- Interview with Davina Stanley Michael D. Levitt 25:08
Your Bio and Social Media links: Website: https://clarityfirstprogram.com/
Davina Stanley is a business communication expert. For 25+ years, Davina has advised thousands of executives from some of the world’s largest companies, including Meta, KPMG, and Mercer. She has helped clients from nearly all industries in Australia, Asia-Pacific, the US, and the UK communicate complex ideas extremely clearly and quickly, ideally within 30 seconds.
She founded the Clarity First Program, which helps C-suite executives and teams better engage senior leaders and boards in complex ideas.
Davina began her career at McKinsey & Company, working in the Hong Kong and Melbourne offices and Firm Learning, where she helped executives use the Minto Pyramid Principle(R) to communicate better. She was ranked as one of the top performers of her era.
Barbara Minto approved her to teach the Pyramid Principle in 2009, and she is also the author of The So What Strategy and about to release two new books: Elevate and Engage.
Elevate will be released during September and helps leaders lift the quality of thinking in team’s board papers without needing to rewrite them.
Engage will be released soon after that and helps executives write papers that leaders don’t need to rework.
The books are two sides of the same coin…imagine the leader reading Elevate and then asking team to get hold of Engage or one of Davina’s online programs to fix the board paper problem together.
Davina also offers self-paced and cohort-based learning programs. She will hold her next Board Paper Bootcamp in October.
Podcasting and Leadership Discussion
Effective Communication and Seattle Transition
Davina Stanley shared her experiences helping executives communicate effectively with senior leaders and boards, drawing on her diverse background. She also discussed her recent move from Australia to Seattle, highlighting the challenges and opportunities of such a transition. Davina praised the welcoming and inclusive nature of the people in Seattle, contrasting the “Seattle Freeze” rumors. She also mentioned the success of transitioning her business online in 2017, which allowed her to maintain consistency with clients and deliver bite-size live learning. Michael D. Levitt agreed with Davina’s observations, describing Seattle as a great place for business and acknowledging its reputation for friendliness and welcoming nature.
Elevate and Engage: Improving Team Quality
Michael and Davina discussed Davina’s upcoming book, “Elevate,” which focuses on helping leaders improve the quality of their team’s writing and presentations through structured thinking techniques. Davina also mentioned a companion book, “Engage,” aimed at individual contributors seeking to improve roles within collaborative processes. The conversation emphasized the importance of early and structured thinking to avoid last-minute rush and enhance the quality of deliverables.
Presentation Preparation Challenges Discussed
Michael D. Levitt and Davina Stanley discussed the challenges and inefficiencies of traditional presentation preparation. Michael highlighted the issue of individuals being overworked and burning out due to the last-minute preparation of presentations, often during personal time. He emphasized the importance of having clear ingredients for a project and the need to avoid “PowerPoint karaoke”. Davina added that presenters often fail to address the right problem, which can result in the rejection of proposals. She stressed the importance of understanding the audience’s question and providing the appropriate answer.
Planning and Communication in Project Execution
Davina Stanley and Michael D. Levitt discussed the importance of thorough planning and communication in project execution. Davina emphasized the value of investing time in understanding the project’s outcome and stakeholders before Moving on to the presentation stage. Michael agreed, noting that this approach allows for more thoughtful and effective presentations and reduces the likelihood of needing to revise materials. They also touched on the personal impact of this approach, such as reducing workload and improving work-life balance.
Work, Book, Networks, Personal Lives, Sharing Resources
Michael and Davina discussed Davina’s work, found on clarityfirstprogram.com. Davina also mentioned her upcoming book, “Elevate and Engage,” which she plans to publish by the end of the week. Michael offered to share these resources across his networks. They also touched on their personal lives, with Michael sharing his split time between San Diego and Toronto and Davina revealing her family in Seattle. The conversation ended with Michael showing interest in Davina’s work and promising to share information about his show when it goes live.