helping launch the High-Tech Professional Department of the British Columbia Institute of Technology. I even spent three years teaching high school.


Over my career, I have been the recipient of over twenty industry awards.



Part of what makes me tick is speaking, and I’ve been fortunate to have been invited to deliver many, many, many keynotes and presentations since 2008 including four different TEDx Talks. (You can book him to speak here.)



In addition to books, I occasionally write articles and columns that can be found on Forbes, Harvard Business Review and The Huffington Post.


In 2012 I appeared on the covers of T+D Magazine and Chief Learning Officer Magazine and didn’t even break the camera lens.



When I’m not cycling, I’m goofing around with my better half, Denise, and the goats – Claire, Cole and Cate. Visit their blogs – they’d love to hear from you.

Dan’s DNA


  • dual citizen: canadian / british
  • big music fan of the tragically hip, the beatles, pearl jam & mondo cozmo
  • family man – brilliant wife of 23 years (we got married at 24)
  • 3 goats (aka children, kids, c’mon)
  • avid cyclist
  • Manchester United supporter (no haters please)
  • follicly challenged (or perhaps follicly hip)
  • I try not to take myself too seriously – life is precious, but short.

Contact DAN