INVEST IN YOUR CAREERLEARN TO COMMUNICATE COMPLEX IDEAS WITH CLARITY
Do you experience the curse of knowledge?
Many executives tell me their good ideas do not get the traction they deserve. They tell me they
- Leave leadership forums with more questions than answers, and are often asked to come back again before a decision will be made
- Work nights and weekends reworking the same recommendation after repeated rejections
- See their peers being promoted first because they have strong communication skills.
A lack of clarity may be costing you a great deal.
LEARN TO MAKE THE COMPLEX CLEAR & THE CLEAR COMPELLINGJoin motivated professionals learning to engage decision making audiences in complex ideas, including those outside your technical area.
Understand your audience
Say what matters. Understand your audience deeply so you can craft messages that land with any audience, any time.
Get to the point. You don’t have to be a natural born communicator to engage a business audience, but you do need a clear point of view that motivates them to action.
Communicate like a leader
Anywhere, any time. Using our So What Strategy framework you’ll get faster responses, quicker approvals, better decisions and stand out for the right reasons.
ADD MORE VALUE
Get faster approvals
Clarify your main message, deliver it early and get faster results. Most likely, you will also deliver significantly shorter communication that packs a more powerful punch than usual. Not only will it respect the analytical integrity of your analysis, it will do greater justice to your insights.
SAVE (lots of) TIME
Use our rigorously tested storyline frameworks - ie patterns - built on the back of decades helping executives across hundreds of organistions and disciplines. We'll also give you sample documents that you can cut and paste from.
EXPERIENCE GREATER SATISFACTION AT WORK
Experience less friction from stakeholders
Learn how to engage stakeholders more quickly in your ideas while also massively cutting the rework required during the process. Discover new and more enjoyable ways to collaborate with your team too.
Know where to
start every time
Tired of staring blankly at the keyboard? Know the exact steps to take any time you sit down to communicate. This involves first designing your communication strategy, developing your storyline and delivering the appropriate form of communication, whether that be an email, a paper, a PowerPoint or something creative to grab attention. Equally, you might need to think through your messages for a Huddle or Stand Up.
STRETCH WITHOUT STRESSINGA powerful three-level program delivered to accommodate demanding and unpredictable professional schedules. Here's how it works:
LEVEL 1 - CLARIFY YOUR THINKING USING STORYLINES
Learn how to distil
messages that cut through
Start learning immediately. You will learn how to build a storyline in your own time by completing 33 short, powerful online modules while being supported during our regular group working sessions.
Dive into a growing library of recorded Hot Seats where we build storylines together live, shorter Sound Bites which draw out key learnings from individual sessions, and a range of tools and templates.
Participants start to receive feedback like this about the increased clarity of their communication as they work through this level.
"The communication is clear and easy to understand" and "I like the clarity of the one-pager"
Upon completion, they automatically graduate to the Sprint.
LEVEL 2 - deepen your understanding, strengthen your practice
Complete skill-building sprints
The Sprint Program takes your communication skills to the next level.
The five modules dive more deeply into our So What Strategy framework while also exploring our seven most commonly used storyline patterns.
These modules help you move from creating clarity to delivering insight with greater ease. Participants have commented at this stage:
"Better structure has meant that conversations are more focused and substantive"
and have received this feedback:
From colleagues - “Excellent and most transparent financial message”
From the CEO - “The clearest and most concise finance paper I have seen in 3.5 years”
LEVEL 3 - MASTER COMMUNICATING IN MORE SOPHISTICATED SITUATIONS
Continue working toward mastery with others at your level and join topical workshops that help you consistently communicate complex ideas with clarity and confidence.
Topics slated for the coming months include communicating with the Board and structured problem solving techniques. We also regularly deconstruct pieces of communication to dive into the 'nitty gritty' of the communication strategy.
Current members include those who need to align complex stakeholder groups around major pitches and team leaders wanting fresh eyes on their papers and proposals. Others seek thought partners to work out the best way to delegate so they can turn their team's performance around.
Yet others are focused on maintaining momentum as they strive to make the approach become second nature and see the Clarity First resources as a Centre of Excellence they can rely upon when faced with a new or complex communication. challenge.
They enjoy the regular working sessions as they lack colleagues who are sufficiently skilled to offer meaningful communication advice. They also prefer to receive support in a safe place away from their (competitive?) peers.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to hear what they say.
Practical resources to strengthen your communication and save time right from video 1
Clarity First supports you as you learn at your own pace alongside a global network of motivated professionals at your stage of development.
First, learn the core concepts, and then build as you apply them to an increasingly wide range of practical situations.
This training gave me tools & templates to implement. I implemented and realised the results straight away.
People came to me and provided feedback about the tremendous change in my clear communication approach.
Highly recommended, Thanks a lot Davina !!!
Mark, senior manager, Data Quality
Access the core curriculum anywhere, any time on any device. The So What Strategy curriculum includes 7 hours of videos (each 3 to 15 minutes long) supported by a mix of theoretical and practical challenges.
Access materials that match your program level, eg Sound Bites offering practical tips, recordings of Q&A sessions, Hot Seats showcasing the So What Strategy at work on real examples, and MasterClasses, Tools and Templates.
Share ideas with with motivated peers also working to become great communicators.
Sign up for live sessions that match your learning level, eg working sessions, MasterClasses and Sprints.
Learn from our recent live sessions even if you can't be there in person.
Find answers to your technical storylining questions among this extensive list of Frequently Asked Questions.
join the program for $149 per month
STEP CLOSER TO COMMUNICATING LIKE A LEADER TODAY
A BIT ABOUT DAVINA
I love what I do.
I have had the pleasure of helping smart people all over the world to clarify and communicate complex ideas for the past 20+ years.
I began this work when I joined McKinsey & Company in Hong Kong as a Communication Specialist and have built a team of eight here in Australia that helps others see their good ideas get the traction they deserve.
The structured approach that I teach, the So What Strategy, helps people from almost every discipline.
I know this because not only do I teach, I get in the trenches alongside my clients and prepare the communication with them.
It offers a universal thinking process that enables you to articulate the breakthrough lurking beneath the surface of your communication.
Scroll down to hear what participants say.
HEAR FROM PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS
ASK ANYTHING YOU WANT ...
Frequently Asked Questions
Clarity First is a powerful program for experts who want to communicate better.
Participants typically join when they realise they need to communicate to more sophisticated and demanding audiences. They are capable and motivated professionals who have often not been taught how to communicate at senior levels of business.
Here is an extensive list of 'FAQ's.
Email us any time if you have further questions.
What will I learn?
Clarity First helps you clarify and communicate complex ideas in any setting.
By adopting our three-part, So What Strategy approach you will learn how to design your communication strategy, develop your one-page storyline and deliver your communication powerfully in any setting.
What are outcomes from the program?
... we regularly see people cut both the length of time it takes to prepare their communication and the time it takes to get a result halve.
Here are some examples:
- Anthony's Chief Financial Officer started getting responding to his emails within the hour rather than providing delayed or no responses.
- Cerise started seeing her Steering Committees agreeing with her recommendations the first time she presented them.
- Stefan went from preparing 50+ pages for his business cases to preparing just 2 pages - and getting a fast 'yes'.
- Rebecca and her team cut the amount of time it takes to prepare board papers by 60%.
- Javed was told that his finance paper was the best the CEO had seen in his 3.5 years with the company.
- Alice, an analytics professional, who is not a native English speaker, has become the 'go to' person in her team when they are preparing any important communication.
How is Clarity First different from other communication programs?
Clarity First provides a ‘go to’ framework that helps you clarify your thinking before communicating in any situation.
We see good communication as an outcome of clear thinking, rather than the other way around.
This means no more drafting long papers or PowerPoints and then iterating endlessly on them, but rather using a structured technique to map your ideas onto a single page, socialise it and only then prepare your final piece of communication with speed.
We don't see the communication itself is not the be-all, rather the ‘be-all’ is the impact you have.
We are delighted when you work through our process and realise you do not need to communicate at all.
This happens more often than you might expect.
Who is the program for?
Clarity First is for anyone who wants to engage their stakeholders in complex ideas.
Participants are smart professionals who have never been taught the skills they need to communicate in a way that engages other busy executives, particularly decision makers.
Current participants include those in analytics, consulting, project management, the law, organisational development, research, technology and more.
They typically have 15 or more years' experience, but include professionals with anywhere from 5 years to 30+ from all corners of the globe.
Who facilitates the program?
Davina Stanley founded and facilitates this program.
Davina learned the foundations of her craft at McKinsey & Company, and has been helping technical experts to communicate clearly for more than 20 years.
She and her business partner, Gerard Castles, lead a team of 8 structured communication specialists based in Australia who increasingly travel internationally to serve clients from a wide range of industries.
Where Davina is not able to do so, her team members (most of whom are McKinsey trained) will provide document feedback during the program.
Davina and Gerard are the authors of The So What Strategy, which offers what they see as the seven most commonly used storyline patterns in business.
What support do you provide?
We offer regular live working sessions where we work through a challenge together. These are typically held twice monthly at times that suit almost any time zone and are available to all program members.
We offer yet more sessions to members of the Sprint and Momentum Programs, who have graduated from the initial 'Core' level.
The small number of people who opt in to join the Foundation Membership also receive a quarterly one-on-one coaching session with Davina. They also receive email feedback up to six pieces of communication across a year.
I can only offer 8 places at this level though given it requires more time from me.
How long will it take to complete the program?
This will vary depending upon how much time you invest.
Participants progress as their work and life schedules allow, so it is hard to predict: some binge through the modules quickly, others prefer to take their time and digest the concepts thoroughly, iterating between learning and doing.
Having said that, three months will enable you to cover the basics at a steady clip, six will give you a strong foundation and a year of fairly regular attention will see your communication transform.
Why is the program offered over a longer period?
In 20+ years of helping professionals of all levels improve their communication I have found that hearing about an idea in a workshop is a poor substitute for drip feeding ideas that can be used straight away.
By introducing concepts in small pieces over a period of time, allowing opportunities to use the ideas, ask questions and receive feedback we see better more sustainable skill building.
I also see how learning is derailed by urgent business priorities. The new flexible program design enables people to flex to their busy schedules.
Why is the program divided into levels?
This enables us to tailor our live and recorded materials to suit your learning stage.
Those in the Core Program want to understand the concepts and start using them straight away in regular and potentially routine communication.
Sprint Members are ready to take the ideas to new heights as they apply the ideas in a wider range of settings, particularly using our seven powerful storylining patterns.
Momentum Members are working toward mastering the approach in higher stakes situations.
How much time do participants need to invest in the program?
Participants typically invest 1- 2 hours per week for focused learning while also practicing their new skills at work (so they can get that time back really quickly).
Participants tell me they quickly ‘get back’ the time invested as they answer fewer clarification questions, fight fewer mis-fires and have a familiar and universal process to use when preparing their communication.
Having said that, I do observe that most participants' interaction with the program varies as other priorities take them away.
I regularly see times when they 'binge' and then times when they rest before coming back.
How is the content delivered?
Participants learn via a mix of independent and group learning (should they choose to join in for our live working sessions).
- The core materials outline our approach step by step.
- Live - recorded - working sessions focus on applying the ideas learned in the core materials.
- Supplementary materials in the library provide stretch, examples and related insights.
Here is an outline of how it works:
The core learning materials are housed within a structured online course, which we call the Core Curriculum.
It includes 33 short powerful modules, which walk you step by step through the So What Strategy while also offering examples of the ideas in action.
Each video and a challenge that asks you to think.
You need to score 70% or more of the questions from each challenge to move to the next module.
We also provide notes to download as well as closed captions and transcripts for the videos for those who like to read as well as listen.
Inside the Recordings area, we offer recordings of our live working sessions along with sample documents we created that may provide a framework for your own communication.
These recordings from our interactive sessions do more than provide sample documents. They offer insights into both strategies and tactics that other experienced professionals are applying that will be relevant to you and your work also.
For example: have you thought about which ideas to leave in your drafts in the hope that your stakeholders edit them out ... and leave the key ideas that matter to you alone?
Inside the library we offer supplementary learning materials, storyline examples, patterns and more extercises for those who want to stretch themselves.
How do I get extra support?
You will find you get lots of attention during the live sessions, but if you are looking for more, we suggest taking a Foudnation Membership.
This 'VIP' level provides quarterly one-on-one coaching as well as email feedback on your own work.
What does the program cost?
The course costs $149 per month, or $1,490 for a full year's access, including taxes. Australians, Kiwis and South Africans enjoy a 'home ground advantage', and are charged in AUD rather than the standard USD.
Participants may join for as long as they feel they need to with 6 months being a 'healthy minimum', but 12 months being ideal.
Some students have been working with me for a couple of years now, as they want to test themselves further in a new role, or want to truly master the approach.
The month-by-month approach allows them to decide how far they want to progress as they go.
This allows them to learn the concepts and have time to test and iterate as they put them into practice to gain full advantage.
There are a couple of other things to note about the payment process:
- Tax invoices and receipts can be provided
- Registration can be confirmed with a credit card payment during the registration window, or bank deposit, a purchase order or a formal email from the person responsible for payment explaining when payment will arrive.
What are my payment options?
You have two options:
#1 - You can pay with credit card via our secure payment portal on the website. We use Stripe as our payment gateway, which is well recognised as a secure and easy to use platform.
#2 - You may request an invoice upon presentation of a purchase order from your organisation. Once you provide the purchase order, you are welcome to begin the program.
When do I need to register by?
Registrations close at 9pm AEST on Friday 16 October 2020.
This will be the last chance to join during 2020.
Registrations for 2021 will be open at three short and specific intervals during the year.
Why are registrations not open year round?
It's all about focus.
If we open the doors at specific times only, we enable ourselves to focus more fully on program participants the rest of the year.
We can't do our best, as a team, if our focus is split between continuously onboarding new participants and simultaneously supporting those already in the program.
Providing specific opportunities to join the program provides us with a far greater ability to serve everyone.
How does the guarantee work?
If you get into the program and realise that it does not do what we say it will do for you, please let us know within the first 14 days.
We will refund you in full, no questions asked.
We hope you will explain what went wrong so we can learn from your experience, but will automatically provide a 100% refund regardless.
How do I register?
Click THIS LINK and you will either be taken to the registration page during our 'open period' or to our 'waitlist' page to be notified when registrations reopen.