When to not focus on the data

When to not focus on the data

I was sharing war stories with one of my collaborators this week. An interesting story emerged where ‘poor communication' cost a chief financial officer (CFO) his job.

Why?

Because he focused on the data.

Let me explain.

The CFO assumed his role was to provide regular and accurate numbers that the CEO and Board would not just read, but also interpret.

However, the CEO and the Board wanted insights about the company's performance.

This material disconnect cost him his job as the leadership did not see that the company was in major difficulty until late in the piece.

So, what went wrong here?

While I agree that a CFO has a responsibility to explain what the performance data means, I also see a systemic issue that goes beyond the CFO himself. This could have been avoided if

  •  The CEO and Board asked better questions inside and outside formal Board meetings
  • The company secretary clarified expectations that insights were central to the financial reports when the CFO took the role on years previously
  • The CEO and the Chair called out the lack of insight in the papers as a general expectation
  • The Board did not accept that poor quality papers are commonplace and too hard to fix

I offer this as a cautionary tale.

Quality governance and decision making requires insightful communication both inside and around key papers.

Assuming that the data is enough, or that poor quality papers is ‘par for the course' is not just a risk for you but also for the organisation.

I hope that helps. More next week.

Kind regards,
Davina

 

Cutting Through Podcast Now Live

Last week I launched my new podcast, Cutting Through.

My first two posts, a short intro and an interview discussing how to get around one of the biggest challenges when communicating about risk management.

My guest, Anthony Wilson from ABM Risk Management shares deep wisdom stemming from decades in risk and assurance.

He also offers his comprehensive risk management framework.

Listen on your favourite podcasting app or here on my website.

PS – Apologies to those of you who may tried to find it on Spotify, Apple and Google Play last weekend. The episode took longer to publish than we expected.

 

PRESENTED BY DAVINA STANLEY

Davina has helped smart people all over the world clarify and communicate complex ideas for 20+ years.

She began this work when she joined McKinsey & Company as a communication specialist in Hong Kong where she helped others use the Minto Pyramid Principle.

She continued helping others when living in New York, Tokyo and now back in Australia where she was approved by Barbara Minto herself to teach Pyramid.

Her clients include experts across many disciplines across Australia, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, the UK and the US. She currently coaches a number of C-suite executives as well as many mid-level folk and the occasional graduate.

Get her 4 Tips for Communicating Complex Ideas here.

New Podcast – CUTTING THROUGH

New Podcast – CUTTING THROUGH

I am excited to announce that I have begun a podcast.

Cutting Through interviews experts who have done just that.

They have cut through with stakeholders who do not share their expertise to achieve material outcomes.

This could mean …

  • engaging a multi-disciplinary group such as a leadership team or a Board in a risk management, technology, human resources or another kind of issue
  • motivating your team or perhaps your peers about a major change to the way they need to work, or
  • communicating to deliver maximum value in another professional setting.

Each of these situations offers its unique set of challenges and an opportunity to learn lessons to apply to our own communication.

Episode 1 with Anthony Wilson of ABM Risk Management offers suggestions for engaging senior leaders in thinking about risk management as change management.

It's a thoroughly enjoyable conversation. Anthony shares decades of wisdom as a senior leader and advisor to some of Australia's largest organisations.

You can find Cutting Through on your favourite podcast player or here on my website.

I look forward to bringing this and more to you over the coming months.

I hope you enjoy the episodes as much as I am.

 

Kind Regards,

Davina

 

 

PRESENTED BY DAVINA STANLEY

Davina has helped smart people all over the world clarify and communicate complex ideas for 20+ years.

She began this work when she joined McKinsey & Company as a communication specialist in Hong Kong where she helped others use the Minto Pyramid Principle.

She continued helping others when living in New York, Tokyo and now back in Australia where she was approved by Barbara Minto herself to teach Pyramid.

Her clients include experts across many disciplines across Australia, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, the UK and the US. She currently coaches a number of C-suite executives as well as many mid-level folk and the occasional graduate.

Get her 4 Tips for Communicating Complex Ideas here.

E1 – Risk Management = Change Management

E1 – Risk Management = Change Management

Cutting Through

Helping experts
engage ‘outsiders'
in complex ideas

Anthony Wilson shares 30+ years' experience in engaging others in risk management.

His biggest challenge is to encourage leaders and others involved in managing risk to move away from a ‘once and done' approach.

He is convinced there is enormous business value in seeing risk management as change management.

DISCUSSION OVERVIEW

0.00 – Introduction

1:38 – Getting to know Anthony

3:50 – Encouraging Leaders to take a proactive approach to Risk Management

9:53 – Striking the balance between ‘safe’ and ‘tied up’

12:43 – Identifying the hardest items to include in risk appetite statement and how to engage Leaders in those discussions.

19:02 – Using the Risk Management Matrix – download available below

22:38 – Understanding your audience and speaking their language

29:38 – Avoiding change fatigue

39:49 – Sharing the Big 3 takeaways

RESOURCES

  1. Access Anthony's risk management framework using the button below
  2. Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn here
  3. Visit his website: www.abmrisk.com.au
  4. Hear more from Anthony on his own Risk

E1 – Risk Management = Change Management

Anthony Wilson shares 30+ years' experience in engaging others in risk management. His biggest challenge is to encourage leaders and others involved in managing risk to move away from a ‘once and done' approach. He is convinced there is enormous business value in seeing risk management as change management.

E0 – Introducing Cutting Through

Welcome to my new Podcast, Cutting Through.

INTERVIEW – Busting 3 Business Negotiation Myths

I came to Friday's interview with Matt Lohmeyer a bit selfishly. Negotiating has often made me nervous and yet he seems to thrive while discussing and doing it. So, I wanted to learn how he gets great outcomes while actually enjoying the process. If I am to interpret...
E1 – Risk Management = Change Management

E1 – Risk Management = Change Management

Anthony Wilson shares 30+ years' experience in engaging others in risk management. His biggest challenge is to encourage leaders and others involved in managing risk to move away from a ‘once and done' approach. He is convinced there is enormous business value in seeing risk management as change management.

INTERVIEW – Busting 3 Business Negotiation Myths

INTERVIEW – Busting 3 Business Negotiation Myths

I came to Friday's interview with Matt Lohmeyer a bit selfishly. Negotiating has often made me nervous and yet he seems to thrive while discussing and doing it. So, I wanted to learn how he gets great outcomes while actually enjoying the process. If I am to interpret...

INTERVIEW – Building A Winning Career

INTERVIEW – Building A Winning Career

Well, Bill certainly did not disappoint in this morning's interview!Bill shared career insights that are hugely relevant to all of us, no matter where we are in our careers.He gave me a new idea for addressing current challenge and judging by the chat messaging others...

Know when each episode drops

Get in Touch

13 + 9 =

New Podcast – CUTTING THROUGH

E0 – Introducing Cutting Through

Cutting Through

Helping experts
engage ‘outsiders'
in complex ideas

If you are an expert who needs to persuade others who do not share your technical background, this podcast is for you.

One of my biggest frustrations is seeing people with great ideas not get the traction they should.

I invite you to meet an incredible group of experts. They share how they have engaged ‘outsiders' in complex ideas. This could be others at the top, their peers, direct reports, anyone who does not share their technical expertise.

E1 – Risk Management = Change Management

Anthony Wilson shares 30+ years' experience in engaging others in risk management. His biggest challenge is to encourage leaders and others involved in managing risk to move away from a ‘once and done' approach. He is convinced there is enormous business value in seeing risk management as change management.

E0 – Introducing Cutting Through

Welcome to my new Podcast, Cutting Through.

INTERVIEW – Busting 3 Business Negotiation Myths

I came to Friday's interview with Matt Lohmeyer a bit selfishly. Negotiating has often made me nervous and yet he seems to thrive while discussing and doing it. So, I wanted to learn how he gets great outcomes while actually enjoying the process. If I am to interpret...
E1 – Risk Management = Change Management

E1 – Risk Management = Change Management

Anthony Wilson shares 30+ years' experience in engaging others in risk management. His biggest challenge is to encourage leaders and others involved in managing risk to move away from a ‘once and done' approach. He is convinced there is enormous business value in seeing risk management as change management.

INTERVIEW – Busting 3 Business Negotiation Myths

INTERVIEW – Busting 3 Business Negotiation Myths

I came to Friday's interview with Matt Lohmeyer a bit selfishly. Negotiating has often made me nervous and yet he seems to thrive while discussing and doing it. So, I wanted to learn how he gets great outcomes while actually enjoying the process. If I am to interpret...

INTERVIEW – Building A Winning Career

INTERVIEW – Building A Winning Career

Well, Bill certainly did not disappoint in this morning's interview!Bill shared career insights that are hugely relevant to all of us, no matter where we are in our careers.He gave me a new idea for addressing current challenge and judging by the chat messaging others...

Know when each episode drops

Get in Touch

9 + 9 =

On being a ‘human dartboard’…

On being a ‘human dartboard’…

There haven't been many times in my career when I have felt like a ‘human dartboard' but teaching one group of lawyers most certainly felt that way.

In a good way!

There is something fantastic about helping people who are engaged enough to actually test me.

They pretty much litigated every idea I shared with them as a form of sport. Not only was the workshop loaded with fun and banter, they helped me fine tune the quality of my ideas.

This is one of the many things covered in a recent podcast interview on the Investing for Life podcast with Douglas Isles from Platinum Asset Management.

We discuss a diverse range of topics including:

  1. How it all started on an 800-acre potato farm on the Victorian border, before continuing in Adelaide as a teacher
  2. Shifting gears in Hong Kong to join McKinsey and – at one point – across four countries in 12 months with two children under three
  3. Setting up in Australia to establish Clarity First, Clarity Thought Partners and write The So What Strategy.
  4. How I think about professional communication.

This is less serious than most professional podcasts, and one I hope you find enjoyable.

>> Click here to listen or visit Investing for Life on your preferred podcasting app.

More soon.

Kind regards,
Davina

PS – Look out for news about my own communication podcast, Cutting Through, which will start in the coming weeks.

PRESENTED BY DAVINA STANLEY

Davina has helped smart people all over the world clarify and communicate complex ideas for 20+ years.

She began this work when she joined McKinsey & Company as a communication specialist in Hong Kong where she helped others use the Minto Pyramid Principle.

She continued helping others when living in New York, Tokyo and now back in Australia where she was approved by Barbara Minto herself to teach Pyramid.

Her clients include experts across many disciplines across Australia, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, the UK and the US. She currently coaches a number of C-suite executives as well as many mid-level folk and the occasional graduate.

Get her 4 Tips for Communicating Complex Ideas here.