Dan Pontefract

Dan Pontefract

Leadership Strategist, Author, Speaker, Thinker, Poet, CEO and Founder of Pontefract Group

Dan Pontefract is the founder and CEO of Pontefract Group, a firm that improves the state of leadership and organizational culture. ”Full potential is possible.” He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business.

Dan is the best-selling author of four books: LEAD. CARE. WIN. How to Become a Leader Who Matters (2020), 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) and FLAT ARMY: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization (2013).

His third book, OPEN TO THINK, won the 2019 get Abstract International Book of the Year and the Axiom Business Book Award Silver Medal. LEAD. CARE. WIN. was shortlisted for the 2021 getAbstract Book of the Year. Dan is on the Thinkers50 Radar list, HR Weekly’s 100 Most Influential People in HR, PeopleHum’s Top 200 Thought Leaders and Inc. Magazine’s Top 100 leadership speakers.

While as Chief Learning Officer at TELUS, Dan was responsible for the overarching leadership, collaboration & learning strategy for the company. Dan championed the introduction of the TELUS Leadership Philosophy (TLP), a collaborative-based leadership framework for 50,000+ team members. In parallel to these actions, he drove a philosophical and cultural shift in the way TELUS views and experiences learning called “Pervasive Learning” the shift to a social, informal and formal learning model. He further championed the use and deployment of collaborative technologies to complement both the leadership and learning frameworks. Between 2008 and 2018, employee engagement at TELUS soared from 53% to nearly 90%. Dan’s innovation also led to the introduction of the TELUS MBA—run in partnership with the University of Victoria—which allows TELUS team members the opportunity to garner an MBA over two years. The program has won three international awards and delivered new revenues and savings in excess of $300m. As Chief Envisioner he also founded the Transformation Office, an external consulting arm that helped TELUS clients improve their internal culture and leadership practices. Despite leaving full-time in 2018, Dan continues to work with TELUS as Director of the TELUS MBA and on a retainer to assist TELUS clients as needed.

His career is interwoven with corporate and academic experience, coupled with an MBA, B.Ed and multiple industry certifications. Dan is a renowned speaker, invited to deliver over 600 external keynotes and presentations, including four TED Talks. Dan also writes for Forbes and Harvard Business Review.

In 2010, Dan was acknowledged by CLO as a ‘Vanguard Award’ winner and was a 2-time winner by the Corporate University Best in Class Awards of the ‘Leader of the Year’ in both 2010 and 2011. In 2012, SkillSoft awarded Dan the ‘Learning Leader of the Year’ for his work at TELUS and CLO Magazine bestowed the ‘Learning in Practice Innovation Award’ as well. He is also the recipient of the 2012 Brandon-Hall ‘Gold Award in Strategy & Governance’. In 2015, TELUS became a 10-time winner of the prestigious ‘ATD BEST’ award under his leadership and was the first-ever recipient of the ATD Hall of Fame distinction. In 2013 and 2014, TELUS also placed in the top ten of the Learning! 100 Awards.

Previous to his ten years at TELUS, he held senior positions over twelve years with SAP, Business Objects, Crystal Decisions and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).

Dan and his wife, Denise, have three children, two dogs and two cats and live in Victoria, Canada.