Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Open to Think

Join getAbstract to access the summary!

Open to Think

Slow Down, Think Creatively, and Make Better Decisions

Figure 1 Publishing,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Dan Pontefract’s “open thinking” system helps you think more creatively and make smarter decisions.

Editorial Rating



  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples
  • Hot Topic


Citing the title of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” as an example of something people think they know but often get wrong, consultant Dan Pontefract offers a strategy for thinking more clearly and making better decisions. As he explains how his “dream, decide, do” system works, he provides real-life examples of “open thinkers” whose accomplishments stem from their deliberative cognitive practices. People tend to rush to conclusions, accept misinformation, skip nuance or trust shallow assumptions. Instead, Pontefract says, pause to ponder. The effectiveness of your thought process depends on how well you sort evidence, reflect upon it and challenge your conclusions. getAbstract recommends Pontefract’s manual to those who’d like to make better decisions or gain useful insight into their own thought processes.


Pause to Reflect

Today, people are busier than ever. They have little time to do anything well – including the vital process of thinking things through. For many people, clear thinking is an increasingly rare commodity. People don’t always get around to the necessary steps of thoughtfully weighing their options, building expertise and reaching their own reasoned conclusions to solve problems and make decisions. Some outsource their creative and critical thinking to Alexa, Siri or Wikipedia. Closed thinkers are unwilling to open their minds to new ideas. They seem to think it’s more convenient to go through life shut off from new information and ideas. Too many organizations also function in a close-minded way. 

Many people and companies need to adopt a new thought process to build their decision making skills and agility. This improved system of thought – open thinking – is “a holistic approach of reflection, decision making and action to secure an ethical outcome.” Open thinking calls for careful consideration, for ...

About the Author

Dan Pontefract is the “chief envisioner” at TELUS – a Canadian telecom company – where he heads the Transformation Office, a future-of-work consulting group. He also wrote Flat Army and The Purpose Effect.

Comment on this summary