While it may not occur to us on a daily basis, there is a widespread cultural tendency toward quick decisions and quick action. This pattern has resulted in many of our society's greatest successes, but even more of its failures. Though the root cause is by no means malicious, we have begun to reward speed over quality, and the negative effects suffered in both our personal and professional lives are potentially catastrophic.
Best-selling author and Chief Envisioner Dan Pontefract offers the solution to this predicament with what he coins "Open Thinking," a cyclical process in which creativity is encouraged, critiquing leads to better decisions, and thoughtful action delivers positive, sustainable results. He proposes a return to balance between the three components of productive thought: dreaming, deciding, and doing.
Based on organizational and societal data, academic research, historical studies, and a wide range of interviews, Open to Think is an appeal for a world of better thinking. Pontefract introduces tangible, actionable strategies to improve the way we think as organizations and individuals.
Dan is the founder and CEO of The Pontefract Group, a firm that improves the state of leadership and organizational culture.
He is the best-selling author of three books: 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, Harvard Business Review and The Huffington Post. 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.
Dan and his wife, Denise, have three children (aka goats) and live in Victoria, Canada.
Winner of the Axiom Business Book Award - Silver Medal - Leadership
"With this book you can reshape your thinking to eliminate bad habits and strengthen your mind for the challenges of today's business world." Daniel H. Pink, author of When and Drive
"We think we know how to think. And you do, kinda. But, as you'll see, you're mostly a high-performing amateur. Why not up your game and 'go pro'? Combining solid research and practical tools, Open to Think will get you thinking better. And that means acting smarter." Michael Bungay Stanier, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Coaching Habit
"Open to Think admirably accomplishes its purpose, jarring us from simply going with the mental flow, our thinking constrained by the grooves of habit, rarely if ever diverted into original or creative channels. Pontefract rightly identifies this as a disaster waiting to happen in our organizations--and perhaps not waiting at all, but disaster happening today. I can't recall a single organization I've been involved in that wouldn't benefit from more Open Thinkers in its ranks. Of particular interest to me was the relationship between our dysfunctional thought patterns and the degree of our disengagement from our work; the automaticity of our thinking denying us the advantages we should have when we've achieved mastery of our domain, and leading us instead to boredom, stagnation and declining performance. Plenty of food for thought here, if one is open to sitting down at the table to dine and digest." Whitney Johnson, critically acclaimed author of Build an A-Team and Disrupt Yourself, and a Thinkers50 Leading Management Thinker "Dan Pontefract has a track record of giving the world helpful books on how to think differently about important topics such as organizational design and purpose. Intriguingly in his latest, he coaxes us to think differently about thinking itself. A thought-provoking and engaging book, Open to Think is a practical manual for working productively on your own thinking." Roger L. Martin, author of Fixing the Game and The Opposable Mind, and ranked #1 on Thinkers50 "It's the central challenge for any entrepreneur or leader: how can we think better? Dan Pontefract expertly guides us to go beyond facile answers and provides a new framework to help us make better decisions and achieve more successful outcomes in our lives." Dorie Clark, author of Entrepreneurial You and Stand Out, and adjunct professor at Duke University Fuqua School of Business "Our sound-bite, politicized, shortcut way of coming to solutions is exacerbating many of society's most significant problems. In the face of our perennial time famine, Open to Think offers a refreshing perspective on how we can take control of our thinking and ultimately get to a better solution more quickly." Rita Gunter McGrath, professor at Columbia Business School and author of The End of Competitive Advantage