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Dan Pontefract

Future of Work, Leadership Improvement,
Organizational Management Expert

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Dan Pontefract is a renowned leadership and culture strategist, best-selling author, and sought-after keynote speaker with over two decades of senior executive experience at SAP, TELUS, and Business Objects. He has collaborated with top organizations such as Salesforce, Amgen, Virgin Media O2, State of Tennessee, Nestlé, Canada Post, Autodesk, BMO, Government of Canada, Manulife, Nutrien, UBC, and the City of Toronto to enhance their operations.

As an award-winning author, Dan has written five influential books: Work-Life Bloom, Lead. Care. Win., Open to Think, The Purpose Effect, and Flat Army. His writing is also featured in Forbes, Harvard Business Review, Leader to Leader, The Globe and Mail, Inc., and other prominent outlets.

Dan is a dynamic keynote speaker, having presented at four TED events and delivered over 600 keynotes. He serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business and has earned 25 industry awards alongside multiple global book honors.

With a career that blends corporate and academic expertise, Dan holds an MBA, B.Ed, and numerous industry certifications. He is recognized on the Thinkers50 Radar, HR Weekly’s 100 Most Influential People in HR, PeopleHum’s Top 200 Thought Leaders to Follow, and Inc. Magazine’s Top 100 Leadership Speakers.

Topics & Categories
  • Business Management & Strategy
  • Change | Change Mgmt.
  • Employee Engagement
  • Future of Work
  • Future Trends
  • Generational Issues
  • Human Resources & Workplace Culture
  • Leadership
  • Most Requested Speakers
  • Most Requested Virtual Speakers
  • Team-Work & Collaboration
  • TED Speakers

Sample Keynotes:
(Live or Virtual)

The Keys to Flourishing in Work and Life: It’s Not Work-Life Balance +

By choice or out of necessity, the manner in which many workers make a living is undergoing a fundamental change. And to make a living is to accept that there is a congenital bond between work and life, between what people do and how they live.

The problem? Work-life balance is not the answer. The rising rate of employee burnout is a sign. In this talk, Dan Pontefract provides an assessment of the current state of work and life, offering an alternative. We must create the conditions to bloom in both work and life, not balance. After all, people bring their work into their lives and their lives into their work; an improved work-life model is vital.

Dan will introduce a new, if not more benevolent work-life philosophy. It’s time for leaders to understand what it means to adopt a Work-Life Bloom mindset. Yes, people at all levels of the organization need to bloom not balance. Find out how it’s done.


  • Learn why work-life balance is a myth and how rising levels of anxiety, burnout, and stress are related symptoms
  • Be introduced to the work-life bloom model — an improved personal operating system for leaders and team members
  • Get insights from research conducted globally across 8,000+ leaders and team members across 15 countries
  • Discover the 12 work-life factors that allow people to bloom in both work and life
  • Analyze whether you are blooming, budding, stunted or renewing in your work-life persona --

The Keys to Being a Truly Caring Leader: Lead. Care. Win. +

There are only two kinds of leadership in this world: leading self and leading others. It’s that simple, only two. Your ultimate goal is to master and deliver on them both. Now, more than ever, how you lead yourself and others might become the defining moment of your career. Perhaps even your life.

There are nine key & critical leadership lessons that make up a “Lead. Care. Win.” leader. Considerate and engaging leaders—ones who fully understand the critical importance of crafting meaningful, respectful relationships—are people who know how to truly reach and build bonds with their team members with these nine lessons.

Every human interaction is crucial. Every exchange can be mutually beneficial. The bottom line is that when you care enough to champion others, the workplace becomes happily engaged and your organization benefits in more ways than one. Do you care?


  • Be relatable and empathetic
  • Act not out of ego but out of purpose
  • Share knowledge to build a wise organization
  • Stay present and attentive to the needs of others
  • Embrace change and the opportunity for growth it offers
  • Stay curious and adopt lifelong learning
  • Think and act with clarity
  • Commit to balance and inclusivity in all your dealings
  • Act with humility and thoughtfulness

The bottom line is that when you care enough to champion others, the workplace becomes happily engaged and your organization benefits in more ways than one. --

Purpose Fuels People: Why a Meaningful Role & Purpose-Driven Organization Matters +

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 both, the benefits will be felt by all stakeholders. Including you!

Dan Pontefract refers to this balanced state of purpose as the ‘sweet spot.’ The alignment of purpose between self, role and organization is critically important for both employees and leaders.

The more a leader can assist team members to understand this alignment of purpose, the quicker everyone will recognize how important the ‘sweet spot’ is to an engaging and fulfilling life and place 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 life.


  • What makes up the “sweet spot” of purpose
  • Recognize the difference between a job, career, and purpose mindset
  • How your sense of purpose is linked to defining your best future self
  • Distinguish the traits that make up purpose-driven people
  • Learn ways in which to bring purpose into daily and long-term planning in life & work
  • Apply methods and discover examples of purpose-based leadership and how it can positively impact your productivity and engagement --

Collaborative Cultures: It’s the Secret to Organizational Excellence +

Leaders in any organization seeking to improve productivity and business results must first start with their 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. 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.

Dan Pontefract implores organizations to rethink their workplace culture by instituting systemic-wide methods that encourage people to work together versus operating in silos or competitively. The engagement of employees occurs as a result of how they feel about and interact with the organization’s culture.

There is a way and Dan can show you how to turn your culture into a collaborative, competitive advantage.


  • Why it’s so important to employ a “dare to share” attitude as a leader and on the team
  • Learn the simple yet vitally important collaborative leader action model — where all levels of the organization can participate
  • The six obstacles to collaborative cultures and why teams operate in silos
  • How learning, recognition, technology, and internal HR systems can help or hinder your chance for collaborative cultures
  • Gain insights into the alignment between a leadership philosophy and collaboration model that can increase employee engagement and overall performance --

We are Losing the Ability to Think and What to Do About It +

There is a crisis brewing. We have lost the ability to think critically, to be creative, and to contemplate ideas of the unknown. It’s becoming a calamity.

Distractions, social media, technology, and an incessant demand for short-term results over long-term planning are the big winners. In order to mitigate such calamities including being “crazy busy” and the pressure to “do more with less,” individuals must return to a state of symmetry between the three components of productive thought: dreaming, deciding and doing.

In this talk, Dan Pontefract introduces tangible, actionable strategies to improve the way we think as organizations and individuals through the cyclical process of Creative, Critical, 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. It is time to Dream, Decide, Do, and Repeat.


  • Recognize and understand the effects poor thinking is having on an individual’s and an organization’s performance
  • Pinpoint the difference between reflection and action – being made aware of indifferent, inflexible and indecisive thinking and how it affects our daily lives
  • Realize how technology can both help and hinder everyone’s state of open thinking
  • Distinguish the traits that make up Open Thinking—and learn ways in which to bring them into your daily habits --

Dan Pontefract is represented by K&M Productions (Toronto). To inquire about Dan Pontefract's speaking schedule & booking Dan Pontefract as your conference keynote speaker, contact us.

What Clients are Saying

One of the best speakers we've had in the past 21 years

–CEO (Fortune 500 Company)


One of the best speakers we've had in the past 21 years

–CEO (Fortune 500 Company)

Dan was excellent. He really took into account our briefing and developed a presentation that was spot on. Everyone enjoyed it.

–SVP Communications


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