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Wed, Mar 11


Donald K. Johnson Centre, Exchange Tower

Open to Think

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Open to Think
Open to Think

Time & Location

Mar 11, 2020, 8:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Donald K. Johnson Centre, Exchange Tower, 130 King St W, Main Floor, Toronto, ON M5X 1K6, Canada


Meeting Room Details:

The Ivey Academy - Donald K. Johnson Centre

Dream, Decide, Do, Repeat: We are Losing the Ability to Think and What to Do About It

Society is at a crossroads. Many of us have begun to reward speed over quality, distractedness over

focus, busyness over patience, and the negative effects suffered in both our personal and professional

lives can no longer be overlooked.


Due to several alarming factors including busyness, time mismanagement and technology, employees

and leaders alike are struggling to cope. We all need a more reflective and responsive thinking mindset

in order to take back control. Better thinking is dependent on how open we are to new ideas, how

evidence-based our decision-making can be, but mapped against how capable we remain to get things

done. The L&D community can play a big part in helping employees.


Best-selling author, leadership strategist and former chief learning officer, Dan Pontefract, suggests the

introduction and use of Open Thinking, the continuous cycle of three key categories: Creative Thinking,

Critical Thinking and Applied Thinking. We need a return to balance between the key components of

productive thought: Dream. Decide. Do. Repeat.



• Recognize the effects poor thinking is having on both individuals and organizations.

• Understand the difference between reflection and action – being made aware of indifferent, inflexible

and indecisive thinking attributes and how they affect our daily lives.

• Distinguish the traits that make up Creative, Critical and Applied Thinking—the hallmarks of Open

Thinking—and learn ways in which to help employees shift their way of operating.

Speaker Biography - Dan Pontefract, Author, Speaker, Thinker, Leadership Strategist


Dan is 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) and

FLAT ARMY: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization (2013). Dan is also an Adjunct

Professor at the University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business. He is the founder and CEO of The Pontefract Group a firm that improves the state of leadership and organizational culture.

His third book, OPEN TO THINK is the 2019 getAbstract International Book of the Year winner and the 2019 Axiom Business Book Award Silver Medal winner in the Leadership category. 

Previously, as Chief Envisioner of TELUS he founded the Transformation Office in 2014 to help organizations enhance their corporate culture, leadership, learning, work styles & collaboration practices. 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 a two-year period. The program has won three international awards and delivered new revenues and savings in excess of $300 million.

His career is interwoven with both corporate and academic experience, coupled with an MBA, B.Ed and multiple industry certifications and accreditations. Dan is also a renowned speaker and has been invited to deliver over 300 external keynotes and presentations, including four TED Talks. In 2012 he appeared on the front cover of T+D Magazine and Chief Learning Officer Magazine. Dan also writes for Forbes, Harvard Business Review and The Huffington Post. 

In 2010, Dan was acknowledged by CLO as a ‘Vanguard Award’ winner and is 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.

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