“WHEN brims with a surprising amount of insight and practical advice.” —Wall Street Journal
One of my favorite parts of Perspectives, Skillsoft’s and SumTotal’s annual user conference, is the keynote speaker. Over the years we have been incredibly lucky to have some world-class talent as our keynote speaker – including General Stan McChrystal, Seth Godin, Peter Diamandis, Eric Wahl, Jack Welch, Heidi Grant Halvorson, and Sir Ken Robinson.
This year I am really looking forward to hearing what wisdom bestselling author Daniel Pink can impart as he discusses his recent bestseller, When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing. Several outlets (including Amazon, iBook’s, Goodreads, and Hudson Booksellers) named it one of the best non-fiction books of 2018. At our 20th user conference, Daniel will show how contrary to popular belief, timing is, in fact, a science – one we can use to our advantage to make smarter decisions, get more out of our day and use to boost business performance.
Here’s a couple of interesting facts about Daniel:
- His book, To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others is a number one best seller on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post lists and winner of the American Marketing Association’s Berry Book Prize for the year’s best book on marketing.
- In 2008, Oprah Winfrey gave away 4,500 copies of his book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future to Stanford University’s graduating class when she was the school’s commencement speaker.
- The Adventures of Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need was the first American business book in the Japanese comic format known as manga and the only graphic novel to appear on the BusinessWeek bestseller list. It was also named an American Library Association best graphic novel for teens.
- Daniel’s TED Talk on the science of motivation is one of the 10 most-watched TED Talks of all time, with more than 19 million views. His RSA Animate video about the ideas in his book, Drive, has collected more than 14 million views.
- Before venturing out on his own nearly 20 years ago, Daniel worked in several positions in politics and government, including serving from 1995 to 1997 as chief speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore.
One of the perks of organizing this event is that I get to meet people like Daniel. Recently, I caught up with him for a quick chat about time management and what he hopes people will gain from his presentation.
Tara: Why is the subject of time management resonating today when there are so many technological aids to assist us to manage our time?
Daniel: It could be precisely because of all those technological aids! Today, we’re rich in content but poor in context, strong in information but weak in knowledge. Making smarter decisions about how we use our time can help restore the proper balance.
Tara: During your research for When what was the most surprising insight that the data revealed?
Daniel: There were many surprises. But I guess I was most surprised by how much our cognitive abilities vary during the day. The science is unequivocal: Our brainpower doesn’t remain static throughout a day. It changes — in predictable and sometimes extreme ways. Also, the best time do something depends on the nature of the task we’re doing. That’s why — for both our productivity and our overall well-being — it’s critical to schedule the right work at the right time.
Tara: Many of the attendees at Perspectives work in HR, learning and development, where people’s lack of time is a reoccurring theme and significant obstacle. What advice can you offer to help combat this problem?
Daniel: Start small. Just as you wouldn’t begin getting in shape by immediately signing up for a marathon, don’t require people to make huge time commitments up front. Offer smaller, “snackable” learning opportunities, demonstrate the value of those, and then encourage people to devote more time and effort.
Tara: Thanks, Daniel. All great solid and practical advice. I’m excited about hearing you speak on April 16th.
Not yet registered for Perspectives? Don’t worry, click here and until March 28 you can avail of the early bird rate.
Tara O’Sullivan is the Chief Marketing Officer at Skillsoft.