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David Irvine

The Leader's Navigator

David Irvine is sought after internationally as a speaker, author, and mentor. His work has contributed to the building of accountable, vital and engaged organizations across North America. David Irvine is the President of Irvine & Associates Inc., an international speaking and consulting firm dedicated to building authentic, accountable organizational cultures that unleash greatness. David’s presentations and workshops provide inspiring, engaging, and results-based learning experiences.


Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Building a High-Performance Culture: The Power of Alignment
If you are committed to attract and retain the best talent, provide the best possible service to customers, get a grip on results that matter, remain profitable, and reach your fullest potential as an organization, then culture will be your most critical competitive advantage. This is because organizational culture trumps everything else in business.

  1. Discover the power of alignment and why building a high-performance culture is the key to success.
  2. Execute a practical, meaningful process for getting your organization’s value statements off the wall and into people’s hearts and actions.
  3. Leave with a practical method for building a cohesive, engaged, high-performance organization – that engenders trust, loyalty, safety, and ownership.

Authentic Leadership: It’s About Presence, Not Position
Great leadership cannot be reduced to technique, position or power. Great leadership comes from the strength of one’s authentic presence – the identity and integrity of the leader. While you might get promoted to be a boss, you don’t get promoted to be a leader. Leadership isn’t something that you get from your title. Leadership – your capacity to inspire and influence others – is something you earn by the decisions you make and the actions you take. Leadership is about building trust, inspiring the people around you with a compelling vision, engaging yourself and others, and achieving results through those you serve. Leadership is about accomplishing this with presence, not position.

Step back and gain a new perspective on leadership from one of Canada’s most respected voices on leadership and organizational culture. Based on David Irvine’s best-selling book, The Authentic Leader, you will be inspired by a new view of who you are as a leader and a fresh vision of leadership in today’s changing, demanding world.

Accountability: Get A Grip On Sustainable Results
Get to the deep meaning and application of accountability – so it isn’t just a hammer to blame or punish people, or just another organizational buzzword.

  1. Leave this session with a renewed and positive perspective on accountability, tools to build an ownership attitude in your organization, and a practical process for holding people accountable.
  2. Build a proven and practical approach to accountability that will build trust, respect, and integrity while banishing blame and fear, transforming entitlement into ownership.
  3. Close the gap between intention and success and get a grip on sustainable results.
  4. Leave with a simple and practical process that will inspire your high performers, deal effectively and respectfully with your “non-performers,” and renew your organization.
  5. Leave with a new outlook on the responsibility and opportunity of every employee to build an engaged, energized, and renewed culture.

Embracing Change: The Power of Possibility
To survive – and thrive – you have to adapt and embrace change. When you have made a decision to be a leader, you become an agent of change. But where is your roadmap? Where are your tools? There are eight stages of change. The first is chaos; the eighth is possibility. Once you lead yourself and others to embrace possibility, transforming chaos into confidence, resistance into wisdom, and fear into possibility, you have done your job. Once you’ve mastered the art of embracing change, you will not only build a strong, vital organization, you will build a strong, vital life.

Leave this session with a new view of embracing and leading change from one of Canada’s most respected voices on leadership and organizational culture. You will leave this inspiring session with renewed clarity, confidence, and compassion to lead those you serve through the stages of change.

Building Bridges Of Trust: The Power of Interpersonal Excellence
Building and restoring trust is mission-critical in organizations today. At the core of effective and productive organizations and teams lies an abundance of mutual trust and respect based upon authentic and accountable connections. Regardless of what you do in your organization and your life, to be successful you must be able to connect with people in a way that builds trust.

With a background in family therapy, David Irvine offers an in-depth approach to interpersonal relationships that you won’t find in mainstream leadership training programs. Leave this engaging, and practical session with the interpersonal skills necessary to build bridges of trust with those who depend on you, and those upon whom you depend.

  1. Understand how the actions of every employee either builds or destroys the culture where you work.
  2. Inspire deep trust in your organization through the power of interpersonal excellence.
  3. Embrace conflict in a way that builds trust, respect, and focus.


Platform Plus

Workshop | How to Build a High-Performance Culture: From Inspiration to Implementation

Leaders today understand the vital, competitive advantage to building a clearly defined, aligned, high performance culture. They understand that organizational culture trumps everything else in business. But where is your road map? What are your tools? What is your process? How do you get those laminated value statements off the wall and into every employee’s actions? How do you build accountability to make your values real? After helping organizations build aligned, engaged cultures for more than a quarter century, David Irvine understands that there is no “cookie cutter” approach to culture. However, there are fundamental principles and processes for building an aligned, high performance, engaged culture that can be adapted to a variety of organizational contexts. Take this rare opportunity to learn a practical roadmap for designing and implementing an aligned culture from one of Canada’s most respected voices on leadership and organizational culture. In this provocative and practical experience, David Irvine provides down-to-earth principles, processes, strategies, and tools to build an aligned, high performance culture that will unleash the potential of your organization.

  • David Irvine is an inspiring teacher and a dynamic speaker. With insights grounded in personal experience, David’s messages about authenticity, accountability and balance are both practical and profound. David is one of very few speakers who connect emotionally with their audiences. His stories are real and leave a lasting impression on those lucky enough to hear him. In today’s world, where change is the norm and leaders are needed at every level, of organizations, David’s messages are powerful.

    - Board of Directors, Bank of Canada
  • David did an extraordinary great job linking culture excellence and leadership engagement. He took a very smart approach in adapting the presentation to the context of the off-site goal and objectives. This allowed the leadership team to reflect and have some perspective to think forward. David’s genuine approach and passionate presentation gave the team food for thought in strengthening our culture and accountability. A motivational strategy that can be applied both in our personal and work life.

    - Executive Vice President - Information Technology, Sobeys Inc.
  • From our first meeting it was apparent that David was genuinely invested in working with us to understand our company, our culture, and help us define conference goals and outcomes. Always eager for more information in order to tailor his facilitation specifically to our wants and needs, David did an outstanding job of connecting our team, not only to each other, but more deeply to themselves as well. Approachable, relatable, kind, authentic and positive are all words that could describe David; he truly made a deep and lasting impact on our company.

    - Managing Director, The Crossing at Ghost River Ltd.
  • David speaks to business, but you get the feeling that he is really speaking to society – we need more accountability and authenticity. It is easy to see his personal commitment to these two principles. His message is very simple, almost intuitive, but so valuable in today’s world where we often look to somebody else to solve our problems for us. Many of us think of accountability and think of blame, of the negative side. David helps us see that it is something to get enthusiastic about. Our work with David has helped shape our leaders and impact our culture.

    - Former President & CEO, Lilydale Inc.
  • Your message brought into perspective why the staff was feeling the way they were, and the steps needed to advance to the next level. We were inspired by your message and it created the perfect foundation for a high-energy development weekend.

    - CEO, Battlefords Credit Union
  • From initial contact to delivery, you provided us with a first class professional service. You listened carefully to our detailed needs and collaboratively crafted a program that was both relevant and impactful for our learning audience. Your enthusiasm and passion were contagious! Your deep understanding and empathy for the challenges these social service leaders face created an atmosphere of trust – opening the door or transparency, open dialogue and inspired learning.

    - Learning & Development Administrator, The University of Oklahoma, Center for Public Management
  • Humorous, dynamic, enlightening, practical, down-to-earth, inspiring… I was personally touched by your honesty and sincere desire to help.

    - Former Regional Director, Public Service Commission

Summary Profile

David has advanced degrees in human development, science and social work.  With more than thirty years of experience as an entrepreneur, workshop facilitator, psychotherapist, professional speaker and advisor to executives, David has developed a unique, personal and practical approach to transforming leaders.  Every year, thousands of people attend David’s inspiring and thought-provoking programs on authentic leading and living, culture alignment, and accountability. As one of Canada’s most respected voices on leadership and organizational culture, David has authored five best-selling books, and has taught courses at three universities and the Banff School of Management. David consults with and presents to thousands of people each year across North America in a wide range of venues — from huge conventions to small retreats. He has worked with CEOs and senior executives, as well as all levels of management, front-line service providers, salespeople, educators, and health care professionals. His approach is down-to-earth, simple and powerful. He not only moves you, but gets you moving. The results for his audiences are organizations and lives that are more connected, more accountable and more real. He connects and interacts; he listens before he talks. David clarifies complex issues and offers pragmatic solutions. He brings an authentic experience that will renew and rekindle the vitality of your organization, your work, and yourself. On a personal note, David is a formerly nationally ranked distance runner and trained with the US Olympic team, but today exercises more slowly. He is a father three and husband of one. David lives with his wife and family in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Calgary, Alberta.