Ideas for emailing participants before programs begin

Hi everyone,

Here is the text from an email that I sent to CBA coaching program participants before the program was to start. I wanted to let them know what they were in for, reiterate that their boss was on board, and give them some things to do straight away (especially start filling my diary).





Hello everyone,

I am very much looking forward to working with all of you on the Clarity Coaching Program starting in February and wanted to provide you with some more information to prepare.

It occurred to me that you would like to know more about the benefits the program offers, the commitment required as well as any immediate next steps for you.

Program benefits

We have seen from the pilot round as well as from work with other clients that poor writing is a symptom of a bigger problem that relates to the process being undertaken to prepare that writing. As a result, focusing on the writing alone will not provide the improvement in clarity of documents that you are looking for nor will it provide the significant productivity benefits that can be gained from improving the process.

As a result, the Clarity Coaching Program focuses on both the process of gathering and presenting the correct information and the task of organising that information into a coherent argument that will underpin high quality – and faster – decision making. Here are a couple of examples to demonstrate:

  • During the last coaching round at CBA I routinely helped teams cut their documents back from 15+ pages to just two or three by helping them focus on the information that really mattered to their audience at that point in time.
  • This is consistent with what my colleagues and I find across other organisations. The stand-out for last year was one we can all aspire to. A division of one of our largest Telcos realised that they were taking about 15 human days to prepare their business plan before undergoing an extensive approval process. By working with one of my colleagues late last year the team cut the preparation down to less than half a day (yes, 15 days to less than half of one day) and then the plan was approved in six minutes (yes, minutes not hours or days: minutes).

I am excited about working with you so you can also enjoy these kinds of successes.

Program commitment

I will work with you to progress ‘live’ work, which will reduce the impost on your already packed schedules, however there will be some important sessions to attend.

Firstly, we will have a team kick-off session for your area from 10am to 11am on February 25th. This date has been selected as it works for Chris, and so we are anticipating that you can jiggle your appointments where necessary to come along. I will send a meeting invite to each of you shortly so that you can lock it into your diary. Given a number of you have been involved in this program during the last round, I anticipate this session will be quicker for you than for other teams but I do think it is still worth covering a few details.

Secondly, we need to make room for an initial individual coaching session and then some follow on sessions, The first session would be one-on-one with me and then after formal kick-off on the 25th of February, we will meet for at least three more coaching sessions where there will typically be a couple of people in the room at a time: ideally the GM and the program participant (potentially participants if people are working together on a project or document). If it helps to schedule these in advance, please do so. I will be available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 17 February until mid May.

Thirdly, in a couple of weeks I will schedule some Clarity Labs designed to build your skills in key areas. These will focus on issues that come out of the coaching sessions, and will also cover areas that the initial CTCC program did not cover. I will schedule the time slots asap and send you invites for them. Chris, Rose-Marie and Lynne: we can treat this as a typical coaching session as we already know each other quite well.

Next steps

Arranging an initial one-on-one session

I would like to meet each of you – GMs and participants – individually as soon as possible to start the process. Please book the initial one-hour session into my diary asap – today if at all possible. Peter, I will talk with Fran about setting up a time for you as discussed in our initial conversation.

The session can be booked for any Tuesday or Wednesday from the afternoon of Tuesday 17th of February onwards so long as you have a live document we can discuss. A draft may be prepared already, or alternatively bring one that ‘is in your head’. Please do not bring historic documents that you have no vested interest in reworking afterwards.

In the case of GMs, we will talk more about the process around the documents rather than necessarily reworking a document itself, and focus on techniques for coaching others using the Clarity process.

My CBA calendar is deliberately open so you can identify and book times that work for you: between 8am and 6pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays are fair game. I do, however, ask you to leave me a gap in the middle of the day to eat, but am flexible about when that is. This is a kindness to me but also to the people whom I work with during the afternoon …

Catching up on CTCC concepts

Finally, if any of you won’t make it through the CTCC program on or before the 17th of February let me know. I will arrange an intensive small group session for you to attend. It looks like there may be people who will need this also.

Getting a head start

If you would like to get a head start you may like to watch this short 10 minute video prepared by my colleague to refresh your memory around these concepts. Paste this into your browser to view it:

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Feel free to make contact if you have any questions using either my clarity email or my mobile until the 17th of February. After that I will be checking my CBA email ( regularly.
Davina Stanley

M    +61 408 030 851

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