HPC’s Head of Research, Justin Kinnear attended ATD24’s second keynote “Five ways to navigate what’s next”, delivered by Daniel H. Pink, author of five New York Times bestsellers.


As an author of such provocative and award-winning books about business, work, creativity, and behaviour, the audience was captivated by his energy and presence.


He began with a whirlwind review of some of the current dynamics in the world of work. He illustrated that we have quickly moved on from “quiet quitting” – ‘so’ 2023 – to a world where “rage applying”, “resenteeism” and “bare minimum Mondays” are the new trends, and where employees want their managers to “quietly manage” them. We’re in a tumultuous, contradictory and confusing time and it’s not easy to guess what is coming next.


Dan sees this point in the history of work as “the great sorting” where we are all trying to work out new perspectives on what work means, when we work and with whom, where we work, what organisations should do, and what leaders are for. He suggests that the old sequence of understand, strategise, and act needs to be reimagined with action preceding understanding from now on. At this point in the history of work Dan suggests we need to “act our way into knowing”.



Dan shared his 5 key principles for effective work life, based on his examination of a wide body of research.


1. We need to get better at subtractive thinking – solving problems by taking things away rather than adding more elements. Specifically, Dan suggested creating a “To Don’t list” for the remainder of 2024. Include the things that drain or divert attention and then commit to not doing them every day.


2. We don’t get enough information about how we are progressing. This is especially problematic for people brought up on devices that give instant feedback, whereas when they enter a world of work they might only get one feedback opportunity per year. We need to establish progress rituals. Specifically, Dan suggested pausing at the end of each day and noting three ways you made progress each day. You don’t need to review the list, the mere act of capture will create a sense of progress and achievement.


3. Purpose is crucially important in the quest for high performance. Dan suggests we need to spend more time making sure our team members understand why we are asking them to do what we ask. Dan suggests each week from now to the end of the year we focus on having two fewer conversations with our team members about the “how”, and instead have two more conversations about the “why”.


4. We have a negative perspective on the value of breaks. Studies show that breaks are not distractions from performance but are a vital part of performance. He noted that amateurs don’t take breaks, while top professionals know the value of breaks and always integrate them into their approach. Dan suggests scheduling a 15 minute walk break every other day for the remainder of 2024, and to model this walk as a sign of strength to those you lead. If the boss does it, everyone else will do it too.


5. Dan’s last insight was based on his research on regret. For most people, the regret of not taking a chance is profound and lasting. Noting that you won’t take every chance that comes along, you might need to build up your risk-taking muscle so you spot and go after the big one that arrives. Dan suggested three ways of reframing how you think so you can make bolder decisions:


– Channel your inner Andy Grove: if I were replaced in the morning, how would my successor decide?

– Ask the simplest but most useful question: what would I tell my best friend to do?

– Connect with your future self 10 years from now, looking back with wisdom and care: what would they say, what would they want you to do?


Dan’s session ended with a standing ovation by the audience; a ringing endorsement of a fun, energetic, and practical sharing of his ideas on how and why we should work at this “great sorting” point in history.



Justin Kinnear – HPC


Justin is Head of Research at HPC and is at the forefront of creating blended content that is relevant, impactful and in line with the current needs of individuals and teams. Justin undertakes external research and analysis for leading L&D bodies and works in collaboration with our clients to evaluate the impact of HPC’s solutions within their organisations.


His passion for people development and his ability to inspire makes him a key member of HPC’s facilitation and coaching teams. His work with HPC focuses on the development of a high performance culture for our clients with a particular emphasis on accountability and feedback.


As well as his extensive research and facilitation experience, he was formerly Head of L&D at IBM and Britvic.



Connect with Justin on LinkedIn >>>

Connect with HPC on LinkedIn >>>


Ready to discuss how a partnership with HPC can advance your business?