Dan Pontefract

Dan Pontefract

Victoria, British Columbia
Future of Work - Leadership Strategist - Award-Winning Author & Culture Change Expert
Dan Pontefract is a renowned leadership keynote speaker, award-winning best-selling author, future of work, and culture change expert. He has been a 4-time TEDx speaker and with expertise in leadership, engagement, and transformational change, Dan has achieved impressive career accomplishments, including two gold medals and numerous awards. He is currently the CEO of The Pontefract Group, where he helps organizations improve their leadership and culture. With degrees in leadership and adult education and a Doctorate in Professional Studies, Dan brings a wealth of knowledge and credibility to his speaking engagements. He is also a certified coach and has published four books on leadership and culture. Don't miss the chance to hear Dan Pontefract speak and empower you to reach new heights.
  • Change Management
  • Communications
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Employee Management
  • Health & Wellness
  • Leadership
  • Peak Performance
  • Personal Growth
  • Business Growth
  • Business Management
  • Business Technology
  • Future Trends
  • Academia
  • All Staff Meeting
  • Annual General Meetings
  • Associations & Unions
  • Award Galas & After Dinner
  • Awareness Days
  • Board Meetings & Strategic Advisory
  • Campus & University Speakers


Dan Pontefract is a renowned leadership strategist, author, and keynote speaker with over two decades of experience in senior executive roles at companies such as SAP, TELUS, and Business Objects. In these roles, he focused on corporate culture change, leadership development, employee experience, and overall performance improvement. Since then, he has worked with organizations worldwide, including Salesforce, Amgen, the State of Tennessee, Nestlé, Canada Post, Autodesk, BMO, the Government of Canada, Manulife, Nutrien, and the City of Toronto, among others. Dan Pontefract has firsthand experience in turning leaders and corporate cultures into a competitive advantage, and he believes that the future of work is now.

As an award-winning and best-selling author, Dan Pontefract has written five books: WORK-LIFE BLOOM, LEAD. CARE. WIN., OPEN TO THINK, THE PURPOSE EFFECT, and FLAT ARMY. His third book, OPEN TO THINK, won the 2019 getAbstract International Book of the Year. His fourth LEAD. CARE. WIN. won the 2022 Nautilus Awards Silver Medal for Leadership. Dan also writes for Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and other outlets.

Dan Pontefract is a renowned keynote speaker who has presented at four TED events and delivers approximately 50 keynotes annually. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria’s Gustavson School of Business and has received over 25 industry, individual, and book awards. Furthermore, Dan Pontefract hosts the popular Leadership NOW series, where he interviews famous thinkers, authors, CEOs, and other incredible leaders. Through these interviews, he seeks to understand what makes leadership and people better.

Before leaving the world of full-time gigs in 2018, Dan Pontefract served as Chief Envisioner and Chief Learning Officer at TELUS, a Canadian telecommunications company with 50,000 global employees and over $14 billion in revenue. While at TELUS, he launched the Transformation Office, the TELUS MBA, and the TELUS Leadership Philosophy, all of which helped increase the company’s employee engagement to nearly 90%.

Prior to his ten years at TELUS, Dan Pontefract held senior executive positions for 12 years with SAP, Business Objects, Crystal Decisions, and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). Dan’s career is interwoven with corporate and academic experience, coupled with an MBA, B.Ed, and multiple industry certifications and awards. Notably, Dan Pontefract is listed 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.

In 2010, Dan Pontefract was acknowledged by CLO as a Vanguard Award winner. In addition, he was a 2-time winner by the Corporate University Best in Class Awards of the Leader of the Year in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, SkillSoft awarded Dan the ‘Learning Leader of the Year for his work at TELUS, and CLO Magazine also bestowed the Learning in Practice

Innovation Award. 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.

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




Leadership NOW with Dan Pontefract

Dan Pontefract

AI Needs a Human-First Approach with Tech Humanist Kate O'Neill

Leadership NOW with Dan Pontefract

Dan Pontefract

Heather McGowan and Leading the Empowered Workforce

Leadership NOW with Dan Pontefract

Dan Pontefract

Three Masterclass Public Speaking Tips From TEDx Producer DK

Dan Pontefract Topic Presentations

the keys to flourishing in work and life - it's not work-life balance

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • 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 Pontefract 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.

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • 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

purpose fuels people - why a meaningful role & purpose-driven organization matter

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • 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

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • 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 Pontefract 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

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • 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

customized workshops / facilitated sessions

  • Virtual PresentationKeynote PresentationWorkshop SessionHalf Day TrainingFull Day Training
  • Dan will teach specific leadership skills / various topics available

    Facilitated, customized sessions also available

    Half-day, full-day or two-days in length

Dan Pontefract travels from Victoria, British Columbia & delivers customized and tailored keynote speeches, presentations, workshops and training sessions. on the topics enlisted below. These services are designed for a variety of audiences, industries, and event types and event formats.


Dan Pontefract challenged us to have clarity of purpose, both as individuals and as an organization. He related inspiring stories drawing on his experience in business, technology and academia. As he said, ‘There is no ownership without belonging.’

Christian Pantel


Dan Pontefract accomplished what we set out to do, which was not only to be inspirational, but also to leave everyone with tools and food for thought / self-reflection to improve their personal and professional lives.

Hermann Handa


Dan Pontefract not only brought his presentation to life with his charisma, but also content, style and presentation finesse. Our members were especially interested in his thought provoking and top of mind topic on the future of work and how we’re going to be leading the next generation of leaders.

Cheryl Goodwin


WOW what a talk! I have been inundated with positive feedback from Dan Pontefract’s keynote all weekend. You hit the nail on the head in terms of what’s happening in our organization and your examples really resonated with our group. One of our Execs was really thankful for how you directly tackled the ‘elephants in our room


Dan Pontefract is a conference organizer’s ideal speaker. Not only did he inspire and energize our group, but he also masterfully adapted his content so it resonated with the audience and our conference theme. As a bonus, Dan Pontefract is able to nimbly navigate to adjust to a reduced time slot when other speakers went over time without sacrificing the impact of his session.

Director and General Counsel

Dan Pontefract was excellent. He really took into account our briefing and developed a presentation that was spot on. Everyone learned something.

SVP Communications

Articles & Media

Does your workplace have a ‘shadow’ culture?

Canadian HR Reporter

Have you taken a deep look at your workplace culture lately? No matter how hard senior executives work at it, things can end up differently from what they expect. And, more often than not, that’s because of issues that are happening right under their noses, that they know nothing about. That’s...

Are you breaking these 5 unwritten Slack etiquette rules?

Fast Company

While teams have been using Slack for communication and collaboration since long before COVID-19, the platform became a good substitute for watercooler talk when working arrangements went remote. Quick conversations in the office can promote team bonding, and instant messaging can too. But the...

Inside the Weird, High-Powered World of Executive Coaches

Daily Beast

In a boardroom 28 stories above Manhattan, a dozen private equity executives were sitting around a mahogany table, and once again, the chairman wouldn’t shut up. These were titans of industry; they rode up in a private elevator to avoid the “riffraff” in the lobby, recalled one person who...

How Telus and the University of Victoria designed a different kind of MBA


When Kevyn McGregor finished his MBA at the University of Victoria in the fall of 2017, he didn’t take his newly minted degree and hit the job market. He already had a job—at a company where he’d worked for more than two decades. And his new degree was specially tailored to ensure his success...



“Open to Think” – An Interview with Dan Pontefract

Just Get Started Podcast

Brian Ondrako

EPISODE 236: Leadership Strategist | Founder of Pontefract Group


Shruti Pawar

Blend of compassion in leadership - Dan Pontefract [Interview]


Work-Life Bloom: How to Nurture a Team That Flourishes
Work-Life Bloom: How to Nurture a Team That Flourishes
A thought-provoking and empowering book that will inspire leaders to take a fresh look at a new coalescence between work and life. In Work-Life Bloom: How to Nurture a Team That Flourishes, award-winning author Dan Pontefract takes a fresh look at integrating our professional and personal lives....
The Purpose Effect: Building Meaning In Yourself, Your role, and Your Organization
The Purpose Effect: Building Meaning In Yourself, Your role, and Your Organization
Pontefract combines years of experience and research on employee engagement, behavior and culture to create a work about the three crucial areas of purpose: personal, organizational and workplace role. If all three can come to fruition--if there is a positive interconnection between the three...
Lead. Care. Win.: How to Become a Leader Who Matters
Lead. Care. Win.: How to Become a Leader Who Matters
Dan Pontefract is on a mission to change the world of work. Lead. Care. Win is his fourth book, and like the previous three is the product of relentless focus, observations and research that have led him to define 9 insightful yet super-practical leadership lessons. His latest thinking will help...
Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization
Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization
Your people are your most valuable asset, and if you want them to excel (and your profits to soar), you'll need to abandon your traditional command-and-control management style and adopt a collaborative, open leadership approach—one that engages and empowers your people. While this isn't a...
How to book Dan Pontefract for an event?

Dan Pontefract keynote speaker is an expert presenter and has a wide range of experience speaking to a wide variety of audiences and organizations. Dan Pontefract delivers keynotes, workshops & training sessions. They may also host or emcee events. Hire Dan Pontefract from Victoria, British Columbia for your event to inspire the audience to take action and make change in their work and their lives. Your workplace will benefit from our keynote speaker and their keynote talks and speeches will shift the mindsets or behaviours for the audience members in Canada. 

Interested in booking Dan Pontefract for an event?

Are you looking to hire Dan Pontefract for your event? Dan Pontefract Victoria, British Columbia is a dynamic and engaging speaker that offers audiences researched content paired with expertise and a dynamic speaking ability. Dan Pontefract is also a Canadian corporate consultant and coach and facilitates workshops and training sessions for a corporate audience. Dan Pontefract is an expert keynote presenter and speaks on wide variety of topics. Hiring a great speaker for your event is important and working with a thought leader like Dan Pontefract from Speakers Canada’s roster will engage audiences into the content of the presentation to bring awareness and a fresh perspective for their approach to their work and their lives. Book Dan Pontefract to educate, motivate and activate the audience through an interactive and entertaining presentation at corporate meetings and gatherings.

Known as a popular key note speaker in Canada, Dan Pontefract creates life changing experiences for the participants with practical insights and strategic advice they can implement right after the session. Working with a one our leading expert speaker like Dan Pontefract from Victoria, British Columbia offers organizations a fresh perspective to assist the people of the organization. No matter if it is a government, association, or business crowd, Dan Pontefract is a perfect speaker for your event. Through unique practical insights for trending topics and years experience speaking to different organizations, Dan Pontefract focuses on changing individuals to make better decisions at work and their lives. No matter if you are holding an in person or virtual event, having an influential speaker such as Dan Pontefract will engage, motivate, and activate the audience to make a change in their lives and inspire action for results to meet organizational goals. Your workforce will benefit from Dan Pontefract’s presentations and speeches, with measurable results set to shift the people of the organization and core direction of the company. Book Dan Pontefract speaker for your annual general meeting, conference, summit, or convention in Canada.

How much does it cost to hire Dan Pontefract for a keynote presentation or virtual event?

Dan Pontefract is an expert professional key note speaker with a lot of experience speaking and delivering engaging talks to organizations and audiences in Canada. Each of Speaker Bureau Canada’s talent have different ways to assess their fees, and Dan Pontefract speaker fee ranges depending on the size of the audience, event format (in person or virtual), event location, and if the organization booking them is a non profit, association, government department/government agency or business/corporation. The speakers we work with are flexible with their fees, and it is important for us to learn more about your event before we approach them, as it is our role to work for you, and to help you find a speaker within budget. 

Please contact Speakers Bureau of Canada and provide us with your event details so that we can contact Dan Pontefract to check availability or confirm the pricing and associated costs to hire a great speaker like Dan Pontefract for your event. As Dan Pontefract's agent and as a Canadian top speaker bureau and talent agency for speakers, we are able to propose each event opportunity from each host organization’s behalf to try to help you get in touch with Dan Pontefract and confirm them for your in person or online meeting/event. We can also provide and advise on the booking process and potentially negotiate their fee. Speakers Canada is a client focused speaker agency, and we work for you in finding good speakers for your team meetings and booking processes.

Dan Pontefract Disclaimer
Speakers Bureau Canada assists companies and event planning teams seeking to hire talent like Dan Pontefract for speaking engagements, virtual meetings, conference appearances, training sessions and workshops facilitations. Our Canadian speakers bureau does not claim to exclusively represent Dan Pontefract, however they are represented by Speakers Canada, and we work with them closely for their Canadian speaking opportunities and bookings. As Canada’s top speaker bureau, we represent Canadian motivational keynote speakers and professional guest speakers that will be available on your upcoming events date and location that are withing the budget. Our talented bureau speaker booking agency can help find business speakers or celebrity speakers that aligns with each organization, audience, event theme and the topic themes you hope for the speaker to address in their presentation. 

When SBC receives a request to book Dan Pontefract we provide you with their speaker fees, travel costs and check their schedules. We work closely with the host organization’s event planning team and the speaker to handle the logistics and to relay or negotiate associated costs. Our talented team members then will work with our talent directly or their agent/manager/assistant to confirm the Canadian speaker fee and travel expenses, so that event planning teams can receive an official quote for the speaker appearing at the event. Speaker fees and travel costs vary per speaker and our role is to contact Dan Pontefract about your event, after we have connected with the event organizers to learn all the event details and/or conference program. Each booking request is unique since session durations and audience sizes can vary which may affect the speaker’s fees. If you are looking to hire Dan Pontefract, we recommend filling out the booking request form so a booking agent from Speakers Bureau Canada can get in touch with our talent to help you coordinate with your team to engage the speaker for a successful event.

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