Dan Pontefract is an award-winning author, leadership strategist, and culture change expert. Dan's podcast explores all aspects of leadership, organizational culture, purpose, and professional development.
Dan is the best-selling author of four books: LEAD. CARE. WIN., OPEN TO THINK, THE PURPOSE EFFECT, and FLAT ARMY. A renowned speaker, Dan has presented at four different TED events and also writes for Forbes and Harvard Business Review. Dan is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, Gustavson School of Business and has garnered more than 20 industry awards over his career.
Previously as Chief Envisioner and Chief Learning Officer at TELUS—a Canadian telecommunications company with revenues of $14 billion and 50,000 global employees—he launched the Transformation Office, the TELUS MBA, and the TELUS Leadership Philosophy, all award-winning initiatives that dramatically helped to increase the company’s employee engagement to record levels of nearly 90%. Prior to TELUS, he held senior roles at SAP, Business Objects and BCIT. He is honoured to be on the Thinkers50 radar list.
Beyond Economic Predictions with Todd Hirsch
Todd Hirsch is the "modern economist." In this episode of "Leadership NOW," he delves into the challenges of economic forecasting in today's unpredictable global environment. He discusses the limitations of traditional methods in accurately predicting economic trends amidst frequent, unforeseen 'black swan' events. Todd advocates for a shift from prediction to preparation, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and readiness for various potential outcomes.
Our conversation further explores the impact of geopolitical events and environmental crises on the economy. Todd highlights how incidents like Russia's invasion of Ukraine and severe weather events directly affect economic conditions worldwide. He also addresses the erosion of public trust in economic expertise, noting the growing skepticism towards expert advice, especially during periods of economic uncertainty. Throughout the dialogue, Todd's insights illuminate the interconnected nature of global events and economics, stressing the need for leaders to be cognizant of a wide range of external factors that can abruptly shift economic landscapes.
For more than 25 years, Todd worked as an economist for such renowned institutes as ATB Financial, the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Canada West Foundation, and the Bank of Canada. Having had a front-row seat to the key issues and trends impacting and transforming our world, Hirsch delivers dynamic, clear-eyed talks on the economy, adaptability, and creativity.
Hirsch served as the vice president and chief economist for ATB Financial for over 15 years. He also previously taught economics at the University of Calgary and for the executive education program at the University of Alberta. In recognition of his work, Hirsch has received the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum (2022) and Diamond (2012) Jubilee Medals, the University of Alberta’s Alumni Honour Award, and an honorary degree from Mount Royal University.
The author of four books, Hirsch’s latest, Spiders in COVID Space: Adapting During and After the Pandemic, captures the inspiring and compelling stories of businesses and not-for-profits that reinvented themselves during the pandemic. He is currently the Director of the Energy Transition Centre at Innovate Calgary.
Visit him at www.toddhirsch.com
Head and Heart: Navigating the Dichotomy of Modern Leadership with Dr. Kirstin Ferguson
Join me in a captivating episode of "Leadership NOW" as I sit down with Dr. Kirstin Ferguson as she unveils the nuances of modern leadership. An expert with a diverse background, including roles in the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Royal Australian Air Force, Dr. Ferguson challenges traditional leadership models in her book, 'Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership.'
She advocates for a more inclusive leadership definition, emphasizing that true leadership is about influencing change beyond formal titles. Dr. Ferguson introduces a balanced model that blends intellectual and emotional intelligence, essential for today's leaders. The conversation also explores her approach to democratizing leadership, encouraging every team member to embrace their leadership potential, thereby transforming organizational cultures. Dr. Ferguson's insights inspire a rethinking of leadership, highlighting its dynamic nature in our contemporary world.
Dr. Kirstin Ferguson is one of the world's most recognised leadership experts. The winner of the international Thinkers50 Distinguished Award for Leadership, she is also ranked in the top 50 thinkers in the world. Kirstin researches, writes, speaks and advises major international brands on what it means to be a modern leader, and how to build modern leadership cultures.
Kirstin’s career includes three decades of senior leadership experience including a previous appointment by the Australian Prime Minister as Acting Chair and Deputy Chair of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.Kirstin was recognised as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2023 for her significant contributions to business, and gender equality.
Kirstin has previously been the CEO of a global consulting firm, was a senior executive at a leading corporate law firm and spent nearly 10 years as an Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force, including at a fighter jet squadron.
Kirstin’s second book, Head & Heart: The Art of Modern Leadership, debuted in the top 10 non-fiction bestseller list on release, and was named as one of the top 10 best new management books in the world in 2023. It was also awarded the Royal Society of Awards Career Book Award in 2023.
Kirstin holds a PhD in leadership and culture as well as Honours degrees in Law, and also History. She is an Adjunct Professor at the QUT Business School and a Sir Winston Churchill Fellow.
Visit https://www.kirstinferguson.com/meet-kirstin/ for more details.
Innovate or Stagnate: Lessons from Steve Blank on Future-Proofing Your Business
Step into a world where innovation meets execution in the latest episode of Leadership NOW with my guest Steve Blank, the architect behind the Lean Startup revolution. We're dissecting the nuances of what it takes to blend day-to-day operations with the art of innovation, unearthing insights from the startup sphere that big businesses need to hear, and unpacking the transformative role of leadership in an ever-evolving business environment.
This isn't just a chat; it's an expedition into the heart of entrepreneurial thinking. Tune in for this enriching dialogue and explore more in the accompanying Forbes article, where we delve deeper into the strategies shaping the future of leadership. It's an episode filled with thought-provoking ideas and actionable wisdom you won't want to miss.
Steve Blank is a founding member at the Gordian Knot Center, an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University, and Senior Fellow for Innovation at Columbia University. Steve consults for the National Security establishment on innovation methods, processes, policies, and doctrine. He created the curriculum for the National Science Foundation Innovation Corps. At Stanford he co-created the Department of Defense Hacking for Defense and Department of State Hacking for Diplomacy curriculums.
Steve arrived in Silicon Valley in 1978, at the very beginning of the startup boom, founded or was part of eight ventures. His book The Four Steps to the Epiphany is credited with launching the Lean Startup movement and which touted the principle that startups must operate differently from big companies to be successful.
His follow-on book The Startup Owner’s Manual described a process for turning ideas into scale and his Harvard Business Review cover story redefined how large organizations can innovate at speed.
In sum, Steve has changed how startups are built; how entrepreneurship is taught; how science is commercialized, and how companies and the government innovate. He has been described as the Father of Modern Entrepreneurship.
Find out more about Steve at www.steveblank.com
Pioneering the Pulse of Modern Business Models with Alex Osterwalder
Dr. Alexander (Alex) Osterwalder, founder & CEO of Strategyzer, is one of the world’s most influential strategy and innovation experts. A leading author, entrepreneur, and in-demand speaker, his work has changed the way established companies do business and how new ventures get started.
In this episode of Leadership NOW with Dan Pontefract, Alex lays out his nfluential ideas on modern business models, emphasizing the need for innovative strategies and a shift away from traditional business thinking.
Continuously ranked in the top 50 management thinkers worldwide by Thinkers50 and a visiting professor at IMD, Osterwalder is known for simplifying the strategy development process and turning complex concepts into digestible visual models. Together with Yves Pigneur, he invented the Business Model Canvas, Value Proposition Canvas, and Business Portfolio Map – practical tools that are trusted by millions of business practitioners from leading global companies, including Microsoft, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, Mastercard, Sony, Fujitsu, 3M, Intel, Roche, Colgate-Palmolive, and many more.
Strategyzer is an innovation powerhouse, providing online courses, applications, and technology-enabled services to help organizations effectively and systematically manage strategy, growth, and transformation.
Osterwalder’s books include the international bestseller «Business Model Generation», «Value Proposition Design», «Testing Business Ideas», «High-Impact Tools for Teams» and «The Invincible Company,»
A frequent and popular keynote speaker, Osterwalder travels the world discussing his ideas and strategies at Fortune 500 companies, premiere innovation conferences, and leading universities.
He holds a doctorate from HEC Lausanne/Switzerland and is a founding member of The Constellation, a global not-for-profit organization connecting local responses to global issues around the world.
Navigating Leadership in a World of Change: Insights from Liz Wiseman
Liz Wiseman is a researcher and executive advisor who teaches leadership to top organizations worldwide. She wrote the New York Times bestsellers Multipliers, The Multiplier Effect, and Wall Street Journal bestsellers Rookie Smarts and Impact Players.
In this episode of Leadership NOW with Dan Pontefract, Liz shares several leadership tips and insights based on her books and research. It is a sprightly and deeply informative discussion.
Liz is the CEO of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. Some of her recent clients include Apple, AT&T, Disney, Meta, Google, Microsoft, Nike, Salesforce, Tesla, and X. Liz has received the top achievement award for leadership from Thinkers50. She has also been consistently named one of the world’s leading 50 management thinkers in its bi-annual ranking.
Liz has conducted significant research in leadership and talent development. She writes for Harvard Business Review, Fortune, and various other business and leadership journals and is a frequent guest lecturer at Brigham Young University and Stanford University. She is a former executive at Oracle, where she worked as the Vice President of Oracle University and the global leader for Human Resource Development. Liz holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s in organizational behaviour from Brigham Young University.
Dan Pontefract Interviews Dan Pontefract. Wait. What?!? (A Special Episode of Leadership NOW)
Dan Pontefract is the host of Leadership NOW. Sure. But he's also an award-winning author. His latest book, "Work-Life Bloom: How to Nurture a Team That Flourishes" shakes up corporate culture by tackling sacred cows like employee engagement, work-life balance, and 'bring your best selves to work.'
So, Dan decided to interview Dan about the book.
Check out this special episode of Leadership NOW where Dan asks Dan the following questions, aided by the help of ChatGPT, the AI tool that digested the book and surfaced five very unique questions to ask Dan:
• Challenging Conventional Wisdom: "'Work-Life Bloom' seems to challenge the traditional notion of work-life balance and employee engagement. What common myths or misconceptions about both of these concepts are you aiming to debunk with this book?"
• Critique of Corporate Culture: "In your experience and research, where do most organizations fall short in fostering a culture that truly supports its team members? Can you give an example of a particularly toxic trend you've observed?"
• Personal Sacrifices for Success: "Have you ever found yourself sacrificing personal happiness or well-being for career success? How did these experiences shape your perspective in 'Work-Life Bloom'?"
• The Dark Side of Leadership: "You've seen various leadership styles throughout your career. What are some of the darker aspects of leadership that can affect the workplace, and how does your book address these?"
• Controversial Advice: "Is there any advice in 'Work-Life Bloom' that you think might be controversial or counterintuitive to traditional business thinking? Why did you choose to include it?"
• The Pandemic's Impact: "How has the pandemic altered your views on the concepts of work and life? Does 'Work-Life Bloom' tackle any uncomfortable truths that the pandemic has exposed in the workplace?"
• Future Predictions and Warnings: "Looking ahead, what are some potential pitfalls or dangers you foresee if companies and leaders fail to embrace the principles of Work-Life Bloom?"
Organizational topics rarely covered elsewhere
Dan does an excellent job of exploring topics important to both employers and employees. The way we work is shifting and I have not found anyone else covering the topics in depth the way Dan does on his podcast.
I have implemented lessons from this podcast into my own career planning and development and encourage my friends and colleagues to listen as well.